This large collection (in excess of 16000 titles) includes primary sources and studies in Arabic, Persian and Turkish on all aspects of Islam and Muslim theology, history, literature and language. It includes material on all traditional branches of Islamic learning.
History and development
Works in the principal Islamic languages came first came into the library around the year 1620. Since then, the collection has been expanded systematically, through purchase and donation.
Because of its long history in collecting Oriental material, the library has large numbers of early imprints, with many Bulaq editions, Ottoman Turkish texts and early European publications of Islamic texts. The collection is particularly strong in the Islamic sciences (tafsir, hadith, fiqh etc..), early history and classical literature ('adab' in the widest sense).
General arrangement and access regulations
Printed books are arranged by language, are classified by subject within the languages.
Subjects of the Collection
Regions of Asia
Near & Middle East and North Africa.
Languages of material
Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928).
Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Philosophy, Religion.
Almost all the material in this collection is accessible through the main library catalogue. Some material published prior to 1979 has not been entered fully into the on-line catalogue, and readers must refer to the old guardbook catalogue next to the main reading room. This applies especially to Ottoman Turkish books.
Catalogue transliteration schemes
Libary of Congress
Arabic and Persian script is present in catalogue records for recent publications added to the catalogue since 2000.