Category Archives: Manuscripts Manuscripts Manuscripts!

A book list from Damascus

After its main text, Princeton MS Garrett 784Y contains also a book list written by the same scribe who copied the entire manuscript. It contains 114 entries, referring to a rather large private library by the standards of the time. In this post, we will look at it more closely.

Continue reading

Time to talk about book stamps

Instinctively, what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘book stamp’? Is it an Ex Libris with a careful inscription and perhaps an illustration as well? Or is it a functional tool that serves basically the same function as an ownership note? In contrast to those, there is little literature on book stamps, and maybe that is why this post deserves to be written—and published?

Continue reading

Making books as an archival practice

Usually, posts are published on Sundays. This is an exception because today (when this is published) is my birthday. And I thought this enough to change the rule for once (and it’s more of a guideline anyway). In this post, we return to one person who has fascinated me for a while now and who has been featured here before: the Damascene book collector ʿAbd al-Salām al-Shaṭṭī. However, this time we are not just interested in his connections to Ibn Ṭūlūn manuscripts but rather in how he engaged with manuscripts for the sake of archival practices.

Continue reading

The archival biography of MS TCD 1514

Manuscripts have their own biographies. And those are not defined by their respective points of creation nor by the place where they end up. A book bio can be much more topsy-turvey or bodacious, depending on how you want to frame it. And often enough, we can only reconstruct parts of such a biography, exactly because they became embroiled in their own adventures at different points. This much is certainly true for the item which today is referred to as MS 1514 in Trinity Library, Dublin.

Continue reading

Into Ibn Ṭūlūn’s Endowed Library (Part 2)

One earlier post has outlined several obstacles in assessing Ibn Ṭūlūn’s book collection in contrast to the books he himself authored. Together with Melis Emre, a master student of Konrad Hirschler, I revisit this question here, complicating the differentiation between books Ibn Ṭūlūn owned and arguably read, and those he endowed. In short, he did not only buy books for himself but also to re-endow them in the ʿUmariyya madrasa, thereby reconstituting certain histocrical corpora.

Continue reading