Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

12/2016manuscript of the month

Historiated initial depicting the Virgin
Mary and Jesus. © BnF

The Light of the World in the Form of a Manuscript

In most people’s minds – in the European cultural sphere, at least – Christmas is associated with light and shimmering radiance. In the depths of the cold season, rays of light from burning candles and festive lights pierce the darkness. For Christians, this is the symbolic expression of their God made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, whose birth is celebrated at Christmas time and who referred to Himself as ‘the light of the world’. This refulgence is made visible in the early-mediaeval Drogo Sacramentary.


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Manuscript Identification Service
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more about? Visit us and ask our experts at the
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3 Tenure-Track professorships for Manuscript Research in Hamburg

Following the success of the tenure-track program established by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Universität Hamburg is inviting applications for the following three tenure-track positions (W1 with a tenure track leading to W2) in the key research area “Manuscript Research”:

Languages and Cultures of South East Asia (Thai Studies or Austronesian Studies)

Modern German Literature with a focus on Digital Humanities for Written Artifacts

History of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

The application deadline for the three positions is
1 March 2018.

Sommerkurs für Handschriftenkultur

Vom 23. bis 29. September 2018 wird im Rahmen der jährlichen Alfried Krupp-Sommerkurse für Handschriftenkultur an der Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig eine einwöchige Sommerschule zur islamischen Handschriftenkultur stattfinden. Sie wird vom Orientalischen Institut der Universität Leipzig und der UB Leipzig in Zusammenarbeit mit dem DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm „Transottomanica – osteuropäisch-osmanisch-persische Mobilitätsdynamiken“ (Uni Gießen / Uni Bonn / Uni Marburg) sowie dem SFB „Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa“ (Uni Hamburg) organisiert.

Bewerbungsschluss ist der 15. März. Weitere Informationen hier.

New Petra Kappert Fellow in February 2018

Dr. Dick van der Meij, Leiden, is a philologist and specialist in the languages and cultures of Indonesia. His current research focuses on palm-leaf manuscripts from Bali and Java. Dr. van der Meij will stay at CSMC until the end of March 2018.

Peera Panarut receives the “Karl H. Ditze-Preis 2017”

CSMC congratulates Peera Panarut, doctoral student in the integrated research training group “Manuscript Cultures“, for having been awarded the “Karl H. Ditze Preis 2017” for outstanding master and Ph.D. theses in the Faculty of Humanities at Universität Hamburg. His M.A. thesis in Thai Studies is titled: “Cindamani – The Odd Content Version: A Critical Edition”.

Two new volumes of the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures (SMC)

The case studies assembled in the volume ‘Jewish Manuscript Cultures: New Perspectives’ (SMC 13) edited by Irina Wandrey show paradigmatically the current developments of research in Hebrew manuscripts and new approaches to codicology and palaeography, provenance history, art history, and history of science. The contributions further study the roles of scribes, patrons, collectors and censors, and, last but not least, new methods of material analysis applied to manuscripts. The collective volume ‘Indic Manuscript Cultures through the Ages‘ (SMC 14) edited by Vincenzo Vergiani, Daniele Cuneo, and Camillo A. Formigatti covers a wide range of topics related to Indic manuscript cultures looking at the production, circulation, agency and preservation of manuscripts.

Arcadia Fund grant for digitising Southeast Asian manuscripts - DREAMSEA

Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – has awarded a grant to a five-year Programme to establish the ‘Digital Repository of Endangered and Affected Manuscripts In Southeast Asia (DREAMSEA)’. This Programme has been initiated by Prof. Dr Jan van der Putten at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures of the University of Hamburg and Prof. Dr Oman Fathurahman at the Center for the Study of Islam and Society of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta. The Programme is designed to preserve the immense cultural diversity of Southeast Asia by digitising physically and culturally highly endangered manuscripts in both mainland and insular Southeast Asia. All digitised manuscripts will be put online and available for research and other use. DREAMSEA will be a milestone for the preservation of Southeast Asian manuscripts, and for the first time ever it will join manuscripts from the whole region into one repository that will be open to everyone. It will open new vistas for the exploration of the rich web of cultural linkages and enhance efforts to preserve cultural diversity of the region.

Alumnus of graduate school receives Karl H. Ditze Prize

On 13 November 2017, Dr. Thies Staack, alumnus of the graduate school of the CSMC, received the Karl H. Ditze Prize for his outstanding doctoral thesis in sinology. The CSMC congratulates him on his achievement and wishes him continued success!

Honorary doctorate awarded to a member of CSMC

On 17 November 2017 Prof. Dr. Cécile Michel, Assyriologist and member of CSMC, was awarded the honorary doctorate of the University of Copenhagen for her long-standing dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration with the Centre for Textile Research. The CSMC congratulates her on this honour!


18 January - 4 March 2018 | Exhibition

Von Maimonides bis Da Costa - Sefardische Bücher und Manuskripte aus Hamburg
Hamburg State and University Library

19 February - 23 February 2018 | Workshop
Winter School on Cuneiform Culture

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

23 - 24 February 2018 | Workshop

Linking Manuscripts from the Coptic, Ethiopian and Syriac Domain: Present and Future Synergy Strategies

Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, East Wing, Room 123

26 February - 2 March 2018 | Winter Academy
OII & CSMC Winter Academy II
From 26 February to 2 March 2018 the CSMC and the Orient-Institut Istanbul (OII) are holding the "Second OII & CSMC Winter Academy: Winter Academy on Manuscript Cultures in Present and Past: Media Change and Cultural Transfer" in Istanbul.
Programme and abstract booklet
Orient Institut Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

26 February 2018 11am | Informal Talk
Dr. Dick van der Meij
Petra-Kappert Fellow at the CSMC
Indonesian Palm-Leaf Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 2002

27 February 2018 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Xiaoli Ouyang
Fudan University
Marginal Numbers on Cuneiform Tablets from Ur III Mesopotamia (c. 2112-2004 BCE)
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

28 February - 1 March 2018 | Conference
Fakes and Written Artefacts - From Antique Counterfeits to Modern Forgeries

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

16 - 17 March 2018 | Workshop

Bon Manuscripts in Context

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

5 April 2018 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Beatrice Gründler
Freie Universität Berlin
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

11 - 14 April 2018 | Conference
Letters as Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26