When an Arabic text had appeared in print, there was no reason to copy it by hand anymore, right? Not quite. The reality is way messier and far more interesting.
"The Ifrane Collection," is a remarkable private collection of mostly-Sufi titles from here in Morocco. It includes more than a dozen copies of Muḥammad b. Sulaymān al-Jazūlī's (d.1465) Dalāʾil al-khayrāt, representing a range of styles and manuscripts traditions associated with that text.
Saʿīd b. ʿAlī b. Taʿārit (d.1289/1872) occupies an important place in the history and historiography of Ibadi communities in the Maghrib as the author of The Epistle on the History of Jerba (Risāla fī taʾrīkh Jarba). This work, which he completed in 1273/1856, fills in a lot of gaps in the time between the end … Continue reading The library of Ibadi historian Saʿīd b. ʿAlī b. Taʿārīt (d.1289/1872) | مكتبة المؤرّخ الإباضي سعيد بن علي بن تعاريت
The Rare Books Library at McGill University in Montreal, Canada has a small collection of Ibadi lithographs from Algeria and Egypt . And (at least) one of them has a very unexpected story. The four Ibadi titles there include three from the first Ibadi print house in Cairo, the al-Maṭbaʿa al-Bārūniyya. Founded around 1870 by … Continue reading Ibadi Lithographs at McGill University’s Rare Books Library | مطبوعات حجرية إباضية في مكتبة جامعة مكيل في كندا
I am delighted to announce the launch of "EAP1216 The Djerba Libraries Project," a two-year effort to digitize several libraries on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. Funded by Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin) and administered by the British Library's "Endangered Archives Programme," the Djerba Libraries Project aims to produce digital … Continue reading EAP1216 “The Djerba Libraries Project:” A New Manuscript Digitization Project in Djerba, Tunisia | مكتبات جربة: مشروع جديد لرقمنة المكتبات بجربة (تونس)
As part of a project on the history of the Ibadi community in Cairo in the Ottoman period, I have been looking through digital facsimiles of manuscripts from the private library of Shaykh Aḥmad al-Khalīlī, the Grand Muftī of the Sultanate of Oman. I noted in a previous post that this and several other libraries … Continue reading The owners and life cycle of Ibadi Manuscripts: AK157 from the Buffalo Agency | أصحاب المخطوطات الإباضية ومراحل حياتها: “أك١٥٧” من وكالة الجاموس نموذجا
Over the past several years, I have worked with private manuscript collections belonging to families in Jerba, Tunisia. The island is home to several well-known libraries, including those belonging to the Barouni (al-Bārūnī), Ben Yagoub (Bin Yaʿqūb), El Bessi (al-Bāsī), and Batour (al-Baʿṭūr) families. A lesser-known but equally important collection belonging to the Satouri (al-Ṣāṭūrī) … Continue reading Oddments from a “Nukkārī” Ibadi Library: the al-Ṣāṭūrī Library in Jerba, Tunisia | بقايا من مكتبة “نكارية”: مكتبة الصاطوري بجزيرة جربة (تونس)
Historians interested in Ibadi and other Arabic manuscripts (including me) often treat manuscripts separately from printed materials in private libraries. But in the second half of the 19th century, when Arabic lithography witnessed an explosion of production in urban centers like Cairo and Tunis, Ibadi manuscripts and lithographs (and other types of printing later) existed … Continue reading Intersections between Manuscript and Lithograph Cultures in Private Libraries | التداخلات بين ثقافتَي المخطوطات والطبعات الحجرية في المكتبات الخاصّة
After a series of short visits beginning in 2014 and ending just this week, I'm delighted to offer a preliminary catalog of Ibadi and other Arabic manuscripts held at the library of the Association pour la sauvegarde de l'île de Djerba (ASIDJ) in Houmet Souk, Djerba. This library has an eclectic and fascinating collection of … Continue reading Catalog of Ibadi & Other Arabic Manuscripts at the Association pour la sauvegarde de l’île de Djerba (ASIDJ) | فهرس المخطوطات الإباضية وغيرها من المخطوطات العربية في مكتبة جمعية صيانة جزيرة جربة
The Journal of Manuscript Studies (3:1, Spring 2018) has just published a short research annotation by my colleague Dr. Ali Boujdidi and myself, describing our project on the El Bessi (al-Bāsī) family library in Jerba, Tunisia. The article is available here on my Academia.edu page. This project, carried out from July 2017-March 2018, included the … Continue reading Preserving Endangered Archives in Jerba, Tunisia: The al-Bāsī Family Library | الحفاظ على الأرشيفات المهدّدة في جربة: مكتبة الباسي العائلية