Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library

Five Centuries of Arabic Printed Works.

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library supports comparative approaches to the study of the Middle East and the Muslim world and inspires original research on Islamic religion, history, language, literature, and science. It is an essential resource for every major library needing Arabic primary source material for research, teaching, and learning.

تفسير القرآن :تصانيف أحمدية [Taṣānīf i Aḥmadiyyah: tafsīr al-Qurʾān]. Trans. سيد أحمد خان [Sayyid Aḥmad Ḵẖāṉ]. Vol. 2. Aligarh: n.p., 1880-. Early Arabic Printed Books.

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.


Platform Features & Tools

Optical character recognition

Full-text searching across the Arabic language materials created with newly developed optical character recognition software (OCR) for early Arabic printed script.

Arabic-Language User Interface

A complete and selectable Arabic-Language User Interface with right-to-left read text and navigation to fully meet the research needs of Arabic speakers.

Subject Indexing

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


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