A German Yahuda Collection?

For some time I thought that German libraries had stopped acquisitions of manuscript collections after World War 1. The currency was devalued heavily during the first few post-war years, and, as universities are dependent on state funding, they were hard pressed to make ends meet. However, as I discovered recently, this hiatus of acquisition was much shorter than I anticipated in some collections. In this post, I will try to make the case that even one of the most influential manuscript traders of the early 20th century might have sold to a German university.

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Organize your book! Foliation as annotation.

We know relatively much about how authors structured their books (or not). But how did readers engage with books? Much has been said about commentaries and glosses, reading, ownership and endowment notes. Even the colophon has recently received two conferences.{1} What these approaches have in common is their concentration on text. Even if it is paratext, they all focus on signs that are easily read. In this post, I will look at annotation via numbers, namely foliation. Continue reading “Organize your book! Foliation as annotation.”

  1. One was organized by Christopher D. Bahl and Stefan Hanß, another by Sabine Schmidtke—its proceedings have recently been published []

Into Ibn Ṭūlūn’s Endowed Library (Part 2)

Co-authored by Melis Emre

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.

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Into Ibn Tulun’s library

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.

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