Asian and Islamic Art

4 03 2013


If you’re interested in Asian and Islamic Art then have a look at the website of Alexander Merchant Art Ltd.  It displays their permanent collection, which specialises in Mughal and Indian metalwork.

Koran in LUNA

22 02 2013
The Koran in LUNA

The Koran in LUNA

A reminder that the complete Koran is available for online viewing in the Library’s LUNA collection. A full Book Reader object can be found here.  Enjoy!


20 07 2012

Dr. Ota, Caroline Checkley Scott and John Mumford inspect the binding of the Koran

Dr Alison Ota, the director of the Royal Asiatic Society, visited the John Rylands Library today to inspect our giant Koran manuscript.  Dr Ota is an expert in Mamluk bindings, and her curiosity was sparked by our digitised images.  She was joined by John Mumford, Head of Manuscript Conservation at the National Library of Egypt.  After inspecting the binding and viewing the digitised pages in highest resolution, Dr Ota was able to confirm that both manuscript and binding are from the Mamluk period, probably produced between 1357and 1379.  This is much earlier than the previous dating – Mingana’s catalogue gives it as early 16th century, dated from the seal of the library of Sultan Kansuh al-Ghuri.  She confirmed that the manuscript has been rebound in its original boards, which constitute a very rare and fine example of Mamluk binding and tooling.

Dr. Ota and Gwen checking images from the Koran

By amazing co-incidence we showed Dr Ota a newspaper article detailing the visit from the King of Egypt to see the manuscript in 1927 and realised that it happened exactly 85 years ago today.  The story was reported in the Manchester Guardian on 21st July 1927.  It’s the second Egyptian co-incidence in 24 hours.  By chance, John Mumford arrived in Manchester last night and so visited the opening of Faces and Voices, our new exhibition.  He hadn’t realised that the exhibition features mummy masks from Fayum, a region that a few years ago John had introduced to our Collection Care Manager, Caroline Checkley-Scott.  The Rylands links with Egypt deepen….

The King of Egypt visits the Koran, in 1927

18 08 2011

Recently Carol and James attended the 7th annual TIMA conference in Cambridge, where James presented a paper on the digitisation project. While there, a fellow attendee mentioned an article from the Manchester Guardian they had uncovered from 1927, regarding the visit of the then King of Egypt to the Rylands Library. The Rylands holds the complete Guardian Archive, so it wasn’t long before we uncovered the article again! (The images are quite large so the text can be read)

Images of the Kings visit in 1927, including the Koran


The article of the Kings visit

Digitise Deliver Discover

24 05 2011

On Monday the 6th of June, Faculty Team Librarian and Senior Photograher James Robinson will be part of a very interesting conference here in Manchester.’3D: Digitise, Deliver, Discover‘ is being hosted by the University Of Manchester in the Manchester Conference centre. Unlike most events of this kind which tend to be highly specialised, 3D will be wide-ranging and aimed at a broader target audience, to include academics and students, technical experts and digital novices with an interest in digitisation.

Paul and James will give a presentation about the Koran digitisation project, covering all aspects from the history and importance of the Koran itself, to the virtual copy in Turning The Pages, and press coverage.

Turning the Pages Kiosk

22 02 2011

Turning the Pages station

The test section of the Koran is now installed onto the touch screen station in the library (John Rylands Library Deansgate). It is situated at the top of the stairs in the new atrium. We want your feedback! Comments cards are being drafted up now, along with a brief description of the software and how to use it, and also the history of the Koran itself. Other virtual books are being prepared now too. If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see, get in touch!

جهاز قلب الصفحات

تم الان وضع جهاز قلب الصفحات الألكتروني في مكتبة جون رايلندز – ديبسجيت, و قد قمنا بوزيع منشورات منعلقة بتاريخ القران كيفية استخدام الجهاز. يسعدنا تلقي تعليقاتكم على المشروع, كما يسعدنا تلقي اية اقتراحات لكتب اخرى

Missing Pages

21 02 2011

©The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin


The pages held over at the Chester Beatty Library are now with us and we are working to put them into the right order with our images.  As the leaves were mounted together, we have had to cut them (in photoshop of course!) to fit into the virtual version of the manuscript.

It may take us a little longer to get these extra images inserted into the the correct place, but the Turning the Pages kiosk, with a test version of the Koran should be available in the Library this week.  We are very excited to see the software in action, and will be looking for feedback.  So come in and give it a go!

الصفحات المفقودة

تم الحصول على الصفحات المفقودة من مكتبة تشستر بيتي و قمنا اخيرا باضافتهم للجهاز اللذي نأمل على تشغيله هذا الاسبوع. و لذا نرجو من المهتمين بالمشروع تجربته و تزويدنا برأيهم عنه

Deutsche Welle Radio Broadcast

10 02 2011

A few weeks ago, reporter Lars Bevanger of Deutsche Welle radio interviewed us about the Koran digitisation. His report can be heard here.

                قام فريق من الاذاعة الالمانية (فيللي) من مقابلة الفريق القائم الى المشروع الاسبوع الماضي. يمكن سماع المقابلة على الموقع التالي

Latest news

9 02 2011

Secure rolling stacks at the library, where the Koran is stored.

Now that the media furore has died down, and we have finished the digitisation, it is time for the manuscript to be returned to the climate controlled, secure storage area in the library. Before going back on its own shelf however, the Koran had to be re-acclimatised to avoid any damage. Because the conditions in the area we used for the photography are different to that in the store, a night of acclimatisation in the conservation studio was required.

الان و قد تم الانتهاء من عملية التحميل الالكتروني سيقوم الفريق من اعادة القران الى المنطقة المخصصة لحفظه في المكتبة. الا انه يجب العمل على اقلمة القران و ذلك بحفظه في درجة حرارة معينة لمدة ليلة كاملة قبل نقله الى منطقة حفظه و ذللك منعاً لتلفه.

The Koran back on its own shelf

The turning the pages kiosk is still being put together. As soon as we have the additional images from Chester Beatty, the virtual book will be fully put together. We aim to have this done very soon, and on display in the atrium to coincide with Islam Awareness Week.

مازال الفريق قائم على انهاء البرنامج و نحن بصدد استلام الصور تيين المتبقيتيتن من مكتبة (شستر بيتي) و نأمل بانهاء الرنامج ليتز امن مع اسبوع التعريف بالاسلام الذي سيقام بتاريخ 28 اذار – 3 نيسان.

ترجمة الصفحات – Page Translations

3 02 2011

If you look back through the posts on the blog, you will now notice an Arabic translation. We would like to thank Paul Tate (JRUL Middle Eastern Studies Librarian) and his wife Dr Orieb Masa’deh who kindly volunteered to translate for us.

تم ترجمة  الموقع الالكتروني إلى اللغة العربية. و نود أن نشكر المترجمة  الدكتورة عريب مساعدة  لوقتها وجهدها

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