MANUSCRIPTS OF THE ISLAMIC LIBRARIES IN JERUSALEM
This scientific paper aims at exploring Islamic manuscripts in the Jerusalem libraries. The researcher has reached to the conclusion that those manuscripts are distributed over seven libraries in the city , namely, those of Al-Aqsa mosque, Al-Khaldiya, Budairi, Uzbeki, Al-Quds university, Isaaf Nashashibi for culture, art and literature as well as the library of the Reviving Heritage and Islamic Research Foundation in Jerusalem (Mithaq). While three of these libraries are family-owned, the other four are public and belong to the charitable Waqf. These libraries currently contain seven thousand manuscripts of seventeen thousand ones priorly existed under the Ottoman rule. This paper seeks to probe reasons behind the disappearance of this large number of the manuscripts. However, the manuscripts existing in each library will be discussed in some detail and will be categorized by the century in which they were authored or transcribed, theme ( number of manuscripts tackling a certain theme and by language they are written in. It is worth mentioning that Arabic is the dominant language, albeit Turkish, Persian and Uzbek are also used. The paper concludes with some recommendations for the sake of preserving the remaining manuscripts via inciting both private and public relevant institutions to exert efforts in this regard.
Keywords: Manuscript, Family-Owned Libraries, Charitable Waqf Libraries