“Introduction to Islamic Codicology Short Course”, par A. GACEK, 26-30 août 2013, Stanford (Californie, USA)

Introduction to Islamic Codicology Short Course

From 26 to 30 August 2013
at Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Taught by Mr Adam Gacek

The Islamic Manuscript Association and Stanford University Libraries, together with the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the Stanford Humanities Centre, announce an Introduction to Islamic Codicology Short Course to be held at Stanford University in California, USA, from 26-30 August 2013.

This five-day course is intended to introduce scholars, students and librarians to the basics of working with Islamic manuscripts. Daily illustrated lectures will provide an overview of writing surfaces and implements, the text block and its make-up, page layout, bookbinding, illumination, scripts and hands, the transmission of texts, and methods of describing manuscripts. The fifth day of the course offers participants the opportunity of hands-on experience with manuscripts selected from the Stanford University Library. There is also the option to attend the four days of lectures only.

The course will be led by Adam Gacek, Former Head of the Islamic Studies Library and Faculty Lecturer in Arabic Manuscript Studies at McGill University, and author of numerous books and articles on Islamic manuscript studies, including The Arabic Manuscript Tradition (2001) and Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers (2009).

Please note that the course does not require any knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or other languages spoken in the Muslim World, and is suitable for art historians, bookbinders, codicologists, conservators, curators, and anyone else working with Islamic manuscripts. All instruction will be in English.

The full course, including lectures and hands-on sessions, is limited to fifteen persons for conservation and security reasons, and there is also space for another fifteen lectures-only participants.


Monday, 3 September 2012

The study of Arabic manuscripts: an overview of the manuscript age and the world of the scribe
Writing surfaces (papyrus, parchment, paper)
12.00-14.00 LUNCH
Writing implements (pens, inks, etc.)
Alpha-numerical and numerical systems
Forms of books (rolls and codices)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The textblock and its make-up
The text and its arrangement
12.00-14.00 LUNCH
The colophon
Dates and dating

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Scripts and hands (introduction to paleography)
Typology of Arabic scripts
12.00-14.00 LUNCH
Transmission of texts (collation and certificates)
Textual corruptions and corrections in manuscripts

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Painted decoration (illumination)
Bookbinding (structure and decoration)
History of manuscripts (origination and provenance)
12.00-14.00 LUNCH
Manuscripts and popular culture (magic and superstition)
Describing and examining manuscripts

Friday, 30 August 2013

(Cecil H. Green Library)
All-day hands-on session


Course fees

Course fees cover the cost of tuition. For conservation and security reasons, the full course option including the hands-on session is limited to 15 persons, to be filled on a first come, first served basis. There is space for a further 15 persons to attend the lectures only. Fees can be paid in either USD or GBP.

Full Course (lectures and hands-on sessions) Association Members £500/$810 Non-members £550/$890
Lectures Only Association Members £300/$485 Non-members £350/$565


Contact – Infos:

In order to register, or for more information, please contact Mr John Eilts at john.eilts@stanford.edu.



Agrégée d'Espagnol et docteur en Histoire médiévale (Université de Nantes), elle travaille sur les mudéjars/morisques et la littérature aljamiada (Espagne, XV-XVIe s.).

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