Garrett Davidson is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the College of Charleston. He studies the Islamic scholarly tradition, Arabic manuscript culture, and provenance history. He is author of Carrying on the Tradition: A Social and Intellectual History of Hadith Transmission across a Thousand Years.
This talk offers a preliminary analysis of the recently discovered al-Khānjī papers. The papers document Muḥammad Amīn al-Khānjī’s (d. 1938) business and scholarly activities from the 1920s to 1960s and provide an unparalleled window onto the world of the Arabic and Islamic manuscript trade in the first half of the twentieth century. The talk provides an overview of al-Khānjī’s activities and demonstrates the key role he played in the translocation of tens of thousands of Islamic manuscripts and formation of some of the major manuscript collections of the Middle East, Europe, and North America.