The Azerbaijan State News Agency


“Nizami Ganjavi Manuscripts Union Catalogue and Database” project presented to scientific community

Baku, May 21, AZERTAC

The project “Nizami Ganjavi Manuscripts Union Catalogue and Database” was presented to the scientific community on Tuesday.

The three-year project seeks to gather precise information about the quantity and global dissemination of Nizami Ganjavi`s manuscripts, with the objective to create a unified resource that documents the quantity, sources, authenticity, and quality of these manuscripts.

On November 11, 2022, Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre adopted a project pertaining to the creation of union catalogue and database of Nizami Ganjavi's manuscripts.

Directors of the project are Professor of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford Edmund Herzig and Vice-president of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Rector of the Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Academician Nargiz Pashayeva.

The roundtable, held in Baku on May 20, welcomed prominent representatives of the scientific community of Azerbaijan, as well as scientists of ANAS and Baku State University, the orientalists.

Addressing the roundtable, Academician Nargiz Pashayeva highlighted the ongoing activities of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Center, which has been operating since 2013, and the pivotal role the centre plays in promoting the Nizami heritage.

Academician Nargiz Pashayeva mentioned the traditions of the oriental studies school in Azerbaijan, and the researches of outstanding orientalists, saying that the new project in this area allows the traditions of this school to be further strengthened and solidified, while also providing opportunities for young specialists to engage in fundamental research.

Providing insight into the project, Professor Edmund Herzig highlighted that scientists from three countries—Iran, Azerbaijan, and England—have come together for this initiative. He noted that the project aims to establish a union catalogue and an online database, which will allow global access to information about Nizami Ganjavi's works.

Elio Brancaforte, associate professor of the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies of Tulane University, USA, also spoke of the importance of the project, underscoring that Nizami Ganjavi's work highly intrigued worldwide.

The researchers of the project are Mir-Ansari, Professor of Persian Studies, University of Oxford, as well as Nasib Goyushov, Institute of Manuscripts of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, and Mohammad Emami from Wadham College, University of Oxford. The research team will provide quarterly progress reports to the Project Directors and will incorporate guidance from these into the project’s execution.

The event, then, featured discussions about the project. The speakers noted that nearly 4000 manuscripts of Nizami Ganjavi`s works have been copied repeatedly over approximately 600 years and widely dispersed accross libraries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the West. They emphasized the necessity of collecting information about these manuscripts because the existing data is scattered, outdated, and lacks essential codicological details. Many records also miss valuable marginalia, contain editorial inconsistencies, and include historical errors, while numerous significant manuscripts remain uncatalogued in private collections.

A Union Catalogue of Nizami Ganjavi`s works, initially as a database on the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) in Persian and English, with ongoing additions.

The catalogue will be published as a book in Persian and English (in Tehran) and Azerbaijani (in Baku) upon project completion.

Scholarly articles on Nizami manuscripts` history and codicology will also be produced.

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