Islamic Manuscripts
at the Leipzig University Library


In the course of the manuscript projects at Leipzig University, Germany, a technical documentation (pdf file, in German language) has been produced which gives information concerning the technical background. In addition, a documentation for the VIAF-module (pdf file, in English language) of the application is available.

Concerning the translation Arabic-English-Indonesian see the translation guide (pdf file, in German language) .

Scanning techniques / Digitalisation

As with all digitalisation projects a compromise between a careful handling of manuscripts and the best possible result of scanning has to be realised. In the best case the quality of a facsimile has to be achieved.

According to that, different scanners have been used depending on condition and binding of a manuscript:

1. HIT Vario Scanner

2. The Wolfenbuettel Book Reflector

3. Zeutschel OS 12000 Advanced

4. Camera Table - "Graz Model"

In order to defeat mildew, all manuscripts had to be treated by using radiation and cleaned before the codicological recording and digitalisation.

A challenge for digitalisation appeared due to a strong resistance of the binding. Thus the manuscript could not be opened enough. In this case mostly the Book Reflector was used in which the manuscripts had to be opened only up to 45-90 degrees. But it has to be mentioned that the Book Reflector also needs at least a 7 mm distance between text and fold in order to avoid losses in scanning.

Furthermore, it was impossible to use a glass plate in case of illuminations and ink corrosion. Pages sticking together and manuscripts with a too tight binding had to be treated in a restoration department before scanning. Especially golden and reflecting ornaments were difficult to scan which would appear black without a special adjustment of the scanner.