II. Projects and Editions

1. Project for the cataloguing and digitalizing of 55 Islamic manuscripts

Project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) for the database supported indexing and digital disposal of newly acquired Arabic and Persian manuscripts by the library of the University of Leipzig. This project is part of the program "Cultural Heritage" in the field of "Scientific Library Services and Information systems (LIS)" by the German Research Foundation.

Research Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm, Chair of Arabic and Oriental Studies and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schneider, Director of the Leipzig University Library

The Project:

The project aims at the database supported indexing and digital disposal of a group of about 55 Arabic and Persian manuscripts. These have been purchased by the Leipzig University Library in the years 1995 and 1996.

The project is of exemplary nature, as the Arabic script for the first time is going to be integrated into a database together with German and English transliteration-systems. By doing so a so far unknown pool of Islamic manuscripts will be placed at the disposal of scholars of Oriental Studies worldwide.

The variety of disciplines covered in the manuscript collection, the partly old lifetimes of the authors, the old age of the copies as well as the timely proximity of the copy to its author, and advanced decoration deserve special accentuation.

Part of the collection is "Kitāb al-Zīna" by the Isma‘īlī Dā’ī Abū Hātim al-Rāzī (d. 332 H. 943/44 AD), which is one of the oldest known Isma‘īlī manuscripts in the world.

Duration of the project: 1, 5 years.
Start: August 2006.

2. Translation and presentation of a Latin manuscript catalogue on the internet

Boris Liebrenz
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm, Dr. Stefanie Brinkmann

Since 1835, Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer (1801 - 1888), one of the outstanding European scholars of the 19th century and a central figure of the young and as a science just developing Arabic Studies, held a chair in Leipzig. Himself being a student under famous personalities, such as the classical philologist Gottfried Hermann in Leipzig, or the orientalist I. A. Sylvestre de Sacy in Paris, he soon formed the Alma Mater Lipsiensis to be a European centre for the studies of oriental languages. And he had equally famous students, as for example Ignaz Goldziher, one of the founding fathers of Islamic Studies.

Starting point for his far-reaching studies have often been original texts, only transmitted in manuscript form. The outcome of these studies are among other outstanding research works, two descriptive catalogues, one of them (Codices Orientalium Linguarum qui in Bibliotheca Senatoria Civitatis Lipsiensis asservantur, Grimma 1838) covering the holdings of the former Ratsbibliothek (now preserved in the Leipzig University Library). This catalogue is considered to be a model of exactness and erudite thoroughness.

However, the catalogue was written in Latin, which guaranteed an international reception at that time in the 19th century, but poses an obstacle to general usage nowadays. Therefore the goal of this project is the partial translation of this valuable document and its presentation on the internet, thereby providing access to a great part of the Leipzig manuscript collection for a broader international community of interested scholars.

3. Critical edition of “al-Risāla al-mūjaza al-kāfiya fī adab al-du’āt” by Ahmad b. Ibrāhīm an-Naisābūrī.

Supervisor and editor: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm
Co-editor: Susanne Karam

In cooperation with the Institute for Ismaili Studies, London (further information see under III.1.)

4. Edition of the manuscript „ Sharh al-sudūr fi asmā’ al-khumūr“ of Abū l-Yaman al-Tarabulusī

(Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Wetzstein 1736 a. copy approximately 1250/ 1834. See: Ahlwardt, W. Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. Berlin 1894. Bd. VI, Nr. 7057.)
Dr. Stefanie Brinkmann

As can be seen from classical Arabic literature, above all poetry and adab, there has been a lively culture of wine in Islamic medieval times. These sources as well as scientific works reveal a colourful image of the production, trade and consume of wine. Wine poetry has been a flourishing genre over centuries. According to taste, colour, alcohol level, production and provenance, several names for different types of wines have been developed (see Heine, Peter. Weinstudien. Untersuchungen zu Anbau, Produktion und Konsum des Weins im arabisch-islamischen Mittelalter. Wiesbaden 1982.)

The manuscript „Sharh al-sudūr fī asmā’ al-khumūr “ is a commented list of wine names, whereby the author underlines his explanations sporadically with verses.

The publication aims at a critical edition of the Arabic text, followed by an English translation to which necessary commentaries concerning lexical references, techniques and places of production, and/or consume are added. Another manuscript by the same author about synonyma (more than 100) (Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Petermann 193, 2, f. 86. Siehe: Ahlwardt, W. Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. Berlin 1894. Bd. VI, Nr. 7058.) for wine names will be used complementarily.

5. Description of an illuminated luxury manuscript of the Diwan of Hāfiz

(ca. 1320-1389, Schiraz, Iran) that is held in the Leipzig University Library (provisional shelfmark: collection 1996, I.31) in the calendar "Zimelien - Schätze aus der Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig 2005". The manuscript dates most probably from the 17th century, Iran.
Dr. Stefanie Brinkmann



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