A few weeks ago, I asked on twitter if other people would be interested in pooling resources on book stamps / seals (both terms are viable from different perspectives, see below). There was some response, and considering how niche the topic has always been, that response seemed promising enough to me to spring into action. In this post, I will talk about how I envision a collaboration to move forward.Continue reading “Collaboration on book stamp / seal research”
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 “A book list from Damascus”
My project is mostly concerned with Ibn Tulun’s own body of work, his own corpus. This focus has partially emerged due to my fascination with his organization of knowledge and partly due to constraints exerted by the current state of cataloguing. It is rather easy to find the author of any given manuscript but much more time-consuming to identify former owners of a manuscript. Today, however, let us take a look at which other books Ibn Tulun called his own.Continue reading “Into Ibn Tulun’s library”
Only recently, I finished reading Nelly Hanna’s 2004 monograph “In Praise of Books”. Honestly, while the book raises some interesting questions, it has not aged all that well.
But first, what is it about? It is less about the books mentioned in the title and more about “A cultural History of Cairo’s Middle Class, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century” as the subtitle clarifies. In this context, Hanna argues that the written word became more important than it was before, and that it now began to reach well beyond the academe of the time, namely the ʿulamāʾ circles. Continue reading “A note on Nelly Hanna’s “In Praise of Books””