Prof. dr. J.J. (Jan Just) Witkam (Emeritus)

  • Professor emeritus
  • Palaeography and Codicology of the Islamic World

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2171
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SMES APT

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I want to teach my students how they must use sources which originate from another world and another era. I want to show them how the mechanisms of traditional Muslim scholarship function. With that I wish to deepen their insight into these sources and to teach them the approach and technique of Muslim scholarship in the pre-modern period. I also wish to make them understand how traditional Muslim scholars look at themselves and their enormous and magnificent book culture. Finally, I wish to teach my students how traditional scholarship in Islam functions today. The methods and techniques which are necessary for this philological handwork and for textual criticism will be handed down to them with the help of original source materials. With my colleagues in East and West I wish to share my expertise on the Leiden collections.


  • (1996) J.J. Witkam, "Brockelmann’s Geschichte revisited", voorwoord bij Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (GAL) von Carl Brockelmann, Leiden.
  • (1994) J.J. Witkam, Tussen handschrift en druk. De produktie van het handgeschreven boek in het Midden-Oosten in een tijd van overgang = Between manuscript and printed book [The production of the manuscript book in the Middle East in a period of transition], Leiden.
  • (1989) J.J. Witkam, "Hasan Kafi al-Aqhisari and his Nizam al-ulama ila khatam al-anbiya. A facsimile edition of MS Bratislava TF 136", with an annotated index, MME 4, Leiden.
  • (1983-date) J.J. Witkam, Catalogue of Arabic manuscripts in the library of the University of Leiden and other collections in the Netherlands, Leiden.
  • (1978) J.J. Witkam, Seven specimens of Arabic manuscripts preserved in the library of the university of Leiden, Leiden.

Last Modified: 11-12-2015