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Mouse & Manuscript: a Collection of Interactive Lessons on Codicology and Oriental Manuscripts

This week sees the first edition of the textbook Mouse&Manuscript published online. Mouse&Manuscript is a collection of interactive lessons on codicology and oriental manuscripts. Its aim is to stimulate teaching on codicology in and outside of the classroom, and to contribute to the disclosure of Leiden University’s rich collection of oriental manuscripts. We benefit from the newest digital technologies to bring digitalised manuscripts to the class-room and even to homes.

The website now contains 28 lessons based on manuscripts from the Muslim world, from the Maghrib to Mughal India, including lessons on Coptic manuscripts. Each lesson presents a manuscript in an iiif-viewer, which means one can leaf through it and zoom in to great detail. Some of the manuscripts are highlights of the Leiden collection, others are validated by the lessons of various authors. Topics range from scribal errors to audition notes, from dots and hamzas to torn parchment. All include questions and assignments, and many include links to Open Access suggestions for further reading. The authors - Gabrielle van den Berg, Jelle Bruning, Angela Isoldi, Said Reza Huseini, Renate Dekker, Shahrzad Irannejad, Christine Roughan, Peter Webb - are all somehow related to our collection and more specifically to previous LUCIS Summerschools on Philology and Manuscripts from the Muslim world, in which they participated either as teachers or students.  

Concept and editing of this first edition of the textbook are by Dorrit van Dalen, whose work was financially supported by ECOLe. The technical work is the result of a collaborative effort (co-ordinated by Ferdinand Harmsen from EOLe) by Ben Companjen of the Library’s Centre for Digital Scholarship and Marcel Villerius of the University’s department of Communication and Central Services. They made an ingenious construction that looks immensely attractive and functions smoothly. From 2021 onwards, Peter Webb will take over as editor of new additions, because an online publication is as flexible as publications in the manuscript era were.

Visit the digital textbook here

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