Some Notes on the Arabic Manuscripts in the Northern History Research Scheme (NHRS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria (1962-2020)
Keywords:Arabic Manuscripts, Ajami, History, Classification, Preservation
From the establishment of the Northern History Research Scheme (NHRS) in 1962 to the present, there are 1,913 Arabic manuscripts in its various repositories. Despite the plethora of manuscripts covering virtually all the branches of Islamic literature ranging from theology, jurisprudence, Arabic language and literature, philosophy, and astronomy to astrology, many researchers often do not have easy access to the contents of the manuscripts due to a lack of proper classification, as well as some obscurity surrounding their provenance. Using a qualitative, historical and descriptive methodology, this paper throws a little new light on the historical evolution of NHRS, its repositories, classification of manuscripts, and its challenges and prospects. It is part of the findings of the paper that despite a large number of Arabic manuscripts in NHRS, little is known about its corpus (literature) and the group of scholars. This is because, out of the 1,913 Arabic manuscripts available in the NHRS repository, about 900 manuscripts are anonymous.