Judging Books by Their Covers


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While in Palestine I visited over a dozen libraries and archives, and got to take a look at an entire world of books that was previously unknown to me. One of the things that really jumped out at me was the creative use of the spines on multi-volume sets. For a large number of collections of poetry, legal documents, and religious books, there is a tradition of creating beautiful and intricate titling sequences that across the spines of multiple books, sometimes up to 20 or 25. I took quick point-and-shoot photos of fifteen of these sets so I could share them with you here on the blog. Unfortunately I don't have much more info about these books, as I don't read Arabic and there is little in English about the Arab-language publishing industry and traditions. But maybe some of you out there have more info? Send it along if you do!
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And here are some flash transliterations from my co-delegates to Palestine, Elisabet and Blair:
1. Sunan Ibn Majah
2. Kamil fi al-Tarikh (Ibn al-Athir)
3. al-Mughni al-Sharh al-Kabir (al-Maqdisi)
4. Tabaqat al-kubra (Ibn Sa'ad)
5. Lisan al-Arab (Ibn Manzur)
6. Mu'jam al-buldan (Ya'qut al-Hanawi)
7. Kashf al-Zunun (Haji Khalifah)
8.Tarikh al-hadarat al-Aam
9. Shams al-Ulum (al-Himyari)
10. Jami al-masanid wa-al-sunan (al-Safi'i)
11. al-Targhib wa-al-Tarhib (Abd al-Azim ibn Abd al-Qawi al-Mundhiri)
12. Qissat Tarikh al-Hadarat al-Arabiyah
13. al-Hawi al-Kabir (al-Shafi'i)
14. al-Sunan al-Kubra (al-Bayhaqi)
15. Jami al-Ahadith al-Kabir (Suyuti)
She says they are all famous classics in a variety of subjects.



Posted July 22, 2013 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers