Wadham's 16th century Qur'an

24th April 2017

News, Student news, Alumni news

Wadham’s magnificent, recently restored 16th century Qur’an evokes fascinating discussion in two new short films produced by Wadham Library.

Dr Francesca Leoni, Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum and Matilda Agace, Wadham College undergraduate student discuss the creation of this elaborate manuscript and its ownership across the years.

In the first of two films, Francesca and Matilda look at how the book was made and how it reflects general practice of Qur’anic manuscripts in Persia and across the Islamic tradition as well as its specific history as a manuscript made in early 1600 Shiraz to form part of the Persian Royal Court collection. Matilda explains how the book changed hands over the years and what can be learned of its history.

Play Discussing the Qur'an

The second film explores the meaning of the word Qur’an and explains how this Holy Book of Islam, the basis of Muslim faith, came into existence. Dr Leoni explains the different cursive styles used in the book and the use of illuminations and ‘medallions’ not only as decoration but as markers of verse divisions. She also comments on the regular usage of books such as this one.

The films were made by Wadham Librarian Tim Kirtley as part of a series of films which can be viewed in the Library’s virtual cinema. Other films in the collection include the Wadham Gospels, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wiffen and a history of Wadham Library. More

The Qur’an is part of the rare book collection at Wadham College Library.

Play Wadham's 16th century Qur'an

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