Manuscript, Rare Book and Archive Studies at Princeton

MARBAS is the initiative of a group of faculty from across the Humanities committed to teaching the techniques at the core of humanistic research.

At the center of our research and teaching are manuscripts, archival documents, early printed books and other textual artifacts produced before 1600. 

Workshops & Working Groups

Reading groups and intensive workshops on codicology, paleography, digital methods and more

Digital Resources

Databases, digital collections and other resources for teaching and research

Codex Aureus

Stockholm Codex Aureus, National Library of Sweden, MS A. 135, 8th century.

Daode jing 道德經 scroll

Princeton University Art Museum, Daode jing 道德經, chapters 51–81, no. 1998-116 China, 270

Book of Curiosities - Sicily map

Upcoming Events

Joyce Bell | Arabic manuscripts – features, “extras”, oddities

Based on the Library’s holdings of the recently-digitized al-Madani collection of over 1,000 volumes, this talk will combine an illustrated overview of general characteristics of Arabic manuscripts with specific examples of unusual and interesting details.  Features which will be covered include binding, decoration, ownership marks, paper, illustrations, watermarks, and more.

Firestone Library - Special Collections
Christine Roughan | Studying Ancient Mathematics: the Editions of al-Ṭūsī

The ancient Greek Elements of Euclid and Almagest of Ptolemy saw continuing study and usage for centuries after their creation. This talk will jump ahead to the thirteenth century and Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī's project to produce revised editions of the ElementsAlmagest, and other curricular texts. Through these editions we will explore the composition of the medieval mathematical manuscript and the various strategies of editor and reader.

Firestone Library - Special Collections