A Two-Day Workshop on Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts and Digital Codicology in Lisbon

22 jun - 23 jun 2023
Van 9:30 - 17:30uur

Gulbenkian Museum Academy and the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in collaboration offers a two-day workshop in Lisbon on Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts and Digital Codicology.


Exploring the esteemed manuscript collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, this 2-day short course is an introduction to codicology, manuscript studies, and digital humanities.

The course will be both theoretical and practical. This will include a demonstration of handling Islamic manuscripts, and hands-on-training in automatically transcribing manuscripts using the latest Text Recognition software for manuscripts, through the platform eScriptorium.

This course is an introductory course, so it is applicable to anyone with an interest in manuscripts, libraries, archives, codicology, museums, digital humanities, and the fields of Islamic Art and Middle Eastern studies.

Convenor bios

This course will be organised and taught by Jessica Hallett from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Dr. Walid Ghali and Dr. Mathew Barber from Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC).

Dr. Jessica Hallett is Senior Curator of the Middle East and China, and Head of Research at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.Associate Professor Walid Ghali is Head Librarian of the Aga Khan Library in London and Associate Professor of Islamic and Arabic studies.

Assistant Professor Mathew Barber is from the Centre for Digital Humanities of AKU-ISMC and is a Historian who uses a combination of digital and traditional methods, using computational text reuse detection to identify so-called “lost” texts.

Participant requirements

Attendees would be expected to bring a laptop for the eScriptorium session.

This event is in English without simultaneous interpretation. While this course will involve textual analysis of manuscripts in Arabic and other languages, no prior language knowledge (other than English) is required for this introductory course.

Attendees would also need to pick a digitised manuscript that they could use to practice with during the workshop. Help with this can be provided by the organisers. The digitised manuscript should preferably be in a language that the attendee understands, as they will be practicing transcription during the session. Attendees should contact organisers if their manuscript is in a language other than Arabic, Persian, Urdu or Ottoman Turkish.

Programme Fees

£89/- for professionals
£39/- for students

We offer up to three fee-wavers for people unable to pay the registration fee. For more information, please email shortcourse.ismc@aku.edu.

Programme Logistics

22nd and 23rd June 2023

9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Location: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, SALA 1.

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