The David Thomas Gochenour Collection of Zaydi Yemeni Manuscripts
In 1984, David Thomas Gochenour completed a study titled “The Penetration of Zaydi Islam into Early Medieval Yemen,” which was submitted as a doctoral dissertation to Harvard University in May 1984. It was followed by Gochenour’s study, “A Revised Bibliography of Medieval Yemeni History in light of Recent Publications and Discoveries,” published in volume 63 (1986) of Der Islam. Both publications constituted important landmarks in the scholarly exploration of Zaydism at the time—Gochenour’s doctoral dissertation was a first attempt to write a social history of Yemeni Zaydism during the medieval period, and his 1986 article provided a first comprehensive overview of the relevant historical sources, Sunni, Zaydi, and Ismāʿīlī, and the publication activities in Yemen at the time. Having spent a fair amount of time in Yemen himself, Gochenour was involved in direct conversation with some of the leading Yemeni historians at the time and he had access to some of the public and private libraries. During the preparation of his studies, Gochenour assembled a remarkable collection of manuscript surrogates, in microfilm as well as on paper. On 31 March 2022, D. Thomas Gochenour visited the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton NJ and donated at this occasion his collection to the library of the IAS. In doing so, he wishes to make the material accessible to scholarship. To facilitate this, I am presenting here an annotated list of the holdings of David Thomas Gochenour Collection, which can be accessed through the Historical Studies–Social Science Library of the Institute for Advanced Study. The material may be consulted by scholars by appointment in the Library. Selected items that are not accessible in digital form elsewhere, will also be digitized and made accessible through the Zaydi Manuscript Tradition Project (ZMT) that is jointly curated by the Institute for Advanced Study and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML).
Sabine Schmidtke, "The David Thomas Gochenour Collection of Zaydi Yemeni Manuscripts," Shii Studies Review 7 (2023), pp. 374–395