Bibliotheca Arabica – Team: About Us

Teamfoto 2020
Team including research assistants at the Academy

Verena Klemm, Principal Investigator for the Bibliotheca Arabica project, is professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies at Leipzig University, a post she has held since 2003, and a member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences since 2017. She obtained her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Tübingen in 1988 and her habilitation from the University of Hamburg in 1997, with a thesis on the discourse of literary commitment in the Middle East. Dr. Klemm is author of several works in the field of modern literature as well as in Šīʿī and Ismāʿīlī Studies. She is the director of several research projects related to the Oriental Manuscripts collection at Leipzig University Library, among them the Rifāʿīya, a private library from Ottoman Damascus, hosted in Leipzig since the 19th century.


Daniel Kinitz is Bibliotheca Arabica’s Managing Director (Arbeitsstellenleiter). He holds a PhD in Arabic studies and Oriental philology from Leipzig University. After working as assistant at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Daniel coordinated and managed manuscript database projects at the National Museum in Banda Aceh (Indonesia), Leipzig University, and the Free University of Berlin. In collaboration with The Islamic Manuscript Association in Cambridge, he implemented his own manuscript data project on the (Yemeni) Glaser Manuscripts, unifying data from the different Glaser collections. More recently he has been focussing on his Digital Humanities skills (Python, X-technologies, data extraction), working at a database project at Bielefeld University. Apart from his responsibility as project manager, he is developing a workflow for getting data from heterogeneous sources into the project’s database (retro-conversion of catalogues, Arabographic OCR, parsing of full text reference works, etc.). Together with Thomas Efer, he is responsible for creating the project's research platform.


Stefanie Brinkmann is research fellow at the Bibliotheca Arabica project. She holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Göttingen. She was research assistant (Wissenschaftliche Assistentin) at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Leipzig, then acting professor at the Universities of Freiburg im Breisgau and Hamburg. With her special interest in manuscript studies, she has been a team member in a number of manuscript projects at Leipzig University Library (Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Verena Klemm), an active member and board member of The Islamic Manuscript Association (Cambridge) since 2008, and, since 2016, an active member and Principal Investigator for a project at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at Hamburg University, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Her main interests and areas of publication are manuscript studies, Ḥadīth, material culture (especially the history of food and drink), classical Arabic poetry, and Shīʿī studies. She is responsible for the research module On production, transmission, and reception of Arabic literature (Macro-Perspective).

Thomas Efer is a research fellow at the Bibliotheca Arabica project and also a lecturer at the University of Leipzig, where he is member of the Natural Language Processing group (Chair: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Heyer). He studied telecommunication informatics and computer science in Leipzig and received his PhD for his work “Graph Databases for the Text-Oriented E-Humanities.” His research interests lie in data and knowledge representation for the Digital Humanities as well as the development of algorithms, research portals, and analytics tools for supporting scholarly work processes. His current focus lies in the exploration of possibilities for employing graph databases in the Digital Humanities. Within the Bibliotheca Arabica project he is building back-end and front-end technology for data management, curation, analysis, and presentation. He has worked in interdisciplinary projects, together with scholars from various humanities disciplines, including global and area studies, ancient philology, and musicology. His contributions to the Digital Humanities also include work as a reviewer, panelist, and member of conference boards. Together with Daniel Kinitz, he is responsible for creating the project's research platform.


Boris Liebrenz studied history and Arabic philology at Leipzig University and is a research fellow at the Bibliotheca Arabica project. His many publications explore documentary and manuscript sources from several eras, from early Arabic papyri to 18th-century merchant letters. In 2016, Liebrenz’s PhD thesis was published as Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus: Eine Privatbibliothek im osmanischen Syrien und ihr kulturelles Umfeld (Leiden: Brill) and was awarded the Annemarie Schimmel Research Prize in 2017. Recent projects include an edited volume The History of Books and Collections through Manuscript Notes (special issue of the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 2018), and a forthcoming edition and study of an Aleppine weaver’s notebook (with Kristina Richardson, to appear in the Bibliotheca Islamica series of the Orient Institut Beirut). After postdoctoral positions in Bonn, Berlin, and New York City, Liebrenz returned to Leipzig and the Bibliotheca Arabica and is working on the micro-historical sub-project Libraries between the Mamluk and Ottoman Era. His commitment, as well as his passion, is to unearth the history of manuscripts and collections, and to identify the people and institutions connected with them, through the wide variety of manuscript notes. In the coming years, he will continue to enlarge and publish his considerable collection of these documents. He is responsible for the research module On the reception and collection of Arabic literatures (Micro-Perspective).


Nadine Löhr is a doctoral researcher at the Bibliotheca Arabica project and a research associate at Communities of Knowledge at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. Previously she worked as a coordinator for the DAAD multilateral Higher Education Dialogue Violence, Forced Migration and Exile: Trauma in the Arab World and Germany. Since 2017 she has been working as a research assistant at Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus (Bavarian Academy for Sciences and Humanities), where one of her tasks is preparing descriptions of Arabic manuscripts for the project’s catalogue. Her research focuses on the study of astronomical and astrological manuscripts and the ownership statements and marginal annotations contained within them. Her PhD thesis focuses on the dissemination and reception of the Arabic versions of Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos and its commentaries, investigating the social and literary history of the most authoritative and influential text on astrology, based on manuscripts from the 11th to the 19th century.


Edin Muftić is a doctoral researcher at the Bibliotheca Arabica project. He studied history and archaeology at Zagreb University. He assisted in the cataloguing of the Arabic manuscripts in the Oriental Collection of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and was a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopaedic Almanac of Islam, the first encyclopaedic work on Islam in Croatian. His PhD project examines how Arabic was taught and studied in the Ottoman Balkans from the 16th to the 19th centuries. With manuscript data and manuscripts as his major source, his aim is to map the most important philological works in Arabic that were used in teaching institutions (above all, the madrasas) and to reconstruct concrete learning and teaching practices.

Student Assistants & Research Assistants
Dorn, Lisa (MA Arabic and Islamic Studies/History, U Halle/ U Leipzig)
Parivash Mashhadi (PhD German as a Foreign Language/ Cultural Studies, U Leipzig; MA Translation Studies in German, U Tehran)
Barbara Paslar (B.A. Tourism Management, B.A. Arabic and Islamic studies, U Leipzig)
Dorothea Schmidt (BA Religious Studies, U Leipzig)
Ossama Saker (Lisāns Automatic Control Engineering, U Latakia)
Jonathan Schmid (Computer Science Expert/ Software Development, BA Arabic Studies, U Leipzig)
Anne Weber (BA Arabic and Islamic Studies, U Leipzig)

Former Assistants
Lea Berenbrinker (BA Arabic and Islamic Studies, U Leipzig)
Christoph Gümmer (MA Arabic and Islamic Studies, U Leipzig)
Friederike Schmidt (MA Arabic Studies/ MA Conference Interpreting in Arabic, U Leipzig)
Tobias Wenzel (MA Computer Science, U Leipzig)


More information

Introduction (main page)

Macro-Perspective: On the production, transmission, and reception of Arabic literatures

Micro-Perspective: On the reception and collection of Arabic literatures

Research platform: On people, books & notes


Latest Publications

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General Contact
Dr. Daniel Kinitz (Managing Director)
Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Nikolaistr. 6-10
04109 Leipzig/ Germany
Tel.: +49 341 7115328

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