OpenITI and the Fihrist

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The corpus of texts the KITAB project uses as the basis for its research is a subsection of the OpenITI corpus. It contains Arabic-language texts of the first 10 Islamic centuries – the OpenITI corpus also contains later texts, and texts in other languages.One of the recurring questions we face is whether our corpus is representative of the Arabic written tradition. One way we can approximate this is by comparing the authors and books in the corpus to those mentioned in (bio-)bibliographical works, lists of books (and sometimes, authors) produced by dedicated book-lovers over the centuries. For this first case study, we will use the earliest extant bio-bibliographical work in the Arabic tradition, Ibn al-Nadim’s Fihrist.