ln 1995, the Fondation Max van Berchem awarded Jonathan Bloom, the American historian of Islamic art, a three-year grant to begin compilation of a third supplement to K. A. C. Creswell's A Bibliography of the Architecture, Arts and Crafts of Islam, covering publications from 1981-1995. Creswell, the great British scholar of Islamic architecture, started his monumental Bibliography in 1912 and published it in 1961. Covering publications to 1 January 1960, it contains over 15,000 entries arranged according to media and regions. The book was dedicated to the memory of Max van Berchem, Creswell's "perfect friend and perfect scholar." ln 1973, Creswell himself produced a first supplement, covering publications to the end of 1971, and a second supplement (compiled by the late J. D. Pearson, George T. Scanlon, and the late Michael Meinecke) covering publications from January 1972 to December 1980 was published in 1984, a decade after Creswell's death. Considering the increased interest during the 1980s in the history of Islamic art and architecture, the need for a third supplement had been obvious, but few qualified people had the means or the opportunity to devote the necessary time to the project. Several scholars suggested that Bloom undertake the project, and after consultation with the American University in Cairo Press, who had published the Bibliography and the two supplements, he agreed to do it in his spare time. The project has proposed to take the Bibliography to the end of 1995.
Considering the explosive growth of interest in the subject during the past decades, it is envisioned that the third supplement will contain nearly as many records as the original volume. The principal publication will be a printed bibliography that follows the hierarchical organization and format of the original and the two supplements, but the project will also begin the process of making the entire bibliography accessible to a wider audience through electronic publication, whether as an on-line service on the Internet or as a CD-ROM.
The purpose of the bibliography is to record all significant writings on the architecture, arts and crafts of the Islamic lands, whatever the language of publication. Each supplement has also filled in omissions in previous volumes, and the third supplement will do the same. The original bibliography and supplements were compiled on notecards, but now that computers are standard office equipment, the third supplement is being compiled electronically. ln an attempt to include relatively obscure publications, scholars have been invited to submit auto-bibliographies, and to date sorne 60 have been received. ln addition, Geoffrey Roper of the Islamic Bibliography Unit, Cambridge University Library, has generously made available the relevant entries collected for Index Islamicus during the relevant period. To those scholars who have submitted information, the project extends its heartiest thanks; to those who have not yet submitted auto-bibliographies or other information, it enthusiastically encourages them to do so.