Categorized as Terms


Related Terms:

  • Abri / Ebru (paper marbling)
  • Colophon (brief statement about a book’s making)
  • Frontispiece (illustrated page (or pages) preceding the title page of a book)
  • Kaʿba (epicenter of the Islamic world and the direction towards which Muslims pray)
  • Khatt (line, trace, writing)
  • Muraqqa‘ (album)
  • Naqqash (decorator, designer)
  • Qalam (pen, especially one made from a dried and cut reed)
  • Safina (oblong-shaped manuscript)
  • Waqf (charitable foundation)

Related Khamseen Videos:

Sabiha Göloğlu, “Touching Mecca & Medina: The Dalā’il al-Khayrāt and Devotional Practices,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 28 August 2020.

Marika Sardar, “The Gwalior Qur’an,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 28 August 2020.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım, “The Birth Scene of Iskandar (Alexander the Great),” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 9 February 2021.


Anonymous. “Arzadasht” [“Progress Report,” ca. 1430]. In Album Prefaces and Other Documents on the History of Calligraphers and Painters, translated by Wheeler M. Thackston, 43–46. Leiden: Brill, 2001.

Berlekamp, Persis, Vivienne Lo, and Wang Yidan. “Administering Art, History, and Science in the Mongol Empire: Rashid al-Din and Bolad Chengxiang.” In Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts, edited by Amy S. Landau, 53–85. Baltimore and Seattle: The Walters Art Museum and University of Washington Press, 2015.

Blair, Sheila, ed. A Compendium of Chronicles: Rashid al-Din’s Illustrated History of the World. London: Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth and Oxford University Press, 1995.

Blair, Sheila. “Calligraphers, Illuminators, and Painters in the Ilkhanid Scriptorium.” In Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, edited by Linda Komaroff, 165–182. Leiden: Brill, 2006.

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry, eds. Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989.

Rice, Yael. “Workshop as Network: A Case Study from Mughal South Asia.” Artl@s Bulletin 6, no. 3 (2017): 51–65.

Seyller, John. “Scribal Notes on Mughal Manuscript Illustrations.” Artibus Asiae 48, no. 3/4 (1987): 247–77.

Sezer, Yavuz. “The Architecture of Bibliophilia: Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Libraries.” PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016.

Simpson, Marianna Shreve. “The Making of Manuscripts and the Workings of the Kitab-khana in Safavid Iran.” Studies in the History of Art 38 (1993): 104–121.

Simpson, Marianna Shreve. Princeton’s Great Persian Book of Kings: The Peck Shahnama. Princeton, NJ and New Haven, CT: Princeton University Art Museum and Yale University Press, 2015.

Uluç, Lâle. “Selling to the Court: Late-Sixteenth-Century Manuscript Production in Shiraz.” Muqarnas 17, no. 1 (2000): 73–96.


Yael Rice, “Kitabkhana,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 20 September 2022.

Yael Rice is associate professor of art history at Amherst College. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in the art and architecture of South Asia, Central Asia, and Iran, with a particular focus on manuscripts and other portable arts of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries.