As for August 2001 the Manuscript Heritage project is at our knowledge the first manuscripts-catalogue-styled database of Arabic script manuscripts to be queried online on the internet.

The Hermitage Museum offers a thematic search engine for several of its Persian miniatures and paintings, with additional color and layout search possibility.

Arabic documents are to be found among the Genizah materials of the Cambridge University Library through a general query form.

Only the Czech National Library has given online access to their whole collections of Arabic and Persian mansucripts in form of web pages combining textual descriptions with digitised images (without querry possibility on specific fields), while a few collections have started to make available parts of their holdings. Most libraries however currently display a very limited number of sample images of Arabic script manuscripts.

> National Library of Medicine, MD, USA - Catalogue, historic overview & exhibition
> Duke University, NC, USA - Arabic Papyri
> National Library of Yemen, Sana'a - a dozen Qur'anic manuscripts
> Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Istanbul, Turkey - scientific manuscripts
> Pennsylvania University, PA, USA - Study of a XIXth c. Indo-Persian ms on Arts and Crafts ndex.html
> The Shahname Project, Cambridge, Princeton, NJ, US - Collection of links
> The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland - Six sample folios

Work on Latin script manuscripts is rapidly evolving towards a comprehensive standard for the description of manuscripts and its implementation in SGML/XML language. Various solutions for on-line consulting of manuscripts are up and running on the Web, with among them several substantial databases. They could serve as references for the future developments in the Arabic script manuscripts field.

The European initiative is called MASTER - Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records, is based at the De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, with correspondents through whole Europe, and is founded by a grant of the European Commission.

From the French side, the Institute of Research on the History of Texts, Paris/Orleans, is collaborating to the project.

In the United States the main effort comes from Digital Scriptorium project of the University of California, in Berkley, and the EAMMS - Electronic Access to Medieval Manuscripts, a joint project of the Monastic Hill Library, MI and the St. Louis University, MO, with founding from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for Humanities.

The EU and US projects have set up a common TEI - Text Encoding Initiative workgroup to develop the SGML/XML manuscript description standard.

At the United Nations level, the Memory of the World UNESCO program is founding several independent projects related to Arabic scripts manuscripts, which have adopted their own methodological and technical solutions, mainly based on HTML and CD-Rom diffusion.

> Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer, Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria
> Czech National Library, Prague, Czech Republic - The whole Arabic mss collection
> Egyptian National Library, Cairo, Egypt
> The Sana'a manuscripts, Sana'a, Yemen
> Zanzibar National Archives, Zanzibar, Tanzania
> Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Istanbul, Turkey - scientific manuscripts
> Süleymaniye Library, Istanbul, Turkey

A mention should be made of the HUMI Project of the Keio University in Tokyo, for the outstanding quality achieved in reproducing manuscripts (no Arabic script). In conjunction with the British Library, they provided full online access to the two BL Gutenberg Bibles. ------------

Additional ressources to electronic manuscripts are to be found among the bookmarks.