Picture: Cod. arab. 512, Bl. 126v.
A page from the collection of poems of the famous Arabic poet al-Mutanabbi (d. 965 CE). The commentary is partly written in smaller script below the verses that are explained and partly in zig-zag shape in the margins. The marginal notes refer to the glossed words in the text by small red numbers, just as it is the case in modern footnotes. The copy was written in 1516 CE, probably in Egypt. Bavarian State Library Munich, Cod. arab. 512, fol. 126v.

The Project: General Information

The Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections (Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland = KOHD) is a research project of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, financed by both the German federal government and the German states in the framework of a commission supporting education and research (Akademienprogramm der Gemeinsamen Wissenschaftskonferenz <GWK> von Bund und Ländern).

The creation of a Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections was suggested in 1957 by German orientalists; it was founded by Wolfgang Voigt, the then director of the Oriental Department at the Westdeutsche Bibliothek at Marburg, under the auspices of the German Orientalist Society (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) and financed until 1989 by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). In 1990 it became a research project of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is due to continue until 2022. In 1996, the Union Académique Internationale, Bruxelles, placed the union catalogue as project C 53 under its patronage.

The project's aim is to register manuscripts in Oriental scripts and languages which have not yet been catalogued, and to make them accessible through printed catalogues.

Catalogues as well as studies dealing with specific manuscripts are being published in the publication series Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland (VOHD) by the Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart, edited by the project's director on behalf of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. Yearly reports on the project are published in the Jahrbuch der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen.

The current supervisors and the employees of the project are listed under "Workgroups" left; the contributions of numerous other scholars, past and present, are documented by the titles in the Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland.