Although virtually all modern studies on Ibadi history have relied on manuscript evidence, very few authors have taken the time to provide detailed descriptions of those manuscripts. As a result, we know very little about the production of the manuscripts or their transmission. Providing detailed descriptions of manuscripts can help us understand much more about the ‘material’ history of Ibadism in North Africa. For example, a preliminary look at the manuscripts in the BNT suggests that much of the surviving corpus of Ibadi works dates to the 17th-19th centuries and that most of the paper was made in Italy. While these features of the manuscripts would hardly shock codicologists of Islamic history, they are nevertheless crucial pieces of information for understanding the transmission of knowledge in Ibadi communities in the early modern period.
I hope to finish the article with full descriptions by September. For now, you can check out the BNT’s website, which is searchable in both Arabic and French, here. The server is occasionally down -but most of the time the site us up and running.