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Library Research Guides

Islamic Manuscript Studies

Resources for the study of manuscripts produced in the Islamic world and the manuscript cultures they represent.

Vlad Atanasiu's Resources for the Study of Manuscripts in Arabic Characters

Resources for the Study of Manuscripts in Arabic Characters from Vlad Atanasiu, including:

"online database & Open Source software"

"tool for laid lines density measurements from paper structure reproductions"

"suppressing or reinforcing regular patterns in digital images"

For more detail, see:


HathiTrust Data Availability and APIs

HathiTrust bibliographic metadata, page images, OCR generated text, etc. can be retrieved via the HathiTrust Bibliographic and Data APIs (more at

"Bibliographic API

The Bib API returns bibliographic, copyright, and volume information (including permanent URLs) when queried with a variety of standard identifiers (e.g., ISBN, LCCN, OCLC, etc.). The API has controls to return brief or full bibliographic metadata.

Data (page images, OCR text, and associated metadata)

HathiTrust has developed a Data API that makes it possible to retrieve page images, OCR text, rights information, and a variety of other data about objects in the repository. A draft specification for the API has been made available for comment from the HathiTrust partners. Please read the most recent Monthly Update for current status information."

Digitized manuscripts from the Islamic Manuscripts Collection at the University of Michigan appear in HathiTrust (cf.;c=1961411403) and thus descriptive data and images for those manuscripts can be retrieved using the Bibliographic API and Data API described above. OAI can also be used to harvest the bibliographic records.


Image processing application, particularly helpful for revealing otherwise hidden features through transformation to other colorspaces...

See a splendid use of this application by Ursula Sims-Williams in her post "An overlooked 17th century illustrated Shahnamah" at


Open source image processing software package



Tool for collaborative transcription