The Islamic Manuscript Tradition

The Islamic Manuscript Tradition

Ten Centuries of Book Arts in Indiana University Collections
Edited by Christiane Gruber
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/20/2009
ISBN: 978-0-253-02920-1
Bookmark and Share

Available through various retailers


Over the course of ten centuries, Islam developed a rich written heritage that is visible in paintings, calligraphies, and manuscripts. The Islamic Manuscript Tradition explores this aspect of Islamic history with studies of the materials and tools of literate culture, including pens, inks, and papers, Qur’ans, Persian and Mughal illustrated manuscripts, Ottoman devotional works, cartographical manuscripts, printed books, and Islamic erotica. Seven essays present new scholarship on a wide range of topics including collection, miniaturization, illustrated devotional books, the history of the printing press in Islamic lands, and the presence and function of erotic paintings. This beautifully produced volume includes 111 color illustrations and provides a valuable new resource for students and scholars of Islamic art.

Author Bio

Christiane Gruber is Assistant Professor of Islamic Art at Indiana University Bloomington. She is editor (with Frederick S. Colby) of The Prophet's Ascension: Cross-Cultural Encounters with the Islamic Mi'raj Tales (IUP, 2009) and author of The Timurid Book of Ascension (Mi'rajnama): A Study of Text and Image in a Pan-Asian Context and The Ilkhanid Book of Ascension: A Persian-Sunni Prayer Manual.


"This handsome, large-format volume presents eight essays written in conjunction with an exhibition of the rich collection of Islamic books at Indiana University. . . . This book is a pleasure to hold and to read. . . . Highly recommended." —Choice , July 2010

"Includes so much new and unpublished material . . . [and] it puts the collection of Islamic manuscripts at Indiana University on the map." —Stefano Carboni, Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

"This handsome, large-format volume presents eight essays written in conjunction with an exhibition of the rich collection of Islamic books at Indiana University. . . . This book is a pleasure to hold and to read. . . . Highly recommended." —

"It is Gruber's scholarship that makes this book a desirable addition to a reference or circulating collection. . . . Her introductory essay could serve as course reading for classes on art history or Islamic culture and civilization; it stands alone as a readable, attractive, and extensively footnoted summary of the distinctive artistic character of Islamic book arts thorugh the centuries." —Journal of Religious & Theological Intormation , 9:3, 2010

"Collected studies often are uneven and inconsistent affairs, reflecting the distinctive perspectives and expository idiosyncrasies of their various contributors. Not so here, however, where tight editorial control was clearly exercised, and epistolary style uniformly regulated. . . . Besides simultaneously enriching the corpus of Islamic books and the study of Islamic book arts, this handsome volume does Indiana University proud." —
Journal of the American Oriental Society

"[T]his is a useful source material on the development of Islamic book art from the 9th to the 20th centuries in different parts of the world, and will be an essential information tool for all those interested in the Islamic artistic and aesthetic traditions, specifically in the art of the book which is a highly prized item of Islamic material culture." —Journal of Oriental and African Studies

"[This book] is full of illustrations, pictures, and images that help the reader to better understand the text. The book is highly recommended for academic libraries, art libraries, and larger public libraries." —MELA Notes

"Overall this volume brings unpublished material into discussion and serves as a valuable educational tool." —Speculum

"[In this title] we may admire the richness of the holdings of Indiana University, especially as represented in the Lilly Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction." —Bulletin of the S.O.A.S.

"The book constitutes a welcome addition to the scholarship on the Islamic manuscript tradition . . . . [I]t offers an exemplary introductory text on the Islamic book arts, the book’s main interest and usefulness are to be found in the many critical issues raised by the choice

of 'intriguing materials' studied." —

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Oleg Grabar

1. Introduction: Islamic Book Arts in Indiana University Collections / Christiane Gruber
2. Ruth E. Adomeit: An Ambassador for Miniature Books / Janet Rauscher
3. Between Amulet and Devotion: Islamic Miniature Books in the Lilly Library / Heather Coffey
4. A Pious Cure-All: The Ottoman Illustrated Prayer Manual in the Lilly Library / Christiane Gruber
5. Ibrahim Müteferrika and the Age of the Printed Manuscript / Yasemin Gencer
6. An Ottoman View of the World: The Kitab Cihannüma and Its Cartographic Contexts / Emily Zoss
7. The Lilly Shamshir Khani in a Franco-Sikh Context: A Non-Islamic "Islamic" Manuscript / Brittany Payeur
8. An Amuletic Manuscript: Baraka and Nyama in a Sub-Saharan African Prayer Manual / Kitty Johnson

List of Contributors
Related Titles