Bibliotheca Arabica News & Activities

Bibliotheca Arabica: PhD position

The long-term research project "Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature" based at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig (Germany) invites applications for a part-time PhD position working within the micro-historical sub-project “Libraries between the Mamluk and Ottoman Era”.

The application deadline is 18 May 2019.
Start date is January 2020; the contract period is 3 years, with an option of extension for another year.

The offiicial call can be found here Bibliotheca Arabica - PhD position (PDF).

For more information on the project see

16 August 2018: Work Session on Marginal Commentaries, Leipzig

One-day Work Session on Marginal Commentaries & Glosses in Manuscripts, organised by Stefanie Brinkmann, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Leipzig
Participants: Paul Babinski (Princeton University), Stefanie Brinkmann (SAW Leipzig), Boris Liebrenz (SAW Leipzig), Christian Mauder (University of Leipzig, Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies: Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities), Darya Ogorodnikova (Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University (Islamic Manuscripts with a Wide Spaced Layout as Mediators of Teaching Practices in West Africa), Walid Saleh (University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion & Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations), Ronny Vollandt (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Ali Zaherinezhad (Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University (The Leipzig Manuscript B. or. 227: Paratexts as witnesses of Islamic Ḥadīṯ scholarship)

1 April 2019: Workshop Damascene Libraries 19th Century, Beirut

Paper presented by Boris Liebrenz: “Aḍwā’ ǧadīda ʽalā maktabat al-ḥāǧǧ Aḥmad al-Rabbāṭ (New Light on the Library of Aḥmad al-Rabbāṭ)” at the workshop Maktabāt Dimašq wa-tiǧārat al-kutub fīhā fī l-qarn al-tāsiʽ ʽašar (Damascene Libraries and the Book Trade in the 19th Century), Beirut, Orient-Institut Beirut in collaboration with Free University Berlin


18 – 20 July 2018: "Modeling Travels in History: an ORBIS-esque Hackathon"

Thomas Efer as participant in a hackathon on historical geo-temporal data of the arabic world organized by Maxim Romanov (University of Vienna).


9 August 2018: "Fachtag Digital Humanities in Thüringen"

Project Presentation by Thomas Efer at the Thuringian Digital Humanities Day in Gotha, organized by  the research group "Netzwerk für digitale Geisteswissenschaften und Citizen Science" of the University of Erfurt, together with the Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel Research Association and the DHnet Jena


10 – 11 September 2018: Workshop "Text-as-Graph" of the DHd working group on graph technologies

Contributions on graph schema integration and on text data and metadata modeling by Thomas Efer


23 – 29 September 2018: Summerschool Islamic Manuscripts, Leipzig

Summerschool on Islamic Manuscripts: Zweiter Alfried-Krupp Sommerkurs für Islamische Handschriftenkultur in Leipzig 2018, Leipzig University Library
Organised by Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm (Institute of Oriental Studies, Leipzig University), the Bibliotheca Arabica team, and Leipzig University Library; instructors: Cornelius Berthold, Stefanie Brinkmann, Claudia Colini, Boris Liebrenz, Helga Rebhan, Beate Wiesmüller


6 – 7 December 2018: Conference "Connected Past 2018 - People, Networks and Complexity in Archaeology and History"

Poster presentation with short talk on "Uncovering Networks within 700 years of material textual culture in the Arabic world" held by Thomas Efer


10 – 11 December 2018: Conference “Theory and Practices of Commentary”, Frankfurt

International Conference “Theory and Practices of Commentary”, Goethe Universität Frankfurt a.M. , paper presented by Stefanie Brinkmann: “Marginal Commentaries in Hadith Manuscripts”


13 – 14 December 2018: Colloqium Digital Islamicate Humanities, Amsterdam

Project Presentation by Daniel Kinitz at the Academy Colloqium „Wither Digital Islamicate Humanities“, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam

20 – 21 December 2018: Congress “The Maghrib in the Mashriq”, Madrid

Project Presentation by Verena Klemm “Presentation of the Project Bibliotheca Arabica”, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid


22 January 2019: Bibliography Week, Columbia University, New York

Keynote lecture given by Boris Liebrenz: “Bibliotheca Arabica: The Past and Future of Arabic Bibliography”, Columbia University, New York City, Bibliography Week, organized with the Grolier Club

30 January 2019: Invited lecture by Prof. Dr. Maribel Fierro, Madrid

Invited lecture by Prof. Dr. Maribel Fierro, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid: “The Medieval Islamic West in the East, intellectual connections and cultural impact – The project AMOI”

22 – 23 February 2019: Workshop Ḥadīth Manuscripts, Hamburg

International Workshop ”Prophetic Traditions Materialised: Dimensions of Ḥadīth Manuscripts”, Center for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC Hamburg), organised within the scope of the A11-project at the CSMC by Stefanie Brinkmann and Ali Zaherinezhad, with the support of the Bibliotheca Arabica Project

Paper presented by Stefanie Brinkmann: Two Bukhārī Manuscripts from Timurid Shiraz – Marginal Commentaries


25 – 29 March 2019: Workshop on Manuscript Notes, Scriptorium workshop series, Berlin

Boris Liebrenz was an instructor at the international workshop “Codicological and Paleographical Aspects of Islamic Manuscripts, with a Special Focus on Manuscript Notes” within the Scriptorium workshop series at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, organized with al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, London


24 April 2019: Project Presentation, Marburg University

Lecture by Boris Liebrenz: „Bibliotheca Arabica – Was Handschriften und über die arabische Literatur verraten”, Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, Philipps Universität Marburg

8 May 2019: Visit of Egyptian Delegation

Visit of an Egyptian delegation to Leipzig University Library and the Bibliotheca Arabica Project, organized by Prof. Dr. A. Fuess (Marburg University) in cooperation with Bibliotheca Arabica and Leipzig University Library. Guests were: Prof. Dr. Hesham Azmi (Head of the Cultural Council, Chairman of the Egyptian National  Library and Archives, Dār al-Kutub wal-Waṯāʾiq), Prof. Dr. Atef Mansour (Dean of the Faculty of  Archaeology at Fayoum University, Chairman of the  German-Egyptian Islamic Numismatics Center Fayoum  University/ University of Tübingen), Prof. Dr. Muhammed Younis (Islamic Archaeology  Fayoum University).

6 - 7 June 2019: Workshop “Glossing from a Comparative Perspective”, Marburg

International workshop “Glossing from a Comparative Perspective”, Marburg University
Paper presented by Stefanie Brinkmann: Marginal Commentaries in Hadith Manuscripts


4 – 5 September 2019: Workshop Manuscripts in the Digital Environment, Leipzig

Workshop Arabic Manuscripts and Collaboration in the Digital Environment, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, organized by Boris Liebrenz

The Academy Project Bibliotheca Arabica is honored to host a number of leading specialists in the fields of Islamic manuscript studies, bibliography, and prosopography who focus on different aspects of this large tradition, but share a common devotion to the written heritage of the Islamicate world. Each one represents a project that explores a particular niche in that larger field, be it a certain corpus, a certain regional or sectarian background, or a certain type of source.


In practice, we are all confronted with unlimited ambition but limited resources. It is, therefore, desirable not to plough the same ground twice but rather to coordinate our efforts. This workshop aims at exploring how we can manage to benefit from each other’s respective specialized knowledge and at the same time retain distinct profiles. For Bibliotheca Arabica in particular, the workshop is meant to provide an opportunity for learning from the previous experience of our guests and to build our research infrastructure with the utmost compatibility in mind.

