Codicology Textbooks

Arias Torres, Juan Pablo, and Teresa Espejo Arias, eds. El manuscrito andalusí: Hacia una denominación de origen. Sevilla: Consejería de Cultura, Junta de Andalucía, 2008.

Bausi, Alessandro, gen. ed. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Introduction. Hamburg, Tredition, 2015.  Available for free download from the COMSt website at:

Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.

Déroche, François, et al. Islamic Codicology: An Introduction to the Study of Manuscripts in Arabic Script. Trs. Deke Dusinberre and David Radzinowicz, ed. Muhammad Isa Waley. London: Furqan Foundation, 2005.  Original: Manuel de codicologie des manuscrits en écriture arabe. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2000.  Also available in Arabic and Italian translations.

Géhin, Paul, et al. Lire le manuscrit médiéval: Observer et décrire. Paris: Colin, 2005.

Hanna, Ralph. Introducing English Medieval Book History: Manuscripts, their Producers and their Readers. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013.

Hiravī, Najīb Māyil. Naqd va taṣḥīḥ-i mutūn: Marāḥil-i nuskhah shināsī va shivah’hā-yi taṣḥīḥ-i nuskhah’hā-yi khaṭṭ-ī farsī. Mashad: Āstān-i Quds-i Razavī, 1369 Sh/1990.

Hiravī, Najīb Māyil. Tārīkh-i nuskhah pardāzi va taṣḥīḥ-i intiqādī-ye nuskhah’hā-yi khaṭṭī. Tehran: Kitābkhānah va mūzih va markaz-i asnād-i Majlis-i shūrā-ye islāmī, 1379 Sh/2000.  Available for free download from the website of the Library and Museum and Document Center of the Iranian Parliament at:

Lemaire, Jacques. Introduction à la codicologie. Leuven: Université catholique de Louvain, 1989.

Al-Munajjid, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn. Qawāʾid fahrasat al-makhṭūṭāt al-ʿarabiyyah. 1st ed. Beirut: Dār al-kitāb al-jadīd, 1973.

Olszowy-Schlanger, Judith. “Moritz Steinschneider and the Discipline of ‘Hebrew Manuscript Study’.” In Studies on Steinschneider: Moritz Steinschneider and the Emergence of the Science of Judaism in Nineteenth-Century Germany, eds. Reimund Leicht and Gad Freudenthal: 249–261.  Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Royan, Nicola, and Joanna Martin. Introduction to Medieval Books. The University of Nottingham, 2011, available on the university’s website for Manuscripts and Special Collections at:

Ṣafarī Āq Qalʿah, ʿAlī. Nuskhah shinākhat: Pazhūhish-nāmah-i nuskhah shināsi-yi nusakh-i khaṭṭī-yi fārisī. With a preface by Iraj Afshar. Tehran: Markaz-i pazhūhishī-yi mīrāth-i maktūb, 1390 Sh/2011.

Turner, E. G. Greek Papyri: An Introduction. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Treharne, Elaine, et al. Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts. Stanford University, online course, Winter 2015, available at:


Dagmar A. Riedel

Last updated, 16 May 2018

2 thoughts on “Codicology Textbooks

  1. I am currently involved in a translation project of an Arabic manuscript. I do not have formal Arabic codicological training, and I was wondering what resources are or might be available to assist with deciphering some of the unfamiliar orthographic conventions. Thanks!

  2. Darius, since orthographic conventions vary widely, I am afraid that I cannot give you any specific advice without more concrete information. A good starting point is the above listed COMSt manual which is available Open-Access. If you have library privileges at a research library, Adam Gacek’s 2009 Vademecum is an excellent resource, which I did not include into this page, as it is a reference work and not a textbook. Should you be working with manuscripts that belong to the Greco-Arabic tradition, take a look at Alexander Treiger’s bibliographies at:
    Moreover, you may consider joining the NASCAS listservice, which is organized as a Google group and dedicated to Christian Arabic literature.

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