The Research Project
The Al-Biruni-Centre for Oriental Manuscripts of the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies holds a collection of manuscripts which can well match with any treasury of its kind in the world, both in its scientific value and wealth. At present, the depository contains over 25,000 volumes of manuscripts. These works were written in Turkic, Arabic, Persian, and other languages of Eastern peoples. They cover a wide range of subjects from virtually all fields of science. They are of great significance for the study of history and culture of the peoples of Central Asia, India, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Arab countries, and other Eastern countries as well as the relations between each other. One of themost ancient works of the Institute is »Gharib al-Hadith« by the prominent scholar of the East, Ibn Sallam (d. 837).
The project began in 2008 and its purpose was to create an electronic catalogue of all manuscripts of the main fund of the Al-Biruni-Centre. We aim at providing the possibility to search the medieval works by author’s name, by title, or by keywords. It will be useful for researchers of different academic disciplines, providing an easy way to browse manuscripts of a definite timeperiod or language. Users will easily acquire information about the medieval authors or copyists.
The catalogisation work involved carefully reading each manuscript and comparing it to the data in the catalogue card. By now, 10,000 volumes of manuscripts have been described and 2,036 hitherto undiscovered copies have been found. In 291 cases, the name of the work was found to be wrongly fixed. We also corrected the names of 268 authors and 290 copyists as well as 368 cases of incorrect dates. Furthermore, participants corrected the foliation of 1,539 manuscripts. More than 17,000 descriptions of medieval works have been entered into the database and 125,000 folios of manuscripts have been digitally scanned.