Ancient Arabic Manuscripts is a digital collection published by the Jafet Library at the American University of Beirut. The collection is expanding and currently features some twenty seven Arabic texts spanning the late eleventh through to the twentieth century. These include: the Tabeer al-Manamat, Shahr Hidaya, Majmu'ah, Al-tabr al-masbuk, Kitab fi'l-fiqh, and al-Thabt. Three of these are from the Mamluk period in Syria and Egypt, and the books themselves cover matters such as dream interpretation, philosophy and logic, advise on governing, and chronicles of travel. The introductory and explanatory pages of items in the collection are available in English and Arabic, but the texts themselves are in Arabic. A limited number of sections in each text have been digitised: for access to more substantial portions of a particular text, users must contact the university directly. There are no transcriptions available, which would be a welcome addition.
The website of Cambridge University Library's Near and Middle Eastern Department gives access to general information and catalogues related to the department's collections of books and manuscripts in the ancient and modern languages of the Near and Middle East. The history of the collections is described in an introductory page, and users can access the online library catalogue to search for specific resources. Of particular interest are the digital versions of five catalogues of Islamic and other manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Turkish held in the library's collections. The digitised catalogues, arranged by subject and including indexes, give brief descriptions of the manuscripts along with catalogue details. The site also includes a list of useful links to booksellers, libraries, and other organisations of interest to students and researchers concerned with the Near and Middle East.
The website of Dr. Youssef Ziedan, Director of the Manuscripts Center and Manuscripts Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, provides a wealth of information on Arab and Islamic heritage and manuscripts. It covers Arab and Islamic heritage in general through a series of themed articles and manuscript reproductions, and also provides information on specific collections of manuscripts. The site is available in English and Arabic, though some of the articles are only available in Arabic.
Arab and Islamic heritage are introduced through brief articles on different themes, including: preambles in manuscripts; laughter; cities of Islam; love; and luminaries of Islam. The site also includes audio files of Arabic poetry and prose, and video files of lectures on Arab and Islamic heritage. For those interested in Arabic and Islamic manuscripts, the site provides facsimilies of over 50 rare and mostly unpublished manuscripts. The Catalogs section of the site also gives detailed information on six collections of manuscripts in northern Egypt, along with a searchable database of their contents. The site is appropriate for a wide range of audiences, including advanced students of Arabic literature, and will be of particular interest to researchers in Arabic and Islamic Studies looking for information on manuscript collections and rare manuscripts.
The online catalogue for the Haddād manuscript collection, part of the Wellcome Library website, provides catalogue details for the 87 Arabic manuscripts in the library's collections. The manuscripts come from the collection of Dr Sami Ibrahim Haddād (1890-1957), a Lebanese physician and historian of medicine, and range from the 14th to the 20th centuries. They include works on medicine by a number of well-known Islamic scholars like al-Majusi and Ibn Sina, as well as works by Jewish authors writing in Arabic and lesser-known works written or transcribed by Christian Arabs, including Arabic versions of medical manuals by the 19th-century French physician who practised in Egypt, Antoine Barthelemy Clot Bey. The catalogue entries include information on the physical aspects and history of the manuscripts themselves as well as descriptions of the contents of the texts (in Arabic). The full catalogue entries must be viewed as PDF files. This resource allows researchers to consult the contents of the collection in detail before visiting the library to use the manuscripts themselves, and will be of interest to researchers in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies as well as those interested in the history of Islamic medicine.
The Islamic Manuscripts website, moderated by Professor Jan Just Witkam of Leiden University, provides inventories of major manuscript collections and a wealth of other information related to Islamic manuscripts. The website includes recent inventories of the Oriental manuscripts collections at Leiden University and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. It also has a reference library section, which gives access to digital versions of older catalogues of Islamic manuscripts from various European collections. In addition the reference library makes available many out-of-print or difficult to find articles and monographs related to Islamic manuscripts. Of particular interest to students of Islamic manuscripts and manuscript studies will be Professor Witkam's online course in Islamic palaeography, which provides an introduction to the subject as well as over 35 extracts from manuscripts in Arabic and Persian, with transcriptions and notes for students to guide them through different script styles. This website will be of particular interest to researchers and advanced students looking for catalogues and other information related to Islamic manuscripts.
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France makes available online scanned versions of a large number of catalogues for its collection of manuscripts from around the world. The website gives access to all these catalogues, but by clicking on the Manuscrits - Orient option the user is taken directly to a list of manuscript catalogues for the Near East and Africa. These include catalogues for manuscripts in Arabic (11 catalogues); Hebrew (one catalogue); Persian (four catalogues); and Turkish (two catalogues); as well as catalogues for manuscripts in other Near Eastern languages like Armenian and Syriac. The digitisation process is ongoing, and further catalogues will be added in the future. Although the catalogues are scanned as images and therefore not easily searchable, this resource makes available to researchers important catalogues for the library's significant collections of manuscripts for Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Studies.
