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History of Islamic Science: Libraries and Centers

Selected List

Oxford Center for Islamic Studies: The University of Oxford has dedicated one of the Boldeian Libraries to the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies.  It consists of a broad range of materials on a comprehensive spread of topics relating to Islam and the Islamic world. At present the majority of the texts are available in print format, but the Library has also acquired digitized versions of the Bodleian's various collections of Arabic manuscripts.

One of the manuscripts available online is a translation of Kitāb Gharā’ib al-funūn wa-mulaḥ al-ʿuyūn, The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes.

Yale Near Eastern Collection: Yale University Library houses a Near Eastern Collection covering a wide range of Arab and Islamic topics historical and present day.  A section entitled Illuminated Islamic Manuscripts contains several Islamic Manuscripts along with their descriptions.

Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Harvard University: Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal (of Saudi Arabia) donated a sum of money to the creation of an Islamic Study Program at Harvard University.  The program hopes to eventually make available graduate fellowships, and research facilities, such as a library portal that will make rare Islamic textual sources and maps available online.

McGill Library and Collection: The University of McGill Library contains a collection of Islamic Manuscripts available online.  Its website is easy to navigate and contains a wide range of themes concerning early Islamic manuscripts.

A project centered at McGill University titled Rational Sciences in Islam: An Initiative for the Study of Philosophy and the Mathematical Sciences in Islam is available in the form of a website. The project investigates the philosophical, scientific, and theological traditions of Islam in a holistic manner. 

Lieden University Islamic Manuscripts: E Publications: The Islamic Studies program in Lieden University has provided an Islamic manuscripts site which contains electronic publications which have no equivalent on paper.

Information/Photos of the oldest known Arabic Manuscript on paper  (866 AD)

Witkam, Jan J. "Greek Islamic Medicine in India and Pakistan." Third Annual Islamic Manuscript Conference (2007). Cambridge.


Digitized Arabic Manuscripts at the AUB Libraries: The American University of Beirut’s Jafet library holds a number of Digitized Arabic manuscript in their archives.

Alexandria Library: The Library of Alexandria has events, projects, lectures, conferences, publications, annual reports, galleries, and news in the subject field of Islamic Science.  This information can be accessed through the Library website.


Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture: IRCICA started its activities as the first subsidiary organ of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) concerned with culture. IRCICA's headquarters are located in Besiktas, Istanbul.

The History of Science

International Congress on Cultural Contacts in Building a Universal Civilization: The Role of Islamic Contributions, 2004.


World Digital Library: The World Digital Library connects people around the world by making accessible in digital form priceless treasures highlighting the cultural achievements of all countries and cultures around the world. Also see the manuscripts.


European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO): ECHO is an open-access initiative bringing cultural heritage openly and permanently to the Internet.  It contains online Islamic manuscripts.


Muslim Heritage: The Muslim Heritage website invites people to discover 1000 years of missing history and to explore the fascinating Muslim contribution to present day Science, Technology, Arts, and Civilization.


Al-Qalam: Al-Qalam website provides information on books related to the History of Islamic Science.


Sarah Samaha, Library Volunteer (2011)


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