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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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.

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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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Arabic Manuscripts in Trinity: The Huntingdon Collection (part 2)

In my last post I introduced the Arabic manuscripts beqeathed to Trinity College Library in the seventeenth century by Robert Huntingdon, provost of the College from 1683-92. I also conveyed that the later treatment of these materials by librarians – the physical placement of them on shelves – shows that their integrity as a single collection was recognized.

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