By providing translations, this website aims to create access for the wider English-speaking Muslim public to writings by classical and contemporary Sunni scholarship. For the Islamic Studies student or researcher, this website can provide a look into the living heritage of medieval Sunnism. The Sunni scholarship that the translators of this website are concerned with reflect a more classical approach (described here as 'orthodox'), sympathetic to the approach of speculative theological schools as well as the teachings and practices of Sufis, and are dominantly from the Arab world (or at least wrote in Arabic). A section dedicated to biographies of such scholars can be found, as well as a collection of photographs of scholars from various parts of the Muslim world. Most of the translations given here are in PDF form, and are either from relatively short treatises, or small sections from larger works. In line with the contemporary concerns of traditional Sunni discourse, many of these papers attempt to defend the theological methodology of the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools as well the teachings of Sufism from attacks by more reformist Sunni streams. Although the quality of translation does vary from text to text,the standard of translation is usually good, and transliteration and citations are given in the style found in academic journal. A number of audio and video recordings of lectures in Arabic by contemporary scholars can also be found on this website, as well as an online forum.
The website of the Markaz Wadūd lil-Makhṭūṭāt [Wadud Centre for Manuscripts] provides digital facsimilies of over 700 manuscripts and 1400 books in Arabic on a variety of topics. The main focus of the site is Islamic manuscripts and manuscript catalogues, but it also includes manuscripts and books related to Arabic language and literature. The documents are downloadable as zipped .rar files. The site is available only in Arabic.
The manuscripts are accessed through the Khizānat al-Makhṭūṭāt [Manuscript Library] section and are arranged by topic or accessible through a search function. Major topics include: Islamic doctrine; the Qur'an; Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir); Hadith and Sunna; history and biography; Islamic jurisprudence; and language and literature. Each manuscript has an associated record that includes its source and a brief summary. The Fahāris wa-Kutub [Catalogues and Books] section provides a large number of manuscript catalogues, including those of major universities and national libraries in Europe and the Middle East. It also provides Arabic versions of Carl Brockelmann's Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur and Fuat Sezgin's Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums. The site will be of interest primarily to advanced students and researchers in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies looking for primary sources and manuscript catalogues.
The Islamic manuscripts section of the Princeton University Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections website provides researchers with digital versions of both published and unpublished catalogues of the manuscripts in the library's collections. The library holds the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts in North America, with 11,000 volumes of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts. The collection focuses on Islamic learning, but also contains examples of illuminated manuscripts and other arts of the book. The website gives access to scanned versions of three of the four published catalogues of the manuscript collections (1938 to 1987), and an unpublished 'Preliminary Checklist of Uncatalogued Islamic Manuscripts' (2004). The site also provides links to descriptions of specific collections of Arabic calligraphy, Arabic papyri, and illustrated Shahnamah manuscripts. This site will be a valuable resource for advanced researchers in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies looking for information on Islamic manuscript collections.
This is the website of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, a non-governmental research institute based in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The name Aal al-Bayt is a reference to the family of the Prophet Muhammad, to which Jordanian royal family claim descent. This choice of name is intentionally aimed at bringing together the various schisms within Islam, particularly that between Sunnis and Shi’is. This interest in dialogue and reconciliation extends also to inter-faith dialogue, and a list of the various events and publications organised by this institute can be found here, connected to both types of dialogue. The institute also is involved in funding and organising research in the study of Islamic thought and civilization. The list of fellows associated with the institute contains names of prominent Muslim researchers and teachers in both traditional and modern institutes of learning. A selection of some scholarly contributions (in both Arabic and English) on the subject of ‘Love in the Holy Quran’ (the topic of the Institute’s Fourteenth General Conference) can be freely accessed from the website. Together with this, one can find information on past, current and future activities organised by institute in the ‘Projects’ section.
This website describes the special collection of archives, manuscripts and rare books held at the University of Exeter Library. Whilst the collection exists to underpin the scholarly activities of the university, it is particularly strong in Arab and Islamic studies, visual culture, English literature (particularly that connected to South West England), Victorian and Imperial studies, and collections of religious and church parish material. These are described on the website, together with the current state of their documentation, and access arrangements. The website also includes information about exhibitions in the Special Collections Reading Room at the university, as well as links to related fine art and film resources also held here.