Corpus Coranicum hopes to shed light on the history of the Qur'an

A team of scholars at Germany’s Berlin-Brandenberg Academy of Sciences is about to complete the first phase of the Corpus Coranicum, a 20 year project to create "a central repository of imagery, information, and analysis about the Muslim holy book."

The experts began their search with the oldest known versions of the Qur'an from Istanbul, Cairo, Paris, and Morocco, with hopes of gaining access to other editions in the Muslim world. “I think it is a big deal,” says Jane McAuliffe, the editor of the Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an and the president of Bryn Mawr College, “it’s a wonderful opportunity to do something that the field of Koranic studies has wanted to do for a long time.”

The project, however, is not without controversy. Many conservative Muslim scholars are opposed to the holy book being exposed for general discussion on the internet.