The IIS holds a repository of nearly three thousand rare, and in some cases unique, manuscripts, relating to a variety of aspects of Ismaili and broader Muslim heritage. Areas covered include history, theology, law, doctrines, and socio-religious practices. Our manuscripts originate from different regions of the Middle East, Iran, and Central and Southern Asia. They are mainly in Arabic, Persian and a variety of Indic languages.
ISCU’s research work relates not only to the literary traditions in these manuscripts but also to the religious heritage of Ismaili communities in particular, and of Muslim and other traditions more broadly. In addition, it seeks to engage with the often neglected manuscript traditions of the texts, including scribal culture, cultural practices embedded in the production of the manuscripts, and the genealogy of the texts as they have come to be transmitted within different circles.
ISCU’s Oral History Project seeks to preserve the history of significant events and social changes, as well as the intangible cultural heritage—such as oral traditions, devotional literature, languages, performing arts, rituals, festivals, and indigenous arts and crafts—of the diverse Ismaili communities around the world.Read more