Orient-Digital

In this application ( http://orient-digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de) we currently provide access to the oriental manuscripts of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

In the framework of a DFG-funded project, we are currently building a union catalogue and a portal for oriental manuscripts. It will contain the metadata of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman-Turkish manuscripts from more than 25 cooperating institutions and will provide links to the digitised manuscripts that are available online. The project’s objective is to establish common standards for indexing metadata, to convert print catalogues to online catalogues, and to provide central access to all available electronic data. After the launch of the new portal, the URL www.orient-digital.de will provide access to the collections of numerous other institutions.

Project partners are the Bavarian State Library Munich, the Gotha Research Library, the Berlin State Library, and the Leipzig University Computation Centre, which is responsible for developing the database.

The Berlin database was "frozen" in January 2021 until the launch of the new portal. Presently available data will remain searchable on this page, while the collections of the project partners in Gotha, Leipzig and Munich can be found at the following links:

Gotha Research Library: https://gothams.dl.uni-leipzig.de

Leipzig University: https://www.islamic-manuscripts.net https://www.refaiya.uni-leipzig.de

Bavarian State Library Munich: https://www.bsb-muenchen.de/sammlungen/orient/ueber-die-sammlung/
Search: https://www.bsb-muenchen.de/sammlungen/orient/recherche/


Database of Oriental Manuscripts at the Berlin State Library

The collection, which is curated by the Oriental Department of the Berlin State Library, consists of more than 43,000 volumes (manuscript and block print) in over 140 languages and 70 different scripts from Asia, Africa, and Europe. The size and content of the collection have earned it great international renown. For more information on the oriental manuscripts collection, accessions, events, and publications, please visit the Homepage of the Oriental Department.

The database contains the shelf marks of the entire collection of oriental manuscripts. As minimum information, it provides language, script, number of folios, and catalogue number/cataloguing state. Due to the large variation in the provenance of the data (catalogues, registers, accession lists), the datasets may not always be uniform or equally detailed.

At present, extensive descriptions in multiple scripts are provided for approximately 11,500 texts in several languages from various regions. Around 7,100 of these offer access to a fully digitised copy of the object. The number of detailed manuscript descriptions and digitised objects is constantly growing. Parts of the collection that are currently electronically accessible include precious Arabic manuscripts, the full collection of illuminated Islamic manuscripts (among which are the famous Diez albums and the Jahangir album), Hebrew manuscripts, Armenian manuscripts, and many others, including collections from Central Asia, South Asia, and South East Asia.

The Database of Oriental Manuscripts was developed by the Oriental Department of the Berlin State Library in collaboration with the Leipzig University Computation Centre, which is in charge of engineering and administrating the platform.