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Main: Research Topics : Arabic Paper Research

Paper and Book production in the Muslim world

"The composing of books is more effective than building in recording the accomplishments of the passing ages and centuries. For there is no doubt that construction eventually perishes, and its traces disappear, while books handed from one generation to another, and from nation to nation, remain ever renewed. ... Were it not for the wisdom garnered in books most of the learning would have been lost. The power of forgetfulness would have triumphed over the power of memory." Jahiz (d.255/869) "Praise of Books"

 

Book Production:

  • Texts and Monographs:

    • al-Nahas, Abu Ja'far. Sinat al-kutab, ed. diaf, badr Ahmad. 1990, dar al-ulum al-'arabiya. Beirut. (pdf)

    • Qudamah bin Ja'afr. Dawaween, ed. al-Hayari, Mustafa, Jordan U. 1986, (pdf)

    • Pederson, J.  Arabic Book, Princeton University Press. (pdf)

    • Minorsky, V. Calligraphers and Painters: A treatise by Qadi Ahmad, Son of Mir-Munshi (c. 1015/1606) Translated by V. Minorsky, Washington, 1959.  (pdf)

    • al-Tanihi, M. M. Madkhal ila tarikh Nashr al-Turath al-'Arabi, Cairo: Maktabat al-khanji, 1984. 409 pp (pdf)

    • Khalifah, Sha'ban, Harkat nashr al-kutub fi Misr. Cairo: Dar al-Thaqafah, 1974.

    • Radwan, Abu al-Futuh. Tarikh Matba't Bulaq. Cairo: al-Mutba'ah al-Amiriyah, 1953. 523 pp.

    • Sabat, Khalil, Tarikh al-tiba'ah fi al-Sharaq al-'Arabi. 2nd ed. Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif. 1966. 378pp.

    • Atiyeh, George, N, The Book in the Islamic world: The written word and communication in the Middle East, Albany: SUNY 1995. (pdf)

  • Articles:

    • Bulliet, Richard V. "Medieval Arabic tarsh: A forgotten chapter in the history of printing" Journal of the American Oriental Society 107, No. 3(July-Sept. 1987) pp. 427-38. (pdf)

    • Floor, W. M. "The first printing press in Iran" ZDMG 130 (1980), pp. 369-71.

    • Hitti, P. K. "The first book printed in Arabic" Princeton University Library Chronicle 4 (1942): pp 5-9. (pdf)

    • Krek, Miroslav. "The Enigma of the First Arabic printed book from Movable type." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 38, no. 3 (July 1979):pp. 203-12. (pdf)

    • Roper, Geoffrey;  Arabic Printing and Publishing in England before 1820; Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 12, No. 1. (1985), pp. 12-32. (pdf)

    • Tracy,  Walter; Advances in Arabic Printing; Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 2, No. 2. (1975), pp. 87-93. (pdf)

    • Rochlin, S. A. ; Early Arabic Printing at the Cape of Good Hope; Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Vol. 7, No. 1. (1933), pp. 49-54. (pdf)

    • Verdery, Richard N.; The Publications of the Bulaq Press under Muhammad 'Ali of Egypt; Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 91, No. 1. (Jan. - Mar., 1971), pp. 129-132. (pdf)

    • Khalid, Adeeb; Printing, Publishing, and Reform in Tsarist Central Asia; International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2. (May, 1994), pp. 187-200. (pdf)

  • Reviews:

    • Oriental Presses in the World; Nazir Ahmad;  Reviewed: Geoffrey Roper; Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 16, No. 1. (1989), pp. 93-95. (pdf)

    • Le Debut de l'Imprimerie Arabe a Istanbul et en Syrie: Evolution de l'Environnement Culturel (1706-1787). Bidayat al-Tiba'a al-'Arabiyya fi Istanbul wa-Bilad al-Sham: Tatawwur al-Muhit al-Thaqafi (1706-1787) Wahid Gdoura; Reviewed: Geoffrey Roper; Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 16, No. 1. (1989), pp. 92-93.(pdf)

    • Science and Civilisation in China. Volume V: Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Part I: Paper and Printing; Joseph Needham; Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin; Reviewed: Robert P. Multhauf; Isis, Vol. 79, No. 1. (Mar., 1988), pp. 164-165. (pdf)

    • The Invention of Printing in China and Its Spread Westward; Thomas Francis Carter; Reviewed: B. Laufer; Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 47. (1927), pp. 71-76. (pdf)

    General Information on libraries in the Muslim world:

    • Ruth Stellhorn Mackensen:

    • Moslem Libraries and Sectarian Propaganda, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 51, No. 2. (Jan., 1935), pp. 83-113. (pdf)

    • Background of the History of Moslem Libraries, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 51, No. 2. (Jan., 1935), pp. 114-125.  (pdf)

    • Background of the history of Moslem Libraries (Continued), The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 52, No. 1. (Oct., 1935), pp. 22-33. (pdf)

    • Background of the History of Moslem Libraries (Concluded), The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 52, No. 2. (Jan., 1936), pp. 104-110. (pdf)

    • Arabic Books and Libraries in the Umaiyad Period, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 52, No. 4. (Jul., 1936), pp. 245-253. (pdf)

    • Arabic Books and Libraries in the Umaiyad Period (Continued), The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 53, No. 4. (Jul., 1937), pp. 239-250. (pdf)

    • Arabic Books and Libraries in the Umaiyad Period (Concluded), The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 54, No. 1/4. (Oct., 1937), pp. 41-61. (pdf)

    • Supplementary Notes to "Arabic Books and Libraries in the Umaiyad Period", The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 56, No. 2. (Apr., 1939), pp. 149-157. (pdf)

       Nabia Abbott

    • The Monasteries of the Fayyum, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 53, No. 1. (Oct., 1936), pp. 13-33. (pdf)

    • The Monasteries of the Fayyum (Continued),The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 53, No. 2. (Jan., 1937), pp. 73-96. (pdf)

    • The Monasteries of the Fayyum (Concluded),The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 53, No. 3. (Apr., 1937), pp. 158-179. (pdf)

General Information on Muslim Paper:

  • Bloom, Jonathan M. Revolution by the Ream: A History of Paper (link) (Aramco World: May/June 99: vol. 50/No.3 , pp: 26-39). PDF version from the issue. It has much more graphics.

  • Bloom, Jonathan M. Paper before print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic world (Yale University Press, 2001. hc, 320 pp 11"X9" ISBN: 0300089554). (pdf!)

General References on Paper: These texts provide specific information on paper and its production:

  • Hunter, Dard, PAPERMAKING, THE HISTORY AND TECHNIQUE OF AN ANCIENT CRAFT, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, reprinted by Dover Books (pdf)

Specialized References: These texts provide specific information on paper in the Muslim world :

  • al-Samarra'i, Qasim. Ilm al-iktinah al-'Arabi al-Islami = Arabic Islamic paleography and codicology / tasnif Qasim al-Samarra'i. al-Riyad : Markaz al-Malik Faysal lil-Buhuth wa-al-Dirasat al-Islamiyah, 2001. (pdf)

  • Paleography Bibliography. (list)

  • Karabacek, J.  Arab Paper, J. Karabacek (trans. Don Baker) Archetype Publications Ltd.; ISBN: 1873132026, Paperback: 90 pages.  (pdf)

  • Loveday, Helen. Islamic Paper: A Study of the Ancient Craft,  Paperback: 90 pages, Publisher: Archetype Publications Ltd.; (March 15, 2001) ISBN: 1873132034 - 23cm height, 15ill. (pdf)

  • On Fanjum Papers. Partial translation available from the Caber Press,  (web)

  • On Manuscript inks, Jack C. Thompson, 1996, The Caber Press, Portland, Oregon ISBN 1-887719-04-0 (web)

Arabic Paleography:

Manuscript Samples:

  • Cited in "Arabic Book" image from Freer Gallery. image

  • Calligrapher's workshop album page. Mughal India. 16th century. Free Library of Philadelphia. Rare Books Department, Lewis Collection, M 1. image thanks to bvs

Links:

  • Bibliography on Bookbinding, conservation and paper from Oxford. link

 

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* Created in hope that it may provide further research and detailed information on paper and book production in the Muslim World. While intended to help researchers working on Ghazalian texts that are written on paper its scope has been enlarged to include history of printing and paper production in Muslim lands including influences thereupon. Diacritics were sacrificed on the altar of legibility!

* Page updated on: 2008-08-12 created June 2006.

* URL: http://ghazali.org/site/paper-rch.htm.

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