This catalogue is the outcome of a joint project that was conducted by the National Center for Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Committee for Archives and Documentation Management of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and IRCICA. It is a systematic and annotated inventory of an important Arabic-script collection that is part of the written cultural heritage of Kazakhstan preserved by the National Center for Manuscripts and Rare Books. The works are recorded in the catalogue under three main sections: manuscripts, lithographic books, and rare printed publications. They are in Arabic, Persian, Chaghatay, Tatar and other languages. As indicated in the Summary included at the beginning of the catalogue, most of the books in Arabic script are Islamic literature published in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These include works on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), Islamic theology (kalam), exegesis on the Holy Qur’an (tafsir), and traditions (hadith). There are also works on Arabic grammar, rhetoric, prose, poetry, and dictionaries. The works in Persian consist mainly of poetry. Those in Turkic languages encompass a wide range of subjects, from Qur’anic studies to chronicles on history and poetry. On the whole, the catalogue reflects a significant segment of the cultural history of Kazakhstan and its region. It will serve as a reference for studies in codicology and palaeography, as well as on philosophy and literature.
The main part of the catalogue with its three sections is followed by indices of titles and authors, the glossary, the bibliography, and the paleographic album.