During the winter of 1933-1934 I was working in the Vatican Library on various tasks, among them the translation of an Arabic work on the eye and its diseases—the Tadhkirat of `Alî ibn-`Îsâ, one of the few known complete manuscript copies of which is in the library. At the same time I was having photostat copies made of any other work bearing on early ophthalmic practice not already in the McGill General Medical or the Osler Library.
I was greatly aided in these quests by the invaluable assistance of the curator of Arabic manuscripts, Prof. Giorgio Levidella Vida, formerly of the University of Rome and a widely known oriental scholar. I asked him to make a survey of the manuscripts under his charge and note any titles likely to come under the head of my research.
My ambition to undertake the translation into English, with appropriate illustrations, notes, glossary, index and bibliography