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.

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Termine
2. Sächsische FDM-Tagung 22.09.2021 10:00 - 16:00 — Virtuelle Tagung
Buchvorstellung: Die Inschriften der Stadt Magdeburg 22.09.2021 18:00 - 20:00 — Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg, Otto-von-Guericke-Straße 68-73, 39104 Magdeburg
Öffentliche Festsitzung 2021 01.10.2021 16:00 - 18:00 — Paulinum - Aula und Universitätskirche St. Pauli, 04109 Leipzig & im Livestream
Internationale Tagung: Kucha and Beyond: Divine and Human Landscape from Central Asia to the Himalayas 01.11.2021 - 05.11.2021 — Universität Leipzig, Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig