Fihrist: Digital Scholarship inspired by a 10th-century Arabic source

Ms Yasmin Faghihi
Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Bibliographies, catalogues and indices have been and still are integral to scholarship. Where technology has facilitated the evolution and transmission of knowledge, it has also imposed its challenges. Over a millennium after the composition of the Fihrist of [al-]Nadim, in an age where digital scholarship attempts to exceed what ink on paper has inaugurated, we are still facing some of the same basic questions around identity, attribution and authenticity. This presentation introduces the on-line catalogue FIHRIST, and how the work of this project relates to its 10th-century namesake. 

Yasmin Faghihi has been Head of the Near and Middle Eastern Department at Cambridge University Library since 2004, in charge of printed and manuscript collections from the Islamicate world. Since 2009 Yasmin has been creating and coordinating contributions to the FIHRIST on-line catalogue of manuscripts. Yasmin teaches TEI for manuscript description and advocates the use of open source standards and the philosophy of sharing as intrinsic to the Digital Humanities. Her interest in manuscript studies emerged from studying an Arabic treatise on Medical Astrology and has evolved to include the history of collections and of papermaking in the Islamic world.

(Seminars start at 5.00 p.m.)