American Univesity of Beirut

Upcoming events: The Islamic Manuscript Association presents “The Value of Old Paper” lecture and the “Introduction to Islamic Codicology” course

​​​​​​The Islamic Manuscript Association

The Value of Old Paper
Lecture presented by Professor Jan Just Witkam
22 April 2015, 18:30 Nabil Boustany Auditorium, Van Dyck Building, American University of Beirut

Paper that since the industrial revolution had become a disposable material, made in seemingly inexhaustible quantities, is nowadays becoming a rare commodity in libraries, archives, and museums. Attempts to preserve our archives on paper have, for the moment, miserably failed on a world-wide scale.

That brings the question of the value of old paper (if it has any) to the foreground. How can we determine this value, and what is the difference between value and price? Or in other words: do we use our memory in order to retain moments of the past, or is a memory, in fact, the ruthless filter by which most of our history is discarded? The speaker will make an attempt to find his way in the labyrinth of opinions that are available and he will use moments of his own life-long love story with paper as a source of inspiration.

Attendance is free of charge, but registration is advisable. For a more complete lecture summary or to register please visit
or email

The Islamic Manuscript Association
20–24 April 2015, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

The Islamic Manuscript Association, in cooperation with the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the American University of Beirut, is pleased to announce a short course, Introduction to Islamic Codicology

This intensive course will introduce the study of Islamic manuscript codices as physical objects, or the archaeology of the Islamic book. The full course, which includes morning lectures and hands-on afternoon sessions, filled up very quickly. However, there is still an opportunity to register for morning lectures.

These are a rich five days of lectures illustrated with examples from AUB’s own archives. The price for this is $85 and includes the book: Islamic Codicology: An Introduction to the Study of Manuscripts in Arabic Script by François Déroche.

The course will be taught by Prof. Jan Just Witkam, professor emeritus of codicology and paleography of the Islamic world at the University of Leiden and editor-in-chief of The Islamic Manuscript Association’s Journal of Islamic Manuscripts.

For more information or to register, please email or visit

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