The Islamic Manuscript Association and Stanford University Libraries announce:
A Codicology Short Course

August 26-­30, 2013
Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
Lecturer: Adam Gacek

This course is intended to introduce scholars,students and librarians to the basics of working with Islamic manuscripts.

Course outline:

  • Day One: The study of Islamic manuscripts: an overview of the manuscript age and the world of the scribe; Writing surfaces (papyrus, parchment, paper); Writing implements (pens, inks, etc.); Alpha-numerical and numerical systems; Forms of books (rolls and codices)
  • Day Two: The textblock and its make-up; The text and its arrangement; The colophon; Dates and dating
  • Day Three: Scripts and hands (introduction to paleography); Typology of Arabic scripts; Transmission of texts (collation and certificates); Textual corruptions and corrections in MSS
  • Day Four: Painted decoration (illumination); Bookbinding (structure and decoration); History of manuscripts (origination and provenance); Manuscripts and popular culture (magic and superstition); Forgeries; Describing and examining MSS
  • Day Five: Hands on experience with manuscripts.

Space will be limited and reservations are on a first come basis. There will be the opportunity to sign on for the four days of lectures, or the full course to include the four days of lectures plus a one day hands on session.

For more information, including costs, or to reserve a place, please contact John Eilts at, or the Islamic Manuscript Association office at

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