THESAURUS D'EPIGRAPHIE ISLAMIQUE / The Thesaurus of Islamic Epigraphy

Ludvik KALUS Contribution

Fondation Max van Berchem, Genève


Founded, conceived, and directed by L. KALUS, co-directed by F. BAUDEN, developed F. SOUDAN

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The Thesaurus of Islamic Epigraphy project aims to collect all the Arabic, Persian and Turkish inscriptions, and even those in other languages of the Islamic world, up to the year 1000 AH. It already has its own history since the collection and computerization began at the end of the 1980s. The distribution was, from 1998, in the form of CD-Rom, then DVD-Rom, each new disk including one (possibly two or three) new delivery(ies) including inscriptions from a new region of the Islamic world. Since October 2011, that is to say since the 10th delivery, the database has been available, free of charge, on the Internet. In 2020, a final region was added to the already constituted set. Thus the tour of the Islamic world is completed.

Currently, the database contains some 50,800 files which present, in a critical way (whenever it is possible), the text of the inscriptions already published, while some texts are hitherto unpublished, presented here for the first time. There are also inscriptions whose existence is known from references in publications of all kinds and of which it is hoped that the text will one day be obtained. Many of the entries are illustrated with photographs from the Max van Berchem Foundation Photo Library and other collections. The database is now developed and works under the MySQL system (put online by Laurent Simon, University of Liège, CIPL). It continues to be regularly enriched and supplemented. Contrary to what we had announced in 2020, it will not be updated approximately every two years through releases. Rather any new entry, any correction or any bibliographic supplement will be available immediately and instantly visible to the user, thanks to MySQL. The system of releases is therefore abandoned.

If your scientific, educational or other activity can benefit from the consultationof inscriptions in languages used in the Islamic world (Arabic, Persian, Turkish or other languages), then the Thesaurus of Islamic Epigraphy is there for you.

Contact us at the following address: