Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

03/2016manuscript of the month

‘For it has already been stolen from, soiled and dishonoured’

Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms Comites Latentes 145, page 238

Love spells, black magic, exorcisms and spells of healing or protection – in the early 16th century, Joseph ben Elijah Tirshom, a Jewish scholar who lived and worked in the Ottoman Empire, assembled a significant compendium of mystical and magical texts, thereby including many instructions on so-called Practical Kabbalah. On what terms was the copyist willing to lend out his precious manuscript?


CSMC mailinglist
Subscribe to our mailinglist 'Manuscript Cultures':
Manuscript Identification Service
Do you own a manuscript you would like to learn
more about? Visit us and ask our experts at the
Manuscript Identification Service.


New Petra Kappert Fellows in October 2016

David Ganz was Professor of Latin palaeography at the University of North Carolina, at King’s College London, and at the Medieval Institute University of Notre Dame. He has published on early Latin and Carolingian manuscripts, and is working on early Latin minuscule scripts.
Susan Rankin is Professor of Medieval Music at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Emmanuel College and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her research engages with music of the middle ages through its manuscript sources and notations, and through its place and meaning within ritual.
The new fellows will stay at CSMC until the end of March 2017.

International consortium with the participation of the CSMC receives funding

The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) awards a Partnership Grant for the duration of seven years to an international consortium of more than 40 scientists from over 20 universities worldwide under the leadership of Professor Jinhua Chen from the University of British Columbia. Under the title “From the ground up: East Asian religions through multi-media sources and interdisciplinary perspectives” new sources, notably manuscripts and inscriptions, are intended to contribute to a new understanding of the history and current religions of East Asia transcending national paradigms. The CSMC is one of the applicants and is represented in the “Central Steering Committee” for the first two years.

New issue of “manuscript cultures”

A new issue, no. 9, of the open access journal manuscript cultures, is now available as a free download. This issue is the bilingual catalogue for the exhibition “Wonders of Creation – Ottoman Manuscripts in Hamburg Collections” at the State and University Library Hamburg.

Exhibition “Wonders of Creation” – Ottoman Manuscripts in Hamburg Collections
16 September – 30 October 2016

Hamburg is playing host to a unique exhibition of Ottoman manuscripts belonging to some of the city’s museums and other collections. The exhibition at the State and University Library Hamburg represents the plurality of manuscript cultures mirroring the different ethnic groups, languages and religions which coexisted in the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution in the early 20th century. The exhibition focuses on manuscripts with Ottoman Turkish texts written in Arabic script. Intricately crafted objects such as calendar scrolls, medals and tableaus provide a frame for the handwritten word or accentuate the beauty of the writing. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published by CSMC in its academic journal, manuscript cultures. Entrance is free.


24 - 25 October 2016 | Workshop
African Voices in Islamic Manuscripts from Mali
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 2002

26 October 2016 | Workshop & MoU
African Voices in Islamic Manuscripts from Mali Workshop Closing Ceremony and Signing of MoU
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

31 October 2016 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Randolph Head
University of California, Riverside
European Archivality, 1400-1800: Manuscript Practices, Medial Configurations, and the Promise of Comparison
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

9 - 12 November 2016 | Conference
The Emergence of Multiple-Text Manuscripts

Details und Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

14 - 15 November 2016 | Workshop
The Himalayan Paper: History, Identification and Trade

Details und Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

17 November 2016 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Ronald Suleski
Suffolk University Boston
A Hand-written Family Genealogy; Constructing the Family in Republican China: Shandong 1944
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

8 December 2016 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Inga Mai Groote
Heidelberg University
Music Theory ‘With Inky Fingers’: Early-Modern Sources and Their Uses for the Circulation of Knowledge
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

15 December 2016 6pm | Lecture
Ilse Sturkenboom, M.A.
University of St Andrews
The Divān of Sultan Aḥmad Jalāʾir (d. 1410) and the Re-Appreciation of Chinese-Style Design in Persian Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

12 January 2017 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Michele Bernardini
University of Naples
The Series Catalogorum, Presentation, Methodology, Future Projects
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001