OMAR comprises microfilms of approximately 2600 Arabic and Ḥassānīya manuscripts recorded by Ulrich Rebstock,
Rainer Oßwald and Tobias Mayer between 1978 and 1997 in cooperation with the Institut Mauritanien de Recherche
Scientifique (IMRS, Nouakchott) in over 300 different private and public libraries in Mauritania. The projects
were funded by the German Foreign Office and the DFG.
"The research assignment with which Rainer Oßwald and I [Ulrich Rebstock] were sent to the IMRS, which had
been founded shortly before, was to view, collect and preserve Arabic manuscripts in Mauritania. The vagueness of
this formulation can only be explained by the state of knowledge at the time. It was based mainly on the catalogue
provisoire, scattered French library descriptions - and rumours. The subsequent journeys through central, southern
and eastern Mauritania in search of libraries and manuscripts fundamentally revised this state of knowledge. The
spread, number and quality of the manuscripts found proved the existence of a literature whose recording and
description seemed both urgent and unfeasible."
A short catalogue of all manuscripts and their metadata can be found in:
- Ulrich Rebstock, Sammlung der arabischen Handschriften in Mauretanien. Kurzbeschreibungen von 2.239
Manuskripteinheiten und Indices, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1989.