The Tenth Islamic Manuscript Conference: Manuscripts and Conflict

31 August – 2 September 2014
Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


The Islamic Manuscript Association is pleased to announce that the Tenth Islamic Manuscript Conference will be held at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge from 31 August – 2 September 2014. The conference will be hosted in cooperation with the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge.

The Tenth Islamic Manuscript Conference will be an occasion to reflect on progress in conservation, preservation, cataloguing, digitisation and research relating to Islamic manuscripts and manuscript collections during the decade since the founding of the Association and to look ahead to anticipated developments in these fields over the next ten years. The conference’s special theme — Manuscripts and Conflict — will also constitute a timely opportunity to consider the above subject areas within the intensifying contexts of acute social and political instability or military conflict. Invited keynote speakers, round table sessions, poster presentations, and workshops will promote active participation in a cutting-edge discussion of these subjects.

 Abstract submissions are invited on topics including but not limited to:

• General and specific developments in manuscript conservation, cataloguing, digitisation, and research during the last ten years; and anticipated future developments in these fields.

• Discussions of the role that independent organisations such as the Islamic Manuscript Association can and should play in developing and promoting basic practice and best practice in the above fields.

• Case studies of the effect of recent conflicts on Islamic manuscript collections (e.g. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Mali       the Balkans, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan)

• Case studies of recent or ongoing manuscript rescue efforts.

• Developing and implementing policies for disaster prevention and management, especially in less economically developed areas.

• The role of the international community and of large agencies such as UNESCO, INTERPOL, IFLA, and ICOM in determining and promoting disaster management policies.

• Technologies for preserving and conserving manuscripts following damage sustained during conflict.

• Digitisation of manuscripts in sub-optimal conditions.

• Security of manuscript collections, looting, and the role of the international art market.

• The role of national and international media and social networks during crises affecting cultural heritage.

• Ideological targeting of manuscript collections in both war and peace; ‘libricide’ and ‘biblioclasm’.

• The importance of cultural artefacts such as manuscript collections in post-conflict recovery.

In addition to the above, the Association will also consider submissions on topics that do not fall directly under the purview of the theme, but that are related to the conservation, digitisation, cataloguing, research, and publishing of Islamic manuscripts, and the care and management of Islamic manuscript collections.

This invitation is open to members and non-members of the Association. The languages of the Conference will be Arabic and English, and submissions will be accepted in both languages. The duration of each conference paper is 30 minutes inclusive of 10 minutes of questions and answers. The Association will pay for round-trip economy class travel to Cambridge, accommodation in Magdalene College, and College-based meals for authors whose papers are accepted. Revised versions of successful conference papers will be considered for publication in the Association’s peer-reviewed Journal of Islamic Manuscripts.

The deadline for submissions is 10.00 GMT on Monday, 11 November 2013. Please send your abstract of no more than 250 words, biographical statement of no more than 200 words, and the abstract cover sheet to: