Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Arabic manuscripts online

Arabic Manuscripts Online is a digital manuscripts library, accessible for free, based on the Wellcome Library's Asian Collection.  It includes manuscripts in Arabic and Persian which have been photographed in their entirety, and can be viewed in detail alongside comprehensive manuscript descriptions.  Researchers can also compare two manuscripts side-by-side to illuminate the differences.

Significant passages in the manuscripts, such as the incipits, basmala, explicits and section headings (for most but not all manuscripts), are fully transcribed, and extensive physical descriptions have been recorded by conservation specialists for most of the manuscript descriptions.

It is also possible to explore the content of the online catalogue more selectively, where manuscripts may be browsed according to their categories or searched via the full text search facility. Users can search using the old Arabic alphabet through a virtual keyboard, matching the original content of the manuscripts. The results of the searched manuscripts may be further narrowed down through the faceted filters, which retrieve more precise results for the researcher's convenience.  There are themed help pages and a useful glossary.

Arabic Manuscripts Online was made possible through the Wellcome Arabic Manuscript Cataloguing Partnership (WAMCP) and combines the efforts of the Wellcome Library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Kings College London Digital Humanities Department.  It is funded by JISC and the Wellcome Trust.

No comments: