A Qur’an, named the ‘Qansuk al Ghuri’, coined after the Egyptian Mamluk who had the Qur’an commissioned in the early 16th Century, is being digitised in Manchester. The project is being undertaken by the John Rylands Library in Manchester, with the large fragile copy being scanned in page by page to preserve the ancient text online. The Qur’an is one of the world’s largest copies, and was originally bought by John Rylands’ wife Enriqueta in 1901.
Facts about the Qansuk al Ghuri Qur’an
- Each of the 470 pages measures 35in by 24in, the size of a large plasma screen TV.
- The ornate book was written by several scribes and illuminators for Qansuk al Ghuri, the penultimate Mamluk Sultan of Egypt.
- The paper it is written on was made from bombycine, a silken fabric which after sizing is polished with smooth stones so that the ink sits on the surface rather than being absorbed (similar in properties to vellum).
- Historians disagree on when it was written, with estimates ranging from the second half of the 14th century to 1500.
- It was kept in the Sultan’s library in Cairo and was eventually acquired by the Earl of Crawford.
- The Qur’an was one of several manuscripts which formed the Crawford Collection, artefacts acquired by various Earls of Crawford, which was bought by Enriqueta Rylands in 1900 and became part of her husband’s library the John Rylands Library.
- The library eventually formed part of the University of Manchester in 1972 which is where it is now.
Source – The Daily Mail Online, 19.01.11