Memory of the World

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Manuscript collection of the Gazi Husrev-Beg Library

Manuscript collection of The Gazi Husrev-beg Library in Sarajevo consists of 10,585 units of unique manuscripts, which comprise about 20,000 texts of varying length in the fields of Islamic sciences, oriental languages, belles-lettres, philosophy, logic, history, medicine, veterinary science, mathematics, astronomy and others. Since similar collections of Oriental institute and National Library of B&H have been mostly destroyed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) this collection is the most valuable Islamic manuscripts collection in the Balkans area at this time. A great number of manuscripts originated either through writing or copying in various parts of the Islamic world, especially in important centers of learning such as Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Baghdad and, especially, Istanbul. The oldest preserved manuscript was copied in 1105, A.D. Some of the manuscripts are distinguished by out- standing calligraphy and decoration. They usually consist of golden background as well as decoration on the margins. Particular attention was paid to binding so that covers were usually made from the finest leather, in different colors, and with gilt embossed rosettes. The complete collection is catalogued, microfilmed and digitized.

Photos: © The Gazi Husrev beg  Library

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