It is, thus, highly desirable to come to a common understanding of how and in what format to store the data we collect. Many projects have already developed their own idiosyncratic repositories, some are in the process of doing so, while others are teaming up with larger networks beyond disciplinary boundaries.

The following questions should guide our presentations and discussions: 

  • Which (manuscript or biographical) collections do we / will we work on?
  • What kind of metadata do we collect?
  • How do we normalize names, titles etc.?
  • How could our respective systems exchange data?
  • How can we integrate other project’s data and findings while giving full credit to their creators?
  • How do we deal with the question of sustainability and re-use?



  • Phasif – Philosophie Arabe et Syriaque en Île-de-France (Dr. Jawdath Jabbour, Ècole Normale Supérieure, Paris)
  • Onomasticon Arabicum (Prof. Christian Müller and Muriel Roiland, CNRS / IRHT, Paris)
  • Kalīla and Dimna - Wisdom Encoded (Prof. Beatrice Gründler, Freie Universität, Berlin)
  • Orient Digital (Christoph Rauch, Director of the Oriental Department, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr. Astrid Meier (Martin-Luther-University Halle / Saale)
  • Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature

2 – 3 December 2019: Workshop on Marginal Commentaries, Leipzig

International workshop “Marginal commentaries in Arabic manuscripts”, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, organized by Stefanie Brinkmann



8 September 2018: Symposium on Ottoman-Era Manuscript Libraries, Istanbul

Symposium “New Research on Ottoman-Era Manuscript Libraries”, Orient-Institute Istanbul,organised by Stefanie Brinkmann and Boris Liebrenz in cooperation with the Orient-Institute Istanbul and The Islamic Manuscript Association (Cambridge, UK).
Paper presented by Boris Liebrenz: “Exploring the roots of Ottoman libraries: A case study of the Fazil Ahmet Pasha Manuscripts and the Bibliotheca Arabica Project”

10 – 14 September 2018: Conference Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Münster

Project Presentation Verena Klemm: "Bibliotheca Arabica. Towards a new history of Arabic Literatures" at the 29th Conference of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Münster


28 June 2019: What Manuscripts Can Tell us on the History of Arabic Literature (Academy-Colloquium)

The team, headed by Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm, will present its work, methodology, and outlook. The project, which launched in 2018, is concerned with exploring and gathering data on the literary production in Arabic between the 12th and 19th centuries. With manuscripts as a central source of this endeavor, we can pose fascinating questions: What were the regional trajectories of texts and books during their transmission throughout the centuries? What do manuscripts tell us about their former owners and readers? What can they tell us about libraries that have since been lost? And what are the new perspectives on the history of Arabic literature that a digital Bibliotheca Arabica offers by combining data from manuscript notes, manuscript catalogues, and other sources?


Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm
“Bibliotheca Arabica – Von Büchern und Menschen (Bibliotheca Arabica - Of Books and Men)”

Dr. Boris Liebrenz
“Drei Jahrhunderte im Leben einer Handschrift: Das Unikum von Ibn Hazms ‘Halsband der Taube’ (Three Centuries in the Life of a Manuscript: The Unique MS of Ibn Hazm's 'Neck-Ring of the Dove')” 

Dr. Stefanie Brinkmann
“Islamische Traditionswerke: Metadaten und Randkommentare (Islamic Works on Prophetic Traditions: Metadata and Marginal Commentaries)”

Dr. Daniel Kinitz / Dr. Thomas Efer
“Auf dem Weg zu einer digitalen Bibliotheca Arabica (Towards a Digital Bibliotheca Arabica)”

There will be time for questions and discussions.

15 July 2019: Presentation at Joint Science Conference (GWK)

Project presentation by Daniel Kinitz to expert committee of the Joint Science Conference (, meeting this year at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig

25-26 February 2020: Digitization of Books and Manuscripts, Cairo

Daniel Kinitz and Boris Liebrenz presented Bibliotheca Arabica at the Egyptian-German workshop "Digitization of Books and Manuscripts" (رقمنة الكتب والمخطوطات) at the National Libarary of Egypt in Cairo.

Programme Dar al-Kutub Workshop (English)

Programme Dar al-Kutub Workshop (Arabic)

Volume "Marginal Commentaries in Arabic Manuscripts"

In December 2019, the Bibliotheca Arabica Project organised a workshop on "Marginal Commentaries in Arabic Manuscripts" at the Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Leipzig. Herewith, we announce the call for contributions for the edited volume on "Marginal Commentaries and Glosses in Arabic Manuscripts". The volume will be published in the Bibliotheca Arabica series with Brill Publishers (series editor: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm). The editors of the volume are Stefanie Brinkmann and Boris Liebrenz.

Call for Contributions Marginal Commentaries and Glosses Bibliotheca Arabica (PDF)

Dr Kirill Dmitriev receives Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award

Our colleague and cooperation partner Dr Kirill Dmitriev (School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews, UK) has been elected the recipient of a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation after having been nominated for this award by Professor Verena Klemm (Orientalisches Institut, Universität Leipzig, Germany). The award has been granted in recognition of the award winner’s accomplishments in research and teaching.

In addition, award winners are invited to carry out research projects of their own choice in collaboration with colleagues in Germany. Kirill Dmitriev will conduct collaborative research with Professor Verena Klemm and other colleagues in the research project "Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature” based at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, Germany. 

In particular, he will focus on innovative aspects in literary and cultural studies in the field of Arabic philology as well as Digital Humanities in the context of his research on the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, an outstanding work of world literature with an extraordinary history of transcultural dissemination.

For more information on the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and its programmes for researchers, please refer to:

5 October 2020: "What's in a Seal" Boris Liebrenz on a Conference in Cairo

On Monday 5th October 2020, Boris Librenz gives insights into seals.

Maktabāt al-Shām wa Mir is hosting the conference "Libraries in Syria and Egypt in the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods based on Manuscript Notes", in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin and The Institute of Arabic Manuscripts.

The conference recordng can be accessed via here:

Part 1

Part 2


8 October 2020: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm, Keynote Lecture "Bibliotheca Arabica and Transottomanica"

Evening Lecture (5-7 pm) by Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm at the Opening Workshop of the 2nd project period of the DFG Priority Programme Transottomanica (2020-23), Leipzig.

The Transottomanica research programme can be found here

24 November 2020: Nadine Löhr, Research Discussion "Networks of Lost Arabic Books"

Research Paper Discussion "Off the Record - Networks of Lost Arabic Books"

based on an analysis of the works mentioned in Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa's History of Physicians.

Virtual Forum  Communities of Knowledge Interreligious Networks of Scholars in Ibn Abi Usaybiʿa’s History of the Physicians

Publications for the collective volume: Jews, Christans, and Muslims as Colleagues and Collaborators in the Abbasid Near East

10 March 2021: Boris Liebrenz, Lecture at the Juma AI-Majid Center


This Wednesday 10 March 2021:

Boris Liebrenz will present the Bibiotheca Arabica Project and his work with manuscript notes at the Juma AI-Majid Center for Culture and Heritage

مشروع بيبليوتيكا أرابيكا: نظرة وثائقية الى التراث العربي المخطوط


14 April 2021: Bibliotheca Arabica Webinar Hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study

Wednesday 14 April 6 PM CET Bibliotheca Arabica – A Digital Home for the Arabic Manuscript Tradition

The webinar, featuring Verena Klemm, Boris Liebrenz, and Thomas Efer, is hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies (Near Eastern Studies).

Please register in advance  here

Arabic literatures are usually studied as purely creative products, a body of texts disembodied from their material life. Bibliotheca Arabica, in contrast, focusses on the context, the production, transmission, and reception of the manuscripts that for centuries carried the works we study today. Knowing what was copied, read, endowed, or owned when, where, and by whom, offers new perspectives on this immensely rich tradition. However, such a research agenda requires the collection, cross-reference, normalization, and visualization of widely diverse data created over more than one and a half millennia.
The long-term perspective of the Academy Program offers a unique environment to tackle such an ambitious task for an extended period. Over 18 years, the collection of data culled from biographical dictionaries, catalogues, and original manuscript research will enable sharply focused studies (the fate of single books or libraries) as well as broader overviews (literary trends and centers). The project’s database as a combination of bio-bibliography and manuscript reference, including a systematic collection and edition of manuscript notes, will provide a versatile tool not only for our own research agenda, but for the field as a whole.
This presentation will offer an overview of the scope, progress, and challenges of Bibliotheca Arabica, illuminated through exemplary case studies of libraries and marginal commentaries. It will showcase the database tools that are being developed as the backbone of our analytical endeavor.

19 March 2021: "Of Waqfs and Worms" Boris Liebrenz - Readings in the Khalidiyya

On Friday 19 March 2021 Boris Liebrenz gives a lecture at Columbia University within the series

Libraries in the late Ottoman and post-Ottoman Bilad al-Sham:
The Jerusalem Khalidiyya Library in Context


The lecture "Of Waqfs and Worms: The Khalidiyya Through Its Manuscript Notes" is followed by a commentary by Marina Rustow and a Q&A session.
A recording of the talk is available through the facebook page of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University


26 March 2021: Stefanie Brinkmann "What’s in Genre? Defining Hadith Commentary"

Lecture: 26 March 2021, 14.00-15.30
Title: What’s in Genre? Defining Hadith Commentary

Starting with the definition of commentary by Eric van Lit, and hadith commentary by Joel Blecher, the presentation sheds a light on the restrictions of these definitions and illustrates problematic issues and border cases for the field of hadith commentary. The presentation is part of the lecture series of the working group “Practices of Commentary” (

26 July 2021: Nadine Löhr "An Almost Forgotten Contribution to the Arabic Tetrabiblos"

On 26 July Nadine Löhr will speak on the  International Congress of History of Sciences and Technologies (Prague) about marginal and interlinear glosses in the Arabic Tetrabiblos manuscripts

Symposium (Part 2/3) The Greek and medieval Ptolemy (CHAMA) - ID 92

Symposium organizer: Benno van Dalen (Germany), Nathan Sidoli (Japan)

Chair: Benno van Dalen (Germany), David Juste (Germany)

An Almost Forgotten Contribution to the Tetrabiblos


Nadine Löhr
Bibliotheca Arabica, Saxon Academy of Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract text

This talk looks back at the beginnings of the history of the Arabic Tetrabiblos in 9th-century Baghdad and reconstructs, based on manuscript notes, Thābit ibn Qurra’s (d. 901) comments on the text. The study of the early transmission of the treatise has been plagued by a severe lack of data. According to the current state of research, the Tetrabiblos was first translated by ʿUmar ibn al-Farrukhān al-Ṭabarī (d. 815). Another version probably based on a lost translation by Ibrāhīm ibn al-Ṣalt goes back to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (d. 873). Individual manuscripts of this version contain quotes attributed to Thābit ibn Qurra, mostly in the form of annotations, in the margins of all four books. Some of the scribes even mention Thābit, contrary to popular opinion, as a revisor of Ḥunayn’s version of the Tetrabiblos. Historical biographical sources such as Ibn al-Nadīm, on the other hand, do not mention any corrections by Thābit but acknowledge his glosses to the first book. Other sources, like Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, mention a complete, but apparently lost commentary (Kitāb fī tafsīr al-arbaʿa) by Thābit. Thābit’s remarks are not transmitted in any derivative works: neither al-Battānī’s nor ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān’s renowned commentary includes references to Thābit. A close examination of the extant Arabic manuscripts of the Tetrabiblos with focus on marginal notes will give a better understanding of Thābit ibn Qurra’s contribution. This examination seeks to reconstruct parts of the lost text, to understand its purpose and to illuminate the circumstances of its fading prominence.

5 August 2021: Boris Liebrenz Speaks at the Yahuda Collections Symposium

Boris Liebrenz | Abraham Yahuda and the Globalisation of the Middle Eastern Manuscript Market 

“The manuscript business of Abraham Yahuda could be framed as part of a long tradition through which thousands of volumes from the Middle East ended up in western European and North American libraries. Since the seventeenth century, travelers, consuls, merchants, soldiers, and scholars were able to assemble significant collections of such artefacts. The question of where, through whose agency, or by what means they acquired their libraries is the subject of much recent scrutiny and not always easy to answer.

And yet, when looking at his predecessors, one thing immediately stands out: there was hardly anyone even remotely as successful as Abraham Yahuda. Which begs the fundamental question of how he was able to amass such unparalleled treasures.
An analysis of manuscript notes is unlikely to bring any concrete results in this regard, but reveals general trends in the local and trans-regional book markets. Expectedly, the Yahuda section of Princeton’s Garrett collection reveals many overlaps with the books collected by earlier dealers. At the same time, it will be argued that his activities mark a new stage in how manuscripts were collected in both the Middle East as well as Western Europe and North America.

This talk will build on the cataloguing of provenance data for some of the major European collectors of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman manuscripts up to the nineteenth century. Based on this source material, it will explore what sets Yahuda’s collecting apart from that of earlier periods and where he reflects trends in the manuscript market of the broader region.


27 - 29 Oct 2021: Workshop on Authority Control in Libraries and Digital Humanities Projects

 We are happy to announce our upcoming hybrid workshop

Authority Records and Manuscripts in Libraries and Research

which will be held at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin from 27 to 29 October, 2021

The workshop is co-organised by the “Orient-Digital” project at Berlin State Library and “Bibliotheca Arabica” (Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Leipzig).

More information in this blogpost:




29 September 2021: Stefanie Brinkmann and Nadine Löhr - Working Session on Prefaces

Examining prefaces – the commentators‘ voices (working session)

Talking about commentaries often implies that we approach the texts with our contemporary 21st century notions, concepts, and terminology. We would like to draw the attention to those text passages where the author expresses their intention to write the commentary. In many cases, the preface offers such insights, besides other potential instances.

29 November 2021 6:30 pm Stefanie Brinkmann and Nadine Löhr discuss the importance of prefaces for the study of commentaries with colleagues from the Commentarial Forms in Literature project (funded by the DAAD) and show some results of their research on prefaces and introductions to commentaries on Arabic hadith literature (Brinkmann) and astral sciences (Löhr).

7 October 2021: Nadine Löhr "Three Egyptian Horoscopes in Florence" Sternwarte Erlangen

7 October 2021 Nadine Löhr gives a talk on the international conference "Writing the Heavens" organized by Aura Heydenreich, Florian Klaeger, Klaus Mecke, Dirk Vanderbeke, Jörn Wilms ELINAS (Center for Literature and Natural Science) and held at the Observatory of the University of Erlangen

This talk gives insights in the story of a 1000 year old Arabic text on astrology transmitted in more than 100 Persian, Turkish, Latin and (Judeo-) Arabic manuscripts.
Nadine Löhr investigates the social and literary history of Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos in the Arabic speaking world. The treatise was translated into Arabic in at least two different versions between the 7th and 9th century and spawned several commentaries, most of which were lost in time. However, a commentary by the Fatimid physician and astrologer ‘Alī Ibn Riḍwān’s (d. ca. 1061), Tafsīr al-Maqālāt al-arba’ fī l-qaḍāʾ bi-l-nujūm alʿā l-ḥawādith was studied, read and copied for many centuries and throughout cultural and linguistic boundaries. Apart from an accessible textual and interpretational guideline which serves likewise as a safeguard for a correct understanding of the ancient Greek text, Ibn Riḍwān gives three concrete examples for the interpretation of planetary constellations. He provides a detailed study of his own horoscope, as well as the horoscopes of an Egyptian boy and a native whom Ibn Riḍwān observed from the beginning of his life until the end.
These three examples for natal interpretations shall be the focus of this study. We examine the marginal annotations and textual variations - we want to know:
– what can reader’s annotations tell us about the reception of these three horoscopes in different cultures?
– was the text updated in time or adapted to other cultures on linguistic or technical levels?
– what do we know about the dissemination and prominence of the text in certain regions throughout the centuries?

30 Sep 2021: Thomas Efer & Konrad Hirschler: "The Audition Certificates Database"

Presentation by  Thomas Efer & Konrad Hirschler (Hamburg University) at Symposium Future Philology: Digitization and Beyond, 30 Sep. to 1 Oct., 2021
Organized by The Invisible East Programme, the University of Oxford

29 Dec 2021: Boris Liebrenz Teaches on Islamic Seals

In an advanced course on Arabic codicology, Boris Liebrenz joins a cast of renowned experts to teach about the history and characteristics of Islamic seals in manuscripts. Teaching language is Arabic.


29 November 2021: Boris Liebrenz presents at "The Turkish Wars and the Study of Islam in Early Modern Europe"

The books of Andreas Acoluthus: Building up an Islamic Manuscripts Library in the Wake of the Great Turkish War The books of Andreas Acoluthus: Building up an Islamic Manuscripts Library in the Wake of the Great Turkish War

More information on the panel series here: 

Find the program here: 

1 December 2021: Boris Liebrenz presents "The Arabic Aristotle in Constantinople" at MESA

On December 1, 2021, Boris Liebrenz gave a presentation at the MESA Annual Meeting 2021 in Montreal. 

The political and cultural relations between Byzantium and the nascent Ottoman realm were often marked by hostilities. However, that substantial contact on all levels nonetheless happened is also true. The reception of classical Greek authors such as Aristotle in Arabic literature by means of a number of early translations is well known. However, the converse presence of Arabic literature in the Byzantine capital is much less attested, nor is it widely expected. Could Aristotle have returned to the center of Greek culture in an Arab garb? Who would have been the audience of this translation? Who would have brought it there and for what purpose?

A manuscript now preserved at the Bibliothèque national in Paris shows that, indeed, at least one early Ottoman scholar studied his Aristotle in Constantinople long before it was conquered by the a descendent of his sultan. This talk will showcase the use of minute manuscript notes as means to provide broader context, sometimes a surprising one, for the literature that scholarship tends to study as disembodied texts. The trajectories of manuscripts, but also the lives of their owners and readers, can reveal unexpected connections or complicate modern assumptions of textual histories.

15 July 2021: Stefanie Brinkmann presents “Analysis of Marginal Commentaries in Bukhari Manuscripts of the Timurid Period”

15. July2021 Stefanie Brinkmann: “Analysis of Marginal Commentaries in Bukhari Manuscripts of the Timurid Period”
International Online Conference Ancient and Rare Manuscripts of the “Sahih al-Bukhari” in World Libraries, Imam Bukhari International Scientific Research Center, Samarkand

The international online conference, organised by the Imam Bukhari International Scientific Research Center, Samarqand, was dedicated to the manuscript heritage of al-Bukhārī’s al-Jāmiʿ al-Ṣaḥīḥ. It addressed issues of important and less known holdings, conservation and preservation, and above all cultural contexts of the manuscript production and transmission, as well as al-Bukhārī’s place in ḥadīth scholarship.

Conference Programe

3 October 2021 Prof. Klemm - Gotha Manuscript Talks

Die Forschungsbibliothek Gotha der Universität Erfurt lädt alle Interessierten herzlich zur nächsten Online-Veranstaltung in der Gesprächsreihe „Gotha Manuscript Talks“ am Mittwoch, 3. November, um 18.15 Uhr ein.

Soziale und politische Faktoren, wie Mission, Auswanderung, Verfolgung und Diaspora, trugen wesentlich zur weiträumigen Verbreitung und zur Diversifizierung von Lehre und Literatur der heterodoxen Gemeinschaft der Ismailiten bei. Anhand einer Gruppe von Sammelhandschriften (maǧmū'āt) befasst sich der Vortrag mit der Literaturgeschichte der Ismailiten in Syrien, deren Überlieferung weitgehend verborgen, nicht erfasst oder zerstört worden ist. Multiple text und composite manuscripts erweisen sich hierbei als wahre Fundgruben, die Einblick in die Zirkulation und Rezeption von Texten sowie in die Bedingungen und Formen ihrer Tradierung und Bewahrung bieten können.

Link zur Veranstalung

10 February 2022 Prof. Verena Klemm "Bayerisches Orientkolloquium"

Heterodoxe Literaturgeschichte(n): Fatimidische und ismailitische Überlieferung regional und überregional

Link zum Programm

CFP: Workshop together with NoMansLand (ÖAW) The Mongols' Baghdad


Call for Papers 2022

The main concern of the workshop is to explore the production, dissemination and consumption of knowledge in Baghdad from the perspective of manuscript studies. We aim to investigate what the production and circulation of manuscripts can tell us about the cultural life of Baghdad and its environs before, during and after the Mongol conquest. Papers should consider either individual manuscripts or collections of codices that shed light on different aspects of continuity and change in the intellectual life of the region. The workshop is organized jointly by the projects

 (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and
 Bibliotheca Arabica
 (Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities).
Papers are invited to discuss aspects covering, but not limited to, the following topics:


  • Agents: authors, copyists, and patrons.
  • Localities: places of production, distribution, and consumption.
  • Types of knowledge: religious, secular, or scientific.
  • Networks: the interaction of Baghdad with other centres of knowledge.
  • Characteristics of specific literary genres and their manuscripts. 
Submission of abstracts: Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and sent to:
Deadline for submissions: 28th February 2022.

16 March 2022: Stefanie Brinkmann “Tracing a Forgotten Tradition"

“Tracing a forgotten tradition: Commentaries written on al-Baghawī’s post-canonical hadith collection Maṣābīḥ al-sunna”

On March 16, 2022, Stefanie Brinkmann gave a presentation at the webinar series “Pre-modern Islamic Manuscripts”, organised by the NoMansLand Project at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, PI: Dr. Bruno de Nicola.

