The Rare Book Room holds many examples of illuminated religious works. One example is the Islamic prayer book: Ibrahim el Shawki/Dala el El Karpat Shawareck El Anwar (loosely translated as “The Guides for Blessing and the Glowing of the Lights”). The book was donated to the library by the local bibliophile group, the Salisbury Club.
The binding is embossed leather with gilt floral decor. The 114 interior pages are made of vellum and consist of hand-painted in calligraphy with gold illumination. This type of calligraphy is only used in Islamic sacred texts.
This year, a conservator was hired to reback the book. This is an extremely common book repair, as the spine is the weakest part of a book. In rebacking, the front and back covers were retained and reused, and a new spine was created and attached to the cover. Click on any of the images for a larger view.