How to start

  • The URL for the site is
  • Searches can be in either Latin or Arabic script. A minimum of 3 characters (any part of a word or number) is needed to initiate a search. There is no provision for wildcards.
  • Presently, we can only make manuscript images accessible that are from the Staatsbibliothek (Berlin) or that are open access. In order to see the images using the DIVA viewer, you will need to navigate to the codex page of a witness. If images are available, you’ll see a field labeled <Digitalization  SEE SCANNED IMAGES>. A complete list of digitalized codices can be found in <DIGITALIZATIONS> under <BROWSE>.
  • To see how one might use the transitive query function, you can start with Jaghmīnī’s Mulakhkhaṣ and follow the commentary chains.
  • The <ISMI LAB> is part of more advanced features that are currently under development. The Query Builder tool allows for a wide range of queries for extracting data in interesting ways. It is a bit complicated so we have provided an example to follow.
  • The Neo4J graph database (under <ISMI LAB>) allows a user to obtain a visualization of the ISMI data using the cypher query language. Some sample commands can be found on the Neo4J sample commands page. For an example that returns a graphical interface for a place, you can try the following command <MATCH (n1 {ismi_id: 85658}) RETURN n1>. Double clicking on the place (Damascus) will indicate the existing relationships in the database. It may help to know that every object in the database has an ismi_id (85658=Damascus). Cypher queries are also generated in the Query Builder, but you’ll need to substitute the ismi_id for occurrences of {att_valx} in order to get a usable command for Neo4J.