Why did certain literatures survive while others fell into oblivion? Much has been written about the erratic transmission of literatures, focusing on reasons for the loss of books and/or different parameters and sources to reconstruct their transmission. In line with these questions, this lecture wants to discuss how we systematically can trace the production and transmission of works, and possibly map their circulation and popularity. It will be illustrated by the case study of the rather forgotten commentary tradition that evolved from al-Ḥusayn b. Masʿūd al-Baghawī’s (d. 516/1122) post-canonical “digest” ḥadīth collection Maṣābīḥ al-sunna. This commentary tradition reached a peak in Mongol and post-Mongol Iran, Iraq, and Azerbaijan, with a limited production in Mamluk Syria, before moving on to the Ottoman Empire. The necessary interplay of different sources and parameters to reconstruct this once vivid commentary tradition shows the potential, but also the challenges for ongoing and future research.

Link to the recorded presentation:

19 April 2022: Nadine Löhr Interview with Hochschul-Job

"Nadine Löhr, 30, promoviert an der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zur Überlieferung und Rezeption der Tetrabiblos. Im Interview mit verrät sie, worum es in ihrem Forschungsprojekt genau geht, welche Vorteile die Promotion an einer Wissenschaftsakademie mit sich bringt, warum man sich die Ränder eines Manuskriptes ganz genau ansehen sollte und wie herausfordernd die arabische Sprache und Schrift sind."
Carolin Heilig from hochschuljob-de conducted an interview with Nadine Löhr on 19 April.
The entire interview can be found here

Bibliotheca Arabica: Computer Scientist

The long-term research project "Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature" based at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig (Germany) invites applications for a part-time position (50%) as research associate in the field of computer science.

The application deadline is July 31, 2022.
The contract period is 2 years, with an option of extension until 2035.

The offiicial call (en/de) can be found here PDF (en)PDF (de) .

Applications are welcome in English or German.

For more information on the project see

9 November 2022: Boris Liebrenz "Constantinople: Capital of Arabic Literature"

Boris Liebrenz will speak within the Gotha Manuscript Talks series:

For those interested in the manuscript sources of Arabic literature, the rich book collections of Baghdad, Berlin, Cairo, Damascus, Leiden, London, or Princeton can pride themselves with immense treasures. But there is no place to rival the libraries of modern Istanbul in scope and splendor. This talk will look at the roots of this current state, when the Ottoman capital was the main nexus for the trans-regional circulation of Arabic books for nearly half a millennium between the 15th and 19th centuries.

More than a simple point of provenance, Constantinople and the ways books took to and from its markets and book-shelves represents the lives, often rich, sometimes tumultuous, of books and those who interacted with them. As a gravitational center of great attraction for books from all over the vast Ottoman empire and beyond, it was also the source for many who wanted to collect on their own. This paper will highlight some of the central actors in this process, particularly of the 17th and 18th centuries, and show how they helped shape the Arabic literary tradition as we still have it today. Central among these will be Abū Bakr b. Rustam al-Širwānī (d. 1135/1723), one of the era’s most ferocious bibliophiles, whose many books are now scattered all over the world and thus allow us to follow the currents of the book market in every direction.

I will also discuss the basic methodological question of how to write the history of such a book culture. How can we reconstruct the routes a given codex took, the content of libraries, the social settings in which particular texts were circulating?

12 - 17 September 2022: Daniel Kinitz "Creating a Dynamic Knowledge Graph of the Arabic Manuscript Tradition"

Creating a Dynamic Knowledge Graph of the Arabic Manuscript Tradition
Conference presentation by Daniel Kinitz at the Deutscher
Orientalistentag 2022

How can we generate and integrate information on manuscripts in such a way that research can gain new insights? Bibliotheca Arabica’s digital research platform aims to support researchers to shed new light on the production, transmission, and reception of Arabic literatures from the 12th to the 19th century. The heterogeneity of the sources - especially manuscript catalogues, reference works and manuscript notes - creates the need for a flexible approach to generate and process manuscript-related data.That is to say, a research platform has to be more than a static repository, granting access to more or less known facts. Rather, creating a knowledge graph for the Arabic manuscript tradition requires a dynamic, multi-layered modelling of data as well as a flexible workflow of data integration.

This includes the retroactive, increasing tapping of sources, implemented through a flexible data extraction process, a permanent enrichment of existing data, e.g., cross-linking entities, as well as flexible authority control, taking new findings into account. No fixed input mask is used, but rather different layers of data (catalogue layer, processing layer, output layer) are being integrated, thereby allowing for contradicting fact(oid)s and differing categories. While recording and cross-linking entities like works, manuscripts, and related agents, the platform makes the provenance chain of each factual statement transparent and enables researchers to assess the quality of a specific source.
The talk will present approaches and best practices in the making and show relevant features of Bibliotheca Arabica’s new research platform.

21-23 November 2022: Verena Klemm lecture "Transregional and Regional Ismaili Tradition in Syria"

Verena Klemm is invited as speaker for the Ismaili Studies Conference (London, 21-23 November 2022)

Topic: "Transregional and Regional Ismaili Tradition in Syria: Production, Transmission, Reception"
The eent will take place in the Aga Khan Centre as well as online
Information and Zoom-registration through the webpage of The Institut of Ismaili Studies

1-3 December 2022: Workshop "The Mongols' Baghdad"

This workshop is organized jointly by the projects NoMansLand (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Bibliotheca Arabica (Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities). 

The city of Baghdad occupies a central role in the history of the Islamic world as the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and a hub for the production of knowledge since its foundation in the 2nd/8th century. In the 7th/13th century, the city was famously conquered by Mongol troops under the command of Hülegü and the Abbasid caliph was executed. This event is often seen as a catastrophic watershed for the Islamic world in general and has spurred different, at times contradictory, interpretations about the history of Baghdad before and after the Mongol conquest. This is particularly contentious with regard to the role of books and knowledge transmission. Some scholars argue that the Mongols destroyed the city’s fabled libraries and completely disrupted cultural activity in the region. More recently, others have suggested that despite the impact that the conquest certainly had in the region, the city remained one of the prominent cultural centres of the Islamic world.  
The main concern of the workshop is to explore the production, dissemination and consumption of knowledge in Baghdad from the perspective of manuscript studies. We aim to investigate what the production and circulation of manuscripts can tell us about the cultural life of Baghdad and its environs before, during and after the Mongol conquest.




Inaugural lecture

1 December 2022, 5 pm
Managing Iraq’s Cultural Heritage in the 20th Century: Foreign Occupations, Wars and Dictatorships
Dr. Saad Eskander | Cultural Heritage Advisor, Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities, Iraq; Former Director, Iraq National Library

Online registration:



2 December 2022, 9.00 - 17.30
Online registration:

3 December 2022, 10.00 - 17.00
Online registration:

7 November 2022: Verena Klemm "Forschungsqualität und Standards in den Kultur- und Geisteswissenschaften"

As part of the lecture series "Promoting Open Science and Quality in Research. Examples of Good Practice and their Theoretical Background" at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Prof. Dr. Beatrice Gründler and Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm spoke about: Research Quality and Standards in the Cultural Sciences and Humanities (Organiser: Berlin University Alliance et al.)

July 2022: Boris Liebrenz teaches in Gotha

On July 18 and 19, 2022, Boris Liebrenz participated in the International Summer School 'From Paper to Portals. The Conservation and Digitisation of Oriental Manuscripts' and taught the units "Manuscript Notes and Colophons" as well as "Seals".

18 January 2023: Daniel Kinitz teaches on Digital Philology

Daniel Kinitz gives a lecture on the prerequisites of digital philology in the seminar "Digital Philology" (University of Leipzig) on 18 January 2023.

