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Explore the many countries, cities and institutions of HMML’s fieldwork sites.

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Meet some of the people, communities and traditions who are part of HMML’s global team.

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Learn more about the manuscripts in HMML’s digital and microfilm collections.

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Islamic Manuscripts

Islamic manuscripts are a rapidly growing component of HMML’s digital collections. Current holdings represent a range of Islamic cultures found in the troves of literary and archival materials from Timbuktu, the manuscripts of Harar in Ethiopia, the major family libraries of Jerusalem, the Zaydi tradition of Yemen, and Persian manuscripts from the Indo-Persian culture of the Mughal Empire in India as well as from the collection of the Library of Congress.

HMML has partnered with SAVAMA-DCI in Bamako, Mali, to digitize the manuscripts evacuated from Timbuktu in 2012. These include the Abdelbakr Bin Said Library (7600 items), Abdullah Abdrahamane Library (12,700 items; project currently underway); Attaher Muaz Library (39,000 items); Mamma Haidara Library (37,500 items). New work with collections that remained in Timbuktu has begun with the Imam Ben Essayuti Library  in a project  co-sponsored by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme.

The Sherif Harar City Museum contains hundreds of manuscripts gathered from families and shrines in the historic center of Islam in Ethiopia. Abdullahi Ali Sherif, founder of the museum, has deposited digital copies of manuscripts at HMML.

HMML has worked with prominent Muslim families of Jerusalem to digitize their historic collections. These include the Budeiry Family Library (1150 items); the Khalidiyya Library (1260 items), the Dar Issaf Nashashibi (750 items), and the Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Bukhari Library (50 items). The larger collections have existing detailed cataloging; vHMML Reading Room features a simplified version.

Digital images of Zaydi manuscripts, mostly from Yemen, are available in vHMML Reading Room, thanks to a collaboration with the Zaydi Manuscript Tradition project at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

A new element of HMML’s digital collections are Persian manuscripts gathered in partnership with the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Raja of Mahmudabad Library, Lucknow, India (1000+ items) is currently being digitized. Digital images of the Persian collection of the Library of Congress (20 items) are available in vHMML Reading Room.

Find manuscripts: many scanned microfilms and born-digital images are now in vHMML Reading Room and others may be found through the Legacy Catalog. On vHMML Reading Room you will find links to lists indicating the current cataloging and online status of these collections.