Books at Aga Khan Centre Library, London

Manuscripts in Arabic Script: Introduction to Codicology

This online course (2 days) aims to introduce Arabic manuscripts from a codicological and textual point of view. The first day will provide an overview of the field of codicology and it role in the manuscript field in general and in identifying the key features of the manuscript in particular. The second session will be dedicated to writing supports, the structure of quires, ruling and page layout, bookbinding, ornamentation, tools and materials used in bookmaking, and the palaeography of book hands. . Some practical examples will be given based on the lecturers’ long experiences. The second day will focus on the importance of manuscripts in research. While the first session will cover the Para-textual features in the Arabic manuscripts, the second session will demonstrate the different approaches in editing manuscripts.

This introductory course is intended for students, researchers and librarians who are working in the field of manuscript studies. In the two-day course, the lecturers will cover a wide range of aspects for those who are acquiring basic knowledge in this field.

Learning outcomes:

– Basic understanding of the field of manuscript studies in general.

– Identify the role of manuscripts in knowledge production in different areas studies in Muslim cultures.Length of course: 2 days (4 lectures)

Download course structure:

Course Convenors:

Dr Walid Ghali is the Head of the Aga Khan Library, London, Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations and a Chartered Librarian of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). Also, he is a member of the Islamic Manuscript Association, University of Cambridge. Dr Ghali received his PhD from Cairo University, Faculty of Arts in 2012. His current research projects focus on the Islamic manuscript traditions, particularly in Arabic script, and the history of books. Dr Ghali teaches Sufism, Arabic literature and manuscript traditions. Before moving to London, Dr Ghali worked in various librarian roles at the American University in Cairo. He has also held several consultancy roles in and outside Egypt, such as the Ministry of Endowment, Qatar University and the Supreme Council for Culture in Kuwait.

Dr Anne Regourd is researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, France. She has published extensively in the fields of History and Philology dealing with Codicology, Paper Studies, and Papyrology. She is the editor of book, The Trade in Papers Marked with Non-Latin Characters, Leiden, E.J. Brill, 2018, and heads the free access online journal, Nouvelles Chroniques du Manuscrit au Yémen.

Tickets: £80 for professionals | £50 for students, AKU alumni and staff. Register as soon as possible: 23-24 April 2021, 11:00 -15:00 (London Time).

*The course will be delivered via Zoom and further details will be provided later upon registration.


AHRC Infrastructure Policy and Engagement funding opportunity.

AHRC infrastructure policy and engagement fellowships

AHRC invites applications for a new Infrastructure Policy and Engagement funding opportunity.

We are looking for heritage science and conservation researchers in UK IROs and universities who are keen to develop their skills in policy and cultivate an in-depth understanding of the HSCR landscape through data analysis and community engagement.

The Fellowships will be up to five months in duration, during which time Fellows will work closely with one another, and with AHRC, to create an evidence base which will inform and facilitate the design of a new national research infrastructure.   Further details may be found in the call specification, on the UKRI Funding Finder website, here:


Scoping study: The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research

Research Libraries UK, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, invites colleagues to contribute to a major scoping study regarding the role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research. This scoping study will explore the experience and expertise held within academic and research libraries to lead and partner in multi-disciplinary research projects, and it will identify the opportunities and challenges associated with this work. This research will make recommendations to the AHRC and the wider research community in terms of enabling library staff to be active partners and leaders in the production of academic and scholarly research, and will identify the potential for collective action between research and academic libraries to enable this.

Call for participants

We actively encourage colleagues working across the academic and scholarly community to contribute to this study and to share their experiences of working in partnership with colleagues within an academic or research library, and the opportunities and challenges this might bring. We also wish to hear from colleagues who would like to formally partner with colleagues working within an academic or research library, for example within a funded research application, but may perceive barriers in doing so.

Although this research will focus on research within arts, humanities, and social sciences, it is not restricted to these fields. We therefore welcome participation from academics and scholars involved in inter- and multidisciplinary research, and within other subject areas.

Register your interest

We are have recently issued an invitation to colleagues ( to register their interest in participating in this research. Please register your details on the RLUK website if you would be willing to be contacted by the contractor appointed to undertake this work. The research phase will begin in early February and the project will be completed by the end of June.

In particular, we would like to encourage academic colleagues who have:·

  • Experience of working as partners with an academic or research library on a research project where the library has been a named as a formal research partner (e.g. as a Co-I or equivalent).
  • Experience of working with an academic or research library on a research project where the library has not been named as a formal research partner but has played an integral part in the project through the skills and expertise of its staff
  • Experience of working on a research project where the library has been named as leader (e.g. as principal investigator).· Would like to partner with a research or academic library in a research project (whether funded or unfunded) but perceive barriers preventing this.

Please do enter your details in the Google form on the RLUK website if you would be willing to contribute to this study and please do forward this to any colleagues who also might also be willing to share their experiences.Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Matt Greenhall ( directly if you have any questions about this work.


RHS Leaflet

A leaflet giving an overview of our activities and information about how to join the RHS is available on request. If you would like to distribute copies of the leaflet at your institution (or elsewhere) please contact:

Dr Sue Carr
Executive Secretary

You may also download the Leaflet and use for electronic circulation:

RHS Leaflet

RHS Leaflet accreditation.