14 March 2023: Nadine Löhr ÖAW Webinar Lecture "Astronomy in the Ilkhanate"

Abstract  Arabic translations of Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest spawned numerous commentaries, summaries, and introductions. Throughout history none of the derivative works became as prominent as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī's 13th century recension (Taḥrīr al-Majisṭī). The yet unedited text is witnessed in at least 170 manuscripts as well as translations into Persian and Sanskrit, and had major impact on the study of astronomy in the Arabic speaking world.

The text relies primarily on the Arabic translation credited to Isḥāq b. Ḥunayn (d. c. 911) with corrections by Thābit b. Qurra (d. 901), but includes material from other Almagest versions and earlier commentaries, some of which are considered lost today. With these sources at hand al-Ṭūsī rephrased, corrected, and updated the Almagest. The diligent recension was originally written while al-Ṭūsī still resided at the Ismāʿīlī citadel of Alamut, but extensively studied and copied under Mongol patronage. Over the centuries, a rich literary tradition developed around the Taḥrīr, with renowned astronomers such as Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī (d. 1328/29) and ʿAbd al-ʿAlī al-Birjandī (d. c. 1527) writing super-commentaries that further facilitated the dissemination of the work.

This talk addresses the temporal and geographical distribution of extant manuscripts and takes a closer look at the surviving witnesses from the Mongol period. We attempt to trace the influence al-Ṭūsī’s colleagues and students had on the dissemination and study of the text, focusing in particular on marginal annotations and manuscript notes.


Please register with

This is the 6th lecture in this year's Webinar series organised by the NoMansLand research project (FWF Y 1232) dedicated to the study of Islamic manuscripts in pre-modern Iran and Central Asia.

Convenor: Project team "Nomads' Manuscripts Landscape"

8 May 2023: Regula Forster Guest Lecture "Von Tieren, Steinen und Alphabeten"

Am Montag den 8. Mai 18:30 wird Prof. Dr. Regula Forster (Tübingen) in der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften einen Gastvortrag halten.

 Regula Forster ist Professorin für Islamische Geschichte und Kultur an der Universität Tübingen. Ihre Schwerpunkte sind mittelalterliche Arabische Literatur, Koranexegese und die Geschichte der Wissenschaft (insbesondere der Alchemie). Zu ihren Werken gehören Das Geheimnis der Geheimnisse. Die arabischen und deutschen Fas­sungen des pseudo-aristotelischen Sirr al-asrār/Secretum secretorum (2006) und Wissensvermittlung im Gespräch. Eine Studie zu klassisch-arabischen Dialogen (2017).


Von Tieren, Steinen und Alphabeten. Die Naturenzyklopädie des ägyptischen Alchemisten Aydamir al-Ǧildakī (14. Jh.)

Trotz seines umfangreichen und einflussreichen Œuvres ist der ägyptische Gelehrte Aydamir al-Ǧildakī (fl. Mitte 14. Jh.) bisher praktisch nur Spezialist:innen für arabische Alchemie bekannt. Dabei wurde er als einer "der größten Gelehrten des islamischen Kulturkreises" gewürdigt (Manfred Ullmann, Die Natur- und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam, Leiden 1972, 237). In seiner Naturenzyklopädie mit dem Titel Durrat al-ġawwāṣ („Die Perle des Tauchers“) bietet al-Ǧildakī eine vollständige Lehre von der Natur, wobei – vielleicht in Anlehnung an koranische Konzepte von Zeichen (āya) – auch die Sprache und Schrift als Teil der Naturordnung verstanden werden. Der Vortrag stellt al-Ǧildakī und seine Konzepte von Natur und Kultur vor und fragt nach deren Bedeutung im Konzept „post-klassischer“ arabischer Wissenschaft und Literatur


Lead Image:
A depiction of the mirror of wonders (mirʾāt al-ajāʾib), a mysterious mirror that displays
different symbols of alchemy, as contained in al-Jildakī’s The Shining of Thoughts
(Lawāmiʿ al-afkār); MS Oxford, Bodleian Library, Greaves 14, fol. 3b.
Source: © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Oxford

Bibliotheca Arabica: PhD Position and Scholarship

The long-term research project "Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature" based at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig (Germany) invites applications for a part-time PhD position and for a PhD scholarship devoted to the history of Arabic literature on the basis of its manuscript tradition. By studying the developments of literary genres, text types, works, or libraries, a differentiated picture of the history of Arabic literature will be developed that critically reflects the distribution and popularity of works, and the manifoldcontexts of their production and reception.

Please note: The scholarship is specifically aimed at those who, for compelling reasons, are unable to relocate to Germany.

The application deadline is 31 July 2023.
Start date is January 1, 2024 or at the earliest possible date thereafter.

The offiicial call can be found here Bibliotheca Arabica - PhD position (PDF) and Bibliotheca Arabica - PhD scholarship (PDF)

For more information on the project see

Source: MS, Paris BnF Arabe 4166, folio 6r (

7 July 2023: Daniel Kinitz, Lecture on Manuscript Catalogues in the Digital Age

On 7 July 2023, Daniel Kinitz gives an online talk at the summerschool "Thinking with Islamicate Manuscripts: Critical Approaches to Historical Methodology, History of Collections, and Digital Tools in Islamic Studies" (Vienna, July 3–7, 2023).

Manuscript Catalogues in the Digital Age?

What digital tools and methods do we need to gain new insights into Islamicate manuscripts? What data already exists and in what form? Would a central (digital) union catalog be an adequate solution to answer research questions? The talk will explore these questions through a thought experiment: What if we design our own digital research platform (wishes) and confront it with the technical, academic, financial and legal realities (facts)? Among other things, we will have a brief look at (1) AI-based text recognition and how it works in principle with Arabic script, as well as possible sources of error, (2) authority control (as identity management) and what it means in practice, and (3) the possibilities offered by database queries.

12 July 2023: Tariq Yousef & Daniel Kinitz, Talk on Similarity-Based Clustering of Premodern Arabic Names

Tariq Yousef (Hamburg University) and Daniel Kinitz give a talk at the DH 2023 in Graz on "Similarity-Based Clustering of Premodern Arabic Names".

1 Introduction
Data repositories must manage the identity of their entities. In the case of intellectual history, the challenge lies in premodern, and therefore non-standardised entity names. Our use case deals with Arabic persons related manuscripts (scholars, scribes, etc.). Thus, multiple occurrences of the same person with different spellings and name compositions must be identified and disambiguated. This paper presents a graph clustering approach that combines literal and numerical properties (name and year of event) with promising results. The particular challenge lies in the vast variability of name variants and sometimes unspecific dates.

See the full programme:

The paper will be published in the conference proceedings.

12 July 2023: Daniel Kinitz & Thomas Efer, Talk "Towards a Dynamic Knowledge Graph of a Non-Western Book Tradition"

Daniel Kinitz and Thomas Efer (Leipzig University) give a talk at the DH 2023 in Graz on how to tackle the challenges of building a knowledge graph of a premodern Islamicate manuscript tradition.

How can we generate and integrate data on a pre-modern, Arabic book tradition in such a way that research can gain new insights? Within the long-term project “Bibliotheca Arabica” [Brinkmann/Löhr 2021], we are creating an agile knowledge graph integrating a wide range of data on (handwritten) Arabic manuscripts and their historical context. Our aim is to create a digital research environment to investigate the production, transmission and reception of Arabic manuscripts and their social environment as clusters of linked entities: scholars linked to works with students as readers, reproduced by scribes in manuscripts, linked by ownership notes and combined to historical libraries, etc.

