Preliminary Checklist



Islamic Manuscripts

Compiled by William M. Blair,
Mohammad H. Faghfoory,
and Karl R. Schaefer

Revised and edited by
Don C. Skemer and
James W. Weinberger

Revised by Dina Britain and Denise L. Soufi

Manuscripts Division
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton University Library
Revised October 2013


This preliminary checklist of uncataloged Islamic manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Libraries, was largely compiled by William M. Blair, Mohammad H. Faghfoory, and Karl R. Schaefer, with assistance from Maria Dakake and `Abd al-Majid Hannoum. The work was completed 1993-1995 on a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Title II-C, under the general supervision of Don C. Skemer and James W. Weinberger, who have revised and edited the text and integrated more than two hundred and forty recent accessions from the years 1995 to the present; with the Third Series being the one that continues to grow. This work was further edited, revised, and enhanced in 2004 by Dina Britain. Particular attention was given to the correct Romanization of the Arabic names, substituting a large portion of the names with the authorized versions, according to LC standards, wherever possible. This October 2013 revision of the checklist supersedes all prior versions. Many previously uncataloged entries have now been fully cataloged and are found in the Library's main catalog.

While the checklist represents the work of a team, the project catalogers specialized to some extent: Blair (Ottoman Turkish), Schaefer (Arabic), and Faghfoory (Persian). The project focused on manuscripts that had not been described in four printed catalogs covering about 9,500 texts found in some 11,000 volumes of Islamic manuscripts in the Princeton University Library: (1) Philip K, Hitti, Nabih Amin Faris, and Butrus `Abd al-Malik, Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, Princeton Oriental Texts, vol. 5 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938; (2) Mohammed E. Moghadam and Yahya Armajani, under the supervision of Philip K. Hitti, Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Persian, Turkish and Indic Manuscripts Including Some Miniatures, Princeton Oriental Texts, vol. 6 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1939); (3) Rudolf Mach, Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts (Yahuda Section) in the Garrett Collection, Princeton University Library, Princeton Studies on the Near East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977); and (4) Rudolf Mach and Eric L. Ormsby, Handlist of Arabic Manuscripts (New Series) in the Princeton University Library, Princeton Studies on the Near East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987). These four printed catalogs superseded earlier catalogs compiled by Enno Littmann (1904), Nicholas N. Martinovich (1926), and Ernest Cushing Richardson and Nabi Amin Faris (1934). Other Islamica at Princeton not described either in the published catalogs or in this preliminary checklist include Arabic papyri in the Manuscripts Division, early Arabic and Turkish printed books in the department's Rare Books Division, and Persian miniatures in the Princeton University Art Museum. For descriptions and selected digital images of Arabic papyri at Princeton, go to the Princeton University Library Papyrus Home Page. Early printed Islamica in the Rare Books Division may be searched online in the Princeton University Library Main Catalogue.
For digital images of 277 Persian miniatures in five illustrated Shahnamah manuscripts, dating from 1544 to 1674, in the Manuscripts Division, go to The Princeton Shahnama Project at
<>. The manuscripts include Garrett Islamic MSS. 56G, 57G, 58G, and 59G, which were the gift of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897; and the Peck Shahnamah (Islamic Manuscripts, Third Series, no. 310), which was bequeathed to Princeton in 1983 by Clara S. Peck, the sister of Fremont C. Peck, Class of 1920.

The entries in this preliminary checklist are arranged by language and series in shelf number order. Each entry includes brief bibliographic descriptions giving (whenever available) author, title or uniform title, date of copy, folios, and shelf number. The cataloging policy of the project was to follow Library of Congress transliteration rules.

This handlist represents the contributions of several different persons; thus inconsistencies and mistakes may occur. It is important to emphasize that the preliminary checklist is not a complete catalog like Princeton's published catalogs of 1939-1987, which are organized by subject and provide bibliographic and physical descriptions. When requesting items listed in this checklist, readers should cite the shelf number, including the capital letter which appears at the end of the number.

[last updated October 14, 2013]