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Libraries and Printing Activity in the Mameluke Era

MIT
11/24/2015
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  Library and Printing Activity were common among the educated people during periods of Islamic culture's outspread in civilized  centers in the whole Muslim world, and it's a sort of industry which includes copying, correction, cover binding, paper-photographing, calligraphy, writing, gilding and redecorating books, sale of paper and inks and other writing instruments and anything that helps take care of books.

  The Mameluke State was a Military Government that seized control of the influence and succession centers in East Islamic world for a period of time lasting more than two centuries and half, and particularly in the period between 648-923 AH,  and it extended its power from Egypt to Syria, Iraq and parts of the Arab Island and two Southern of Minor Asia (Turkey presently)

 

Because of the unique courage and valor that characterized the Mamelukes, they contributed an important role in Islamic history; where they repelled Mongols crowd in the battle of Ein-Gialu'th, and  the end of Crusader invasion in 690 AH  which lasted for two centuries, came in their hands. They played an important role in urban and military renaissance in Islamic world, and through this article, we will address the dimensions of cultural renaissance during this period eras of Islamic history in two dimensions; namely: the spread of public libraries and bookcases, and prosperity of the Library and Printing Activity.

  The libraries spread in the Mameluke period in an unprecedented way which never happened in bygone times, there were no school in Egypt and Shaa'm unless they were occupied by a public library, and no mosque unless it contains library, and each library had a "librarian" and it was the custom for this librarian to be a scientist or a scholar, and it verify the reason why Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqala'ny was the treasurer (librarian) of Mahmudiya library till he died in 852 AH, and was Shams al-Din Mohammed bin Saad As-See'raany also a treasurer of As-Sheiku'niyyah library. And the endowment libraries spread out in that period reaching the fact that Abu Hayyan the grammarian used to dishonor the person buying books by his saying: "God bless you mind you live with it, but me, if I need any book, I borrow it from the endowment library".

  To prove the large number of endowment libraries, their spread out and excellence in that era, Al-Maqreezy talked about the schools at length, but he stoped at one of them called "School of Mahmu'diyya, describing its contents and says: "that school contained bookcases that neither Egypt's bookshops contain nor Shaa'm, which still remain and nobody can have access to them unless they are to be used at school, and this Library contains all sorts of Islamic books, and this school is one of the best schools in Egypt ", and this utterance concludes that the libraries in the Mameluke era knew the system of archiving, coordination and distribution of books, adjusting the system of borrowing, and they contained precious ammunitions which gave them a precious characteristic far from the contemporary libraries.
 

 






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