See the full programme:

The paper will be published in the conference proceedings: Digital Humanities 2023: Book of Abstracts.

July 2-3, 2023: Boris Liebrenz teaches in Summerschool "Thinking with Islamicate Manuscripts" in Vienna

On July 2-3, 2023, Boris Liebrenz will teach at the summerschool "Thinking with Islamicate Manuscripts: Critical Approaches to Historical Methodology, History of Collections, and Digital Tools in Islamic Studies" (Vienna, July 3–7, 2023).

Besides hands-on demonstrations and readings with the students throughout the week-long course, he will give a lecture entitled:

Manuscript Notes as a Historical Source

11 July 2023: Antrittsvorlesung Dr. Boris Liebrenz

Veranstaltung am 11.07.2023 17:00 – 18:30 Uhr Veranstaltungsort: Schillerstraße 6, S 202

Es wird herzlich zur Antrittsvorlesung im Rahmen des Habilitationsverfahrens eingeladen.
Herr Dr. Boris Liebrenz

spricht zum Thema:

„Eine verlorene Tradition des illustrierten Buches im fatimidischen Ägypten? Das Kitāb Manṭiq al-waḥš
(Buch von der Sprache der wilden Tiere)“.

14 July 2023: Stefanie Brinkmann "Kommentare in Krisenzeiten?"

Stefanie Brinkmann gives a lecture on “Kommentare in Krisenzeiten? Die
Kommentartradition der islamischen Traditionssammlung Maṣābīḥ as-Sunna von al-Baġawī
(d. 516/1122)“ on the symposium on commentary literature Kommentieren als Kulturtechnik.
Relationalität – Medialität – Resonanz. The symposium takes place 12 – 14 July 2023, at the
Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel.

See the programm: (PDF)

15/16 November 2023: Joint Workshop with Prof. Dr. Ronny Vollandt & Majlis Team

Bibliotheca Arabica and Researchers of the Majlis project (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) will engage in insightful discussions covering a wide array of topics, including digital tools, data modeling, research methodologies, and more. On Wednesday, Konrad Hirschler will introduce the recently launched audition certificate platform.

For more information on the Majlis project see:

3-4 November 2023: Verena Klemm "The Collectanea of an Eminent Ismaili Scholar from Gujarat"

Titel: "The Collectanea of an Eminent Ismaili Scholar from Gujarat (19th century)" Workshop on Mecmûa Typologies / Mejmûa Tipologjileri Çalıştayı Organizers: Berat Açil (Marmara Üniversitesi), Hülya Çelik (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) Istanbul, 3.-4. November 2023

The collectanea of an eminent Ismaili scholar from Gujarat (19th century)
This essay takes as its focus the personal notebook of the eminent Ismaili scholar Sayyidī
Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Hamdānī(1833-1898) from Surāt. He filled it over time with a wide variety
of content, using several languages (Arabic, Gujarati)and scripts (Arabic, Gujarati, Gujarati in
Arabic and Persian Script, Secret Script ….) and different text and table formats (excerpts of
classical religious, philosophical and scientific texts, marginal and interlinear comments,
magical formula, lists, sketches, interreligious and correlation and comparative tables for
astronomical terms and constellations, time measure and other systems, chronologies,
currencies. The book bears witness to the versatile intellectual interests of its owner, his mental
focus, and his memory, as well as the working methods of his owner.
The manuscript (ms. 1662) is part of the famous Hamdani Collection, an old family library
whose oldest manuscripts come from Yemen, at the Institute of Ismaili Studies inLondon. In
our contribution, the manuscript will be shortly presented in its historical contexts and then
described in terms of its materiality, organization and content. On this basis, I would like to
contribute to ongoing debates about a differentiated typology and terminology of notebooks.

22 January 2024: Katharina Meinecke "Vorislamische Bildmotive in der visuellen Kultur der Umayyaden: Globale Perspektiven und Ebenen der Aneignung"

Das Akademievorhaben Bibliotheca Arabica hat für den 22. Januar Frau Jun.-Prof. Dr. Katharina Meinecke zu einem Gastvortrag in die Akademie eingeladen. Interessierte Besucherinnen und Besucher sind herzlich willkommen.

Der Vortrag findet am 22. Januar 2024 von 18.15 Uhr bis 20.00 Uhr an der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1, 04107 Leipzig, statt.

Frau Katharina Meinecke ist Juniorprofessorin für Archäologie des Mittelmeerraums an der Universität Leipzig und im Wintersemester 2023/24 Fellow am Center for Advanced Study "RomanIslam – Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies" der Universität Hamburg. Als Klassische Archäologin liegen ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte im Bereich der hellenistischen Skulptur, der römischen Bestattungskultur, der digitalen Bildwissenschaften sowie der visuellen und materiellen Kulturen der „langen Spätantike“. Insbesondere beschäftigte sie sich mit der Bauornamentik des frühislamischen Wüstenschlosses Mschatta und der Herrscherrepräsentation der Umayyaden. Dabei untersucht sie die Potenziale von Globalisierungstheorie als Konzept für die Erforschung antiker visueller Kulturen. Bevor sie an die Universität Leipzig kam, war sie am Deutschen Archäologischen Institut in Rom, an der Technischen Universität Berlin, an der Universität Wien sowie als Gastprofessorin an der Masaryk-Universität in Brünn tätig.

Vorislamische Bildmotive in der visuellen Kultur der Umayyaden: Globale Perspektiven und Ebenen der Aneignung

Die visuelle und materielle Kultur der Umayyaden, der ersten Dynastie des Islamischen Reiches (661-750 n.Chr.), ist durch die Aneignung ikonographischer Motive und Formen aus unterschiedlichen Regionen des Kalifats gekennzeichnet, die vor allem griechisch-römisch-byzantinischen und sassanidisch-persischen Ursprungs sind. Insbesondere in ihrer Herrscherrepräsentation griffen die Umayyadenkalifen immer wieder auf Motive zurück, die in der spätantiken Welt eine geradezu globale Verbreitung genossen. In diesem Vortrag sollen anhand von Beispielen die unterschiedlichen Ebenen der Aneignung vorislamischer Bildmotive ebenso wie das Zusammenspiel globaler und lokaler Elemente in der Herrscherrepräsentation der Umayyaden nachvollzogen werden.

19 January 2024: Daniel Kinitz, Bibliotheca Arabicas Forschungsplattform Khizana. Herausforderungen und Perspektiven

Im Rahmen des Dreiländerkolloquiums am 19. Januar 2024, welches an der Universität Jena stattfindet, hält Dr. Daniel Kinitz einen Vortrag zu der Forschungsplattform Khizana.


Der Vortrag findet von 15.00 Uhr bis 15.30 Uhr im Senatssaal (Fürstengraben 1) statt. 


Hier finden Sie das Programm des Dreiländerkolloquiums. 

19 January 2024: Boris Liebrenz, Konstantinopel als Zentrum der arabischen Literatur: Die Bibliothek Abū Bakr al-Širwānīs

Im Rahmen des Dreiländerkolloquiums am 19. Januar 2024, welches an der Universität Jena stattfindet, hält Dr. Boris Liebrenz einen Vortrag zu der Bibliothek Abū Bakr al-Širwānīs. 


Der Vortrag findet von 15.30 Uhr bis 16.00 Uhr im Senatssaal (Fürstengraben 1) statt. 


