KITAB's new data visualisation allows users to see the relationship between any two books in our corpus - here, we have chosen two books by the same ninth-century, Iraqi scholar, Ibn Qutayba (276/889).

Ibn Qutayba's al-Ma'arif is on the top, divided into 100 word chunks that run along the x-axis. His 'Uyun al-akhbar is on the bottom. The yellow lines connect chunks of up to 100 words found in the two books - the red bars represent the passages in each book. The lines cross because the passages occur in different parts of the books.


If you click on a red bar, you can see where the passage occurs in the other book, and after a moment, an alignment of the passages below. We indicate gaps in the alignment with dashes. Ibn Qutayba seems to have had a common stock of materials that made its way into these two books. The data on which the visualisation is based shows 61 common passages between the books, of anywhere between 10 and 69 words. We are analysing tens of thousands of data files such as this one for the broader patterns of reuse in the Arabic textual tradition.