First open to the public in 1909 in Baltimore, the Walters Museum began as the collection of William Thompson Walters and his son, Henry. Bequeathed to the city of Baltimore in 1931, the collection has grown to include 35,000 artifacts from "ancient Egyptian mummy masks and medieval armor to 19th-century French impressionism and turn-of-the-century art deco." The Walters collection also includes significant Islamic manuscripts. In 2008, the museum received an NEH grant to catalog and digitize 236 of these illuminated manuscripts dating from the 9th to the 19th centuries containing 53,000 folios (2-page spreads). This exhibition is based on the NEH grant work, and permits visitors to view the manuscripts in an online, page-turner format. For example, W.658 is Kitab-i Bahriye (Book of the Sea), with a Map of the Bay of Salonica, and includes 240 maps and charts, while W.568 is a manuscript fragment of the Qur'an from the 12th century, written on Italian paper in a large Maghribi script.
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