Hier finden Sie das Programm des Dreiländerkolloquiums. 

January 20, 2024: Boris Liebrenz, "Ownership Notes in the Ottoman-Mamluk Worlds: Forms and Developments"

Presentation and course at the Seminar "Yazma Eser Kültürü Atölyeleri III: Temellü kayıtları"

Boris Liebrenz gave an introduction to the the classification, identification, and developments of ownership notes in the Mamluk and Ottoman worlds. The course, consisting of a 50 minute lecture and 50 minutes of reading, was held over zoom within the syposium Yazma Eser Kültürü Atölyeleri III: Temellü kayıtları, organized by Sami Arslan and Mehmet Arıkan, and was moderated by Elif Sezer Aydınlı.

19 January 2024: Edin Muftić, Arabisch lehren und lernen auf dem osmanischen Balkan, 16.–19. Jh.

Im Rahmen des Dreiländerkolloquiums am 19. Januar 2024, welches an der Universität Jena stattfindet, hält Edin Muftić einen Vortrag zum Thema Arabisch lehren und lernen auf dem osmanischen Balkan, 16.–19. Jh. 

Der Vortrag findet von 14.00 Uhr bis 14.30 Uhr im Senatssaal (Fürstengraben 1) statt. 

 Hier finden Sie das Programm des Dreiländerkolloquiums. 

6 February 2024: Verena Klemm, Ismailitische Handschriften der UB Tübingen: Eine Provenienzrecherche

Prof. Dr Verena Klemm hält am Dienstag, den 6. Februar 2024 in der Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen einen Vortrag mit dem Titel "Ismailitische Handschriften der UB Tübingen: Eine Provenienzrecherche".

Der Vortrag findet um 18.00 Uhr in der Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen, Bonatzbau, Schulungsraum B004 statt. 

Nähere Informationen finden Sie hier. 

Boris Liebrenz gives a workshop on Kalila and Dimna Manuscripts

On March 30 and 31, 2023, Dr. Boris Liebrenz discussed the histories of Kalila and Dimna manuscripts with the team of the Anonym Classics project at the Free University in Berlin.

Boris Liebrenz presents Bibliotheca Arabica in Berlin

On September 19, 2023, Boris Liebrenz presented the project at the international Summer School "Qur'an Manuscripts, Past and Present: Cataloging and Digital Tools" at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin, organized by the Corpus Coranicum academy project at the Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Workshop on the library of Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar in Acre

On March 16-17, 2023, Dr. Boris Liebrenz participated in the workshop of the "al-Jazzar Library Project" at Hamburg University (

January 2024: Stefanie Brinkmann, Lecture Series "Arabische Manuskripte"

Stefanie Brinkmann has conducted two sessions of the BA lecture series "Arabische Sprach- und Übersetzungswissenschaft“ at the Oriental Institute, University of Leipzig, on 24 and 29 January 2024, with the titles:

- Arabische Manuskripte: Arbeitsfelder und aktuelle Forschungstendenzen
(Arabic manuscripts: Fields of work and current research trends)

- Arabische Manuskripte: Was erzählen arabische Manuskripte über die Vergangenheit?
(Arabic manuscripts: What do Arabic manuscripts tell us about the past?)

28 February 2024: Daniel Kinitz, Lecture "Bibliotheca Arabicas Forschungsplattform Khizana. Referenzwerk für MENA-Bibliothekare?"

Lecture at the working meeting of the Fachinformationsdienst Nahost-, Nordafrika- und Islamstudien (Specialised Information Service for Middle Eastern, North African and Islamic Studies) in Halle (Saale)

Job Advertisement: Research Software Engineer (Digital Humanities)

The Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig invites applications for the following position in the research project "Bibliotheca Arabica – Towards a New History of Arabic Literature" at the earliest possible date:

Research Software Engineer in the field of Digital Humanities (m/f/d)

Pay grade: TV-L 13, job scope: part-time 50% or 75%
Place of work: Leipzig

The application deadline is 15 April 2024.
The appointment is initially for a period of two years, with the prospect of continued employment during the project duration (until 2035).

The English version of the offiicial call can be found here Research Software Engineer, Digital Humanities (PDF).

For more information on the project see

For any inquiries, please email Daniel Kinitz at .

Stellenausschreibung: Research Software Engineer (Digital Humanities)

Die Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig bietet im Forschungsvorhaben „Bibliotheca Arabica – Neue Geschichte der arabischen Literatur“ zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt folgende Stelle an:

Research Software Engineer im Bereich Digital Humanities (m/w/d)

Die Einstellung erfolgt zunächst befristet für zwei Jahre, eine Weiterbeschäftigung im Rahmen der Projektlaufzeit (bis 2035) wird in Aussicht gestellt.

Entgeltgruppe: TV-L 13, Stellenumfang: Teilzeit 50% oder 75%
Arbeitsort: Leipzig

Ausschreibungsfrist: 15.April 2024
Die Anstellung erfolgt zunächst für zwei Jahre mit der Möglichkeit einer Vertragsverlängerung bis zum Ende der Projektlaufzeit im Jahr 2035.

Die offizielle Ausschreibung findet sich hier Research Software Engineer, Digital Humanities (PDF, de).
The English version of the offiicial call can be found here Research Software Engineer, Digital Humanities (PDF, en).

Informationen zu Bibliotheca Arabica

Nachfragen bitte an Daniel Kinitz: .

23. April 2024: Daniel Kinitz, "Arabische Handschriften: Datengetriebene Forschung zu arabischer Geschichte"

Vortrag im Rahmen der Lehrveranstaltung "Politische und gesellschaftliche Prozesse vom 17. – 21. Jahrhundert in der arabischen Welt" (K. Stock) am Orientalischen Institut der Universität Leipzig.

Abstract: Was wissen wir über die arabisch-islamische Geistesgeschichte - und was nicht? Welche Technlogien lassen sich zur Erschließung und Erforschung einsetzen? Und vor welchen Herausforderungen steht datengebriebene Forschung? Der Vortrag erläutert dies am Beispiel des Langzeitforschungsprojekts "Bibliotheca Arabica", das neue Einblicke in die arabisch-islamische Geistesgeschichte bietet.

Akademienprogramm Gesamt

Übersicht über alle laufenden Forschungsprojekte im Akademienprogramm:

Zum AGATE-Portal, Forschungsinformationssystem der Wissenschaftsakademien:

Öffentlicher Vortrag zum Thema Deutsche Kunst – jüdische Identität 19.04.2024 11:15 - 12:15 — Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1, 04107 Leipzig
RECHT HABEN WOLLEN. Wie sollen gesellschaftlich brisante Themen in der Wissenschaft debattiert werden? 07.06.2024 09:00 - 18:00 — Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1, 04107 Leipzig
26th International Conference of the European Association for South Asian Archaeology and Art 16.09.2024 - 20.09.2024 — Universität Leipzig, Augustusplatz 10, 04109 Leipzig
Texttransfer und intertextuelle Bezüge in den Inschriften des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit 07.10.2024 - 09.10.2024 — Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1, 04107 Leipzig
… darf man das? 21.10.2024 19:00 - 21:00 — Kupfersaal Leipzig, Kupfergasse 2, 04109 Leipzig

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Diffusion Fundamentals

Diffusion Fundamentals IconInterdisziplinäres Online Journal für Diffusionstheorie in Kooperation mit der Universität Leipzig:

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