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University of Manchester to digitise rare Koran

20th January 2011

A project at the University of Manchester will allow academics to study the Rylands Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri for the first time.

The holy book is held at the university's John Rylands Library, but scholars are unable to examine it as its pages are thought to be 500 years old and are too fragile to be regularly handled.

However, the university is to digitise its 470 pages, each of which are the size of an average plasma television, and make the images freely available on a dedicated website.

The site will also allow the leaves of the Rylands Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri to be viewed alongside two of its missing pages, which were discovered at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin in the 1970s.

Dr Andreas Christmann, senior lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Manchester's school of arts, histories and cultures, said: 'By digitising the entire manuscript and adding the missing chapters, it will produce an almost complete Qur'anic manuscript of magnificent size and splendid craftsmanship.'

This week, the Cambridge University Library opened a five-month exhibition charting the development of the King James Bible, which includes examples of the source material utilised by its original translators.
 

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