The first major text-searchable online archive of pre-twentieth-century Arabic printed books

Based on A.G. Ellis’s catalogue of the British Library’s collection, Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library includes examples from over 400 years of books printed in Arabic script as well as translations into European and Asian languages from the period. Together, they demonstrate Europe’s fascination, study, and assimilation of ideas and knowledge originating in the Arabic-speaking world, with its rich heritage of science, poetry, and Islamic texts.

Scholars can search on the full text of items in Arabic, English, French, German, Latin, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish while also being able to discover content in Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac, and seventeen other languages.

Full-text searching capabilities created with newly developed optical character recognition software (OCR) for early Arabic printed script ensures that scholars in Arabic-speaking countries and those engaged in Arabic studies across the world can equally cross-search Arabic-language materials and research this extensive range of texts.

Collections

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogues, and Periodicals

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogues, and Periodicals is a full-text searchable archive of early Arabic printed books from a range of genres that provide additional background and multiple points of entry into the study of the cultural, intellectual, and social lives of the people of the Middle East.

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Religion and Law

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Religion and Law is a full-text searchable archive of early Arabic printed books on Islamic literature, including numerous editions of the Qur'an with translations and commentaries, traditions (hadith), works of the religious life, and Islamic law materials such as fiqh, statutes, and rulings, all of which provide insight and multiple points of entry into the study of the cultural, intellectual, and social lives of the people of the Middle East.

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Sciences, History, and Geography

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Sciences, History, and Geography is a full-text searchable archive of early Arabic printed books on medicine and physiology, classical sciences, mathematics, astrology, chemistry, natural history, philosophy, logic and ethics, politics, history and genealogy, biography, travel, geography, and much more. This collection presents the range of Arab learning that influenced the scholarship and scientific development in Europe through the Middle Ages and Early Modern period.

Platform Features & Tools

Optical Character Recognition

Full-text searching across Arabic language texts with newly developed optical character recognition software (OCR).

Arabic-Language User Interface

Meet the research needs of Arabic speakers with a complete and selectable Arabic interface with right-to-left text and navigation.

Subject Indexing

Library of Congress Subject Indexing to facilitate discovery and research of content by subject.

Learn more about the Gale Primary Sources Platform »