Archiving and scribal practices exhibited in Arabic and Persian texts and documents from the pre-Mongol Islamicate East

By Arezou Azad, Majid Montazer Mahdi,
Submitted to Session P6510 (Notions of the Archive in the Medieval Middle East, 2021 Annual Meeting
Afghanistan; Islamic World;
7th-13th Centuries;
LCD Projector with Audio Patch or Speakers;
Around 200 local manuscripts from pre-Mongol Afghanistan form the largest set of earliest Persian documents and literary manuscripts surviving, which were only made available online for research a few years ago. Arabic local texts from the pre-Mongol Islamicate East include sets found in Afghanistan dated to the 8th and the 11th-13th centuries CE. Some have been edited and translated, while others have only recently been made available for research and are being edited and translated by the Invisible East programme. Some questions that guide this presentation are: What do the Arabic and Persian texts tell about archival practices in the Islamicate East, and how do they relate to practices elsewhere in the medieval Islamicate world? What can we learn about the scribes from their use of Persian and Arabic in this largely non-Arabic speaking environment? The paper will summarise initial findings on archival and scribal practices that are exhibited from this set based on new research by the Invisible East programme.