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The Qur'an of Kansuh al-Ghuri

Detail from The Qur’an of Kansuh al-Ghuri

Detail from The Qur’an of Kansuh al-Ghuri

Rylands Arabic MS 42 [704], The Qur’an of Kansuh al-Ghuri, is possibly the largest Koran manuscript of its age (suggested late 14th century). Due to its size and weight it is currently inaccessible to all but a handful of scholars.

Standard support mechanisms normally used in digitisation, such as a cradle or copystand, were unsuitable in this instance.

The Conservation Team developed a methodology for safely digitising large, heavy volumes by using plastazote book supports to create a cradle – a simple, cheap and transferable idea that can be used anywhere to digitise manuscripts of any size, without inflicting damage to the book structure.

Once the images were processed, a virtual book was created using Turning the Pages™ software.

Using the Turning the Pages software to create the virtual book

Using the Turning the Pages software to create the virtual book

To inform of progress and promote the project a Blog was created, using free software. All entries are in English and Arabic.

The manuscript had previously been dated to around 1500 CE from the Library seal of Sultan Kansuh al-Ghuri. 

Images posted of the binding sparked immediate reaction as experts were able to surmise the manuscript is older by the style of tooling.

Working with the University’s Press Officer we issued a press release. It went global as the story was picked up by numerous press agencies, TV companies and websites around the world. Some of the news coverage can be seen on the blog.

Visit the Gateway to the Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri blog