Islamic Studies

Oxford and Cambridge unite

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge have recently completed a project to create digital versions of the catalogue records that describe their world renowned collections of Islamic manuscripts

Available from a common search engine at, users can now search over detailed descriptions of over 10,000 texts.

Screenshot from 'Fihrist' - Oxford and Cambridge Islamic manuscripts catalogue
Screenshot from 'Fihrist' - Oxford and Cambridge Islamic manuscripts catalogue

The term Fihrist comes from the book written by the 10th-century Islamic scholar Ibn al-Nadim, who wrote the Kitāb al-Fihrist, which he described as “an Index of the books of all nations, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, which are extant in the Arabic language and script, on every branch of knowledge/”

Facetted search allows for users to break down searching by author, classmark, library, date and subject heading.

This adds to completed Islamic Studies projects at the University of Birmingham, the School of African and Oriental Studies and the digitisation of Ph.D. theses, hosted by the British Library’s Ethos service

JISC is also funding the development of a gateway that will create the beginnings of a union catalogue for Islamic Studies manuscripts held in the UK. This project, including the same Oxford team, is just getting under way, and the first phase will be complete in late summer 2011.

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