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The Islamic World

Edited by Dr Daniella Gonzalez and Anna-Nadine Pike, with contributions from Dr Peter Good (MEMS), Nat Cutter (University of Melbourne) and Lubaaba Al-Azami (University of Liverpool and University of Oxford)
Getting Started

Islamic date converter: Easily convert between the Gregorian calendar and the Islamic Hijri, or lunar year.

Projects and Databases - Digital Persian Archive: This is an image database of Persian historical documents from Iran and Central Asia. This database includes documents such as: royal decrees and orders, official correspondence, and shari'a court documents. 

Encounters with the Orient: This project documents the scholarly encounter with the Orient between 1580 and 1800.

The European Qur’an: An ongoing ERC Synergy research project from which investigates Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion from 1150-1850. The project considers how the Qur’an is used, translated and understood by people of diverse religious beliefs during this time, mapping its European influence. The European Qur’an is conducted by a consortium comprising the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Naples L’Orientale (UNO), the University of Kent (UoK) and the University of Nantes (UN).

Hazine: This is an online repository that provides archive and library guides for researchers working on the Middle East, North Africa, and Islamicate societies. 

The Islamic Manuscript Association: The IMA “is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting Islamic manuscript collections and supporting those who work with them.” A useful platform for staying up-to-date with academic developments in the studies of Islamic Manuscripts, including Calls for Papers and conference announcements, funding and grant opportunities, and the latest additions to manuscript collections around the world. 

Islamolatina - La percepcion del Islam en la Europa latina: This is a project led by the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, which focuses on the perception of Islam in Christian Europe. Central to this study, the texts examined allow researchers to analyse the perception of Islam and the relationship between Medieval Christian Europe and muslims, especially within the Iberian Peninsula.

Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs): This is an AHRC-funded project that furthers understanding of the early interactions between England and the Islamic worlds.

Open Islamicate Texts Initiative: This project offers open access to a rich corpus of pre-modern Islamicate texts.

Prize Papers Project: This project examines the Prize Papers of the High Court of Admiralty, produced between 1652 and 1815.

RUB's Historiography of the Ottoman Empire: This database holds information focusing on the historiographical writing of Early Modern Ottoman Europe between 1500 and 1800, and includes published and unpublished sources.

The Sinai Palimpsests Project: A collaborative project between St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai and the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, which seeks to recover the undertexts of palimpsestic parchment manuscripts once held within the Monastery’s library, using spectral imaging and image processing. “The palimpsests of St. Catherine’s Monastery preserve classical, Christian and Jewish texts in at least ten languages (Greek, Syriac, Georgian, Arabic, Christian Palestinian Aramaic, Latin, Caucasian Albanian, Armenian, Slavonic, and Ethiopic) and in many ancient scripts.” The Monastery was founded in the 6th century CE, with its palimpsestic manuscripts dating spanning the 4th to 12th centuries.

Islamic Manuscript Collections

Arquivo Nacional de Torre de Tombo: This is the National Archive of Portugal, holding records that pre-date the Kingdom of Portugal.

The British Library: A guide to the Islamic and Arabic Manuscripts held within the British Library, including details of their ongoing digitisation project in collaboration with Qatar Foundation and the Qatar National Library. See also the Qatar Digital Library, which contains archival materials in Arabic and English.

Cambridge Digital Library: Virtual access to the Islamic manuscripts held within Cambridge University Library in Cambridge (UK). This online collection contains the earliest Qur'anic manuscripts dating from the first four Centuries of Islam.

Harvard Islamic Heritage Project: This is a digital collection of Islamic manuscripts, published texts and maps from across Harvard's libraries and museums.

The Islamic Manuscript Association - Online Manuscript Catalogues: A valuable grouping of manuscript catalogues from international libraries and holdings with significant collections of Islamic materials.

Islamic Manuscript Studies: A research guide from the University of Michigan, containing an extensive list of digitised manuscript collections produced in the Islamic world, which are grouped according to library location. Some of these collections also form part of the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme.

LibGuide: Find Arabic and Islamic Manuscripts: This provides a comprehensive list of digitised Islamic manuscripts created by the American University of Beirut.

Maydan - Digital Resources and Projects in Islamic Studies: A valuable collation of global digitised collections of Islamic manuscripts, together with ongoing academic projects (Last updated 2019) from Maydan, the online publication from the Centre for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, Virginia.


The Maydan has also uploaded a lecture delivered at GMU by Dr. Muhammad Isa Waley in February 2018, entitled "Manuscripts and their Importance in Islamic Cultural and Religious Studies". Listen to the recording of this lecture here.

Mouse&Manuscript: This is is a collection of lessons in codicology – the study of handwritten documents or codices - and palaeography from the Muslim world.

Nusus: Nusus is a corpus of digitized Arabic texts designed to fill gaps in extant digital corpora. Originally a collection of early Sufi and Sufi-adjacent texts, nuṣūṣ has since expanded to include early works on kalām, falsafa, and Christian theology. Through this website, users can: browse text metadata, including author biographies; read these works online; and, most importantly, search the contents of texts in the corpus. Soon, the digitized versions of these texts will be made available to download for individuals to use for computational textual analysis or other interests.

Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts: Islamic Manuscripts from Princeton University Library. The majority of these are written in Arabic, but which also contain Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and other languages of the Islamic world.

Qatar Digital Library: This is an online archive showcasing the cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region.

Wellcome Arabic Manuscripts Online: The Wellcome Library contains around 1000 manuscript books and fragments which pertain to the history of medicine, dating from the twelfth to the twentieth century, of which over 250 have been digitised.

Source Texts Here you will be able to access several volumes of Henri de Castries 'Les sources inèdites de l'histoire du Maroc', which collects material from c16/17 English, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese archives and reproduces them in their original languages with French annotations.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Selected Sources (Islam): A guide from Fordham University, containing valuable primary textual sources for the study of pre-modern Islam, from 620 CE to the eighteenth century. Sources include literature and poetry, histories, letters, records of travel and scientific texts.


Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain: Colour and B&W photographs of medieval Spain taken by the late Eugene Casselman (1912-1996). Photos include Spanish Islamic architecture from the 7th century.

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: from the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduces a wealth of topics through both word and image, many of which pertain to Islamic Studies. See, for example:

Astronomy and Astrology in the Medieval Islamic World, as above

Carpets from the Islamic World, 1600–1800

Europe and the Islamic World, 1600–1800

Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art

Islamic Books: This is a research blog about Manuscripts, Printed Books and Ephemera in Arabic Script.

Previous Theses

EThOS: Provides a national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutions, and free access to the full text of as many theses as possible.


Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD): Indexes records of theses from institutions across the world and provides a simple search interface.


American doctoral Dissertations (EBSCOhost): Access a comprehensive record of dissertations accepted by American universities during that time period, the print index Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities. Contains more than 172,000 theses and dissertations in total from 1902 to the present.

Source Texts
Previous Theses

Resource page updated by Cristina Alvarez Ortiz - Last updated 31/07/23

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