This Introduction aims to provide basic guidance to important areas of Syriac studies. The relevance of Syriac studies to a variety of other fields is explored. A brief orientation to the history of Syriac literature is offered, and Syriac is set within the context of the other Aramaic dialects. A thorough discussion on important tools (Instrumenta Studiorum) is presented; topics include grammars, dictionaries, the Bible in Syriac, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and relevant series, periodicals, and encyclopedias. This Introduction should prove useful both for the student beginning Syriac studies and for scholars working in adjacent fields.