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Leiden University Libraries starts project to make Oriental manuscripts accessible through its online catalogue

Leiden University Libraries is internationally renowned for, among others, its rich Middle Eastern & Asian Special Collections. Since the famous bequest of Josephus Justus Scaliger in 1609 the number of so-called “Oriental” manuscripts have added up to over 27,000.

In the course of time scholars have extensively
studied and described many thousands of them
in dozens of printed catalogues (see below for a
few examples). However, the majority of the
Oriental manuscripts can neither be found in
Leiden’s online catalogue nor in other international databases. To remedy this, the library has started
a project  to make concise bibliographic records
available for this treasure trove of manuscripts,
provided with references to these scholarly catalogs
and, if possible, also with links to pdf’s of the catalogs.  The records will become available in the online catalogue by the end of 2016. 

A few examples of the scholarly catalogs:

  • Jan Schmidt: Catalogue of Turkish Manuscripts in the Library of Leiden University and other Collections in the Netherlands (4 vols., 2000-2012);

  • T. Iskandar: Catalogue of Malay, Minangkabau, and South Sumatran manuscripts in the Netherlands (2 vols., 1999);

  • P. Voorhoeve: Catalogue of Acehnese manuscripts in the Library of Leiden University and other collections outside Aceh (1994);

  • P. Voorhoeve: Handlist of Arabic manuscripts in the Library of the University of Leiden and other collections in the Netherlands (1980).

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