Arabic Manuscript Reference Works

For those working with Arabic manuscripts I wanted to draw attention to three works that have recently been published in a more accessible format for the individual scholar. This is especially relevant as the fall conference season draws closer and book buying stratagems begin to percolate in scheming scholarly minds. The works in question are all by Adam Gacek, the head of the Islamic Studies Library at McGill University, and have been previously published in 2001, 2008, and 2009.

Adam Gacek. 2001. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: A Glossary of Technical Terms and Bibliography. Leiden: Brill.

Adam Gacek. 2008. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: A Glossary of Technical Terms and Bibliography – Supplement. Leiden: Brill.

Adam Gacek. 2009. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: A Vadecum for Readers. Leiden: Brill.

As the preceding bibliographic listings indicate these three works were previously published by Brill, which generally prices its titles for institutional purchase and hence beyond the typical means of the sole researcher. However, last year Brill began to publish a number of its highly sought after titles in a more reasonably priced paperback edition. 2012 now sees the release of these three important works in such a state. Scholars working with manuscripts from the Islamicate world and those entertaining to undertake such vital research, will find these reference works invaluable. The Vadecum alone serves as a useful introduction for the uninitiated and is certainly a valuable resource for those already invested.

Several other paperback volumes that will be of interest to scholars of Islam include:

Jonathan Brown. 2011. The Canonization of al-Bukhārī and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunnī Ḥadith Canon. Leiden: Brill.

Alexander Knysh. 2000. Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill.