Dr. Celeste Gianni
Dr. Celeste Gianni joined HMML in 2020 as a Cataloger of Arabic Manuscripts based in England. A native of Italy, she earned her BA in Arabic Language and Culture, from the Università degli Studi Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy, and a MA and PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Prior to joining HMML, Gianni held teaching and research positions in the United Kingdom, working for the University of Oxford and SOAS. In London, she also carried out specialized cataloging work for Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation and the Society for Libyan Studies. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and is published widely.
In her role at HMML, Gianni focuses on the cataloging of Arabic manuscripts as part of the 2020 grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH grant funds a three-year project to catalog 53,000 digitized manuscripts and create an online database of authors and titles originating from under-represented or little-known literary traditions.
What she enjoys most about her work: “Working for HMML gives me the possibility to engage with catalogs of Arabic manuscripts from different periods and regions as well as with the digital images of manuscripts of collections that I have been researching during the past years, in particular from the Middle East. The cataloging of Arabic manuscripts enriches my knowledge of the written heritage related to topics, regions, and people I am interested in for my research purposes, in particular related to the book culture and history of libraries in the Islamicate world.”