Adam Gacek, McGill University (Montreal)
Arranged alphabetically by subject and/or concept, the present handbook has been conceived, for convenience sake and quick reference, as an aid to students and researchers who are often puzzled or even sometimes intimidated by the ‘mysterious’ world of Arabic manuscripts and the technical language that goes with it. A companion volume to the recently published The Arabic Manuscript Tradition (2001) and its Supplement (2008), the vademecum comprises some 200 entries of varying lengths dealing with almost all aspects of Arabic manuscript studies (codicology and palaeography). It is richly illustrated with specimens from manuscripts and expertly executed drawings. The main sequence is followed by a number of appendices covering abbreviations, letterforms, sūrah-headings, major reference works and a guide to the description of manuscripts, as well as charts of major historical periods and dynasties.