01 December 2011

University of Melbourne Digitising Its Middle Eastern Manuscripts

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 of the University of Melbourne
[The following was included in today's Hidden Treasures of the University of Melbourne Library e-newsletter]

The University of Melbourne Library holds almost 200 Middle Eastern manuscripts, dating from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Languages include Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Prakrit, Mongol, Sanskrit, Malmud, Ethiopic and Syriac. The collection is just one of a number of collections built up by the Reverend Professor John Bowman between 1959 and 1975 during his time as head of the Department of Semitic Studies.

MUL 134 [at left], tells the love story of Kamrup and Kamlata in Persian poetical form, although it was produced in Northern India in about 1737. Its miniature illustrations are in gouache, gold and silver leaf. The script is in black ink with some red, ruled borders with decoration of silver, red and blue.

One of the exciting projects of the University’s Digitisation Service is to digitise this beautiful collection and to date half of the manuscripts have been digitised.

The digitised manuscripts are available through the University's Digital Repository.

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