Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference

The Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference, Cambridge 24-26 July 2009:


Dear Colleagues,

The Islamic Manuscript Association is pleased to announce that the Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference will be held at Christ's College, University of Cambridge, UK from 24-26 July 2009. It will be hosted by the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge.

The Association invites submissions of papers for its annual conference on topics related to the care, management, and study of Islamic manuscripts. In 2009, the Conference will specifically address the issue of access to manuscripts. Improving access to manuscripts through digitisation and electronic ordering and delivery systems whilst ensuring their proper long-term preservation is fundamental to the successful future study of the Islamic heritage. Presently, technologies are available that have the potential to transform the way manuscripts are studied; however, the access these technologies can allow is counterbalanced by collection holders' concerns regarding their legal rights and the financial sustainability of their organisations. During the Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference these vital issues will be discussed by our invited speakers and selected paper presenters.

As in previous years, the Conference will be organised around the Association's four main interest groups: cataloguing, conservation, digitisation, and publishing and research. Papers on access naturally falling into these broad categories will be included in the relevant panels, so please make clear to which interest group your submission relates. We will also accept submissions related to topics that do not fall directly under the purviews of the interest groups. These may be papers about specific manuscript projects, library collections, research on a particular manuscript, etc. Please note that the total number of papers accepted will not exceed 25 and preference will be given to speakers who have not presented papers at the Association's previous conferences.

This invitation is open to members and non-members of the Association. The Conference will be bilingual in Arabic and English and submissions will be accepted in both languages. The title of your paper must be included in your submission. The deadline for submissions is 13 February 2009. Late proposals will not be considered. The duration of each conference paper is 30 minutes inclusive of ten minutes of questions and answers.

Please send your abstract (maximum 500 words) along with a brief CV mentioning at least one relevant publication and a cover sheet to the Executive Committee by email (, by fax to +44 (0)1223 302218 or by post to the address below:

The Islamic Manuscript Association

33 Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1QY, United Kingdom

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge this coming summer.

Yours sincerely,

Davidson MacLaren

Executive Director

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