To support: Cataloging and digitizing 236 Islamic illuminated manuscripts, which contain 53,000 folios that date from the 9th to the 19th centuries. Images and catalog data would be freely accessible via the museum's Web site and available through a portal maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
Islamic Manuscripts of the Walters Art Museum: A Digital Resource will turn the illuminated and illustrated Islamic manuscripts of the museum, which are currently inaccessible to all but a tiny minority, into the Islamic Digital Resource (IDR), aiding in their preservation, and making them accessible. WAM?s collection of 236 medieval Islamic manuscripts remains underused both by the public and by scholars in the field, at least in part because the codices have never been catalogued. Current technology now allows for the possibility of cataloguing these books, generating digital images of the bindings of these manuscripts, and the 53,000 folios contained within them, and combining this information to create searchable digital surrogates. Through IDR we expect to open these closed books to all, and to provide different audiences with the information and the interfaces that they will need to mine this invaluable resource.