Main collections (monographs, journals and DVD films)
The University Library has a good collection of printed resources on Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, ranging from monographs, journals, manuscripts and electronic databases. There are over 23,000 monographs on a wide range of subjects about the whole region and various countries.
The bulk of the collections are mainly in English and some in other Western languages. Importantly, there are about 9,000 printed books in Arabic, 2,600 in Persian and 1,500 in Turkish.
There are about 180 journal titles on various subjects of the area, of which 80 are in electronic format (titles like country reports from Business Source Premier included). Current subscriptions consist of 11 titles in print and 10 in electronic format.
The Library has over 650 manuscripts in oriental languages.
A large part of the Oriental Manuscript Collection consists of Arabic and Persian manuscripts, of which there are 429 in the Special Collections in the Main Library, and 102 in the New College Library.
Arabic manuscripts include commentaries on the Koran; traditions of the Prophet and Imam; prayers; law, general history and biography; medicine, mathematics, philosophy and ethics; and, grammar, rhetoric, poetry, prose, tales, dictionary, and controversy.
The Collection includes two of the significant treasures of the Library, namely the World history of the Mongol vizier Rashid Al-Din, which illustrates parts of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the chronology of ancient nations of Al-Biruni, both of which were written in Arabic in Tabriz in Persian circa 1307 A.D.
A detailed description of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts is found in Hukk, Mohammed Ashraful, et al., A descriptive catalogue of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library (Hertford: Printed for the University of Edinburgh by S. Austin & sons, Ltd, 1925. viii, 454p ; 23 cm, while R. R. Serjeant’s A handlist of the Arabic, Persian and Hindustani MSS. Of New College, Edinburgh (London: Luzac & Co., 1942) contains a detailed list of the manuscript holdings in the New College Library.
Information on these manuscripts can also be found in the Archives Hub’s oriental manuscript collection.