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Near East Collections: Manuscript Resources at Princeton University and Beyond: HOME

This guide will introduce you to our Near East Manuscript Collections and available resources at Princeton University. The guide also provides useful information and links for other manuscript collections and resources worldwide.

Near East Collections Curator

James Weinberger's picture
James Weinberger
Firestone B-15-P

Tel: (609) 258 3279

Special Collections Assistant (Near East)

Kim Leaman's picture
Kim Leaman
Firestone B-5-J

Tel: (609) 258 5307



If you have general suggestions for this Library Guide, please make them here or email James Weinberger directly.


This library guide will introduce you to the Near East Manuscript Collections and available resources here at Princeton University. The guide also provides useful information and links for other manuscript collections and resources that exist in North America, Europe, South and East Asia, the Near and Middle East, and Africa. 

Scholars are encouraged to submit links, titles, and information that would be useful to include in this guide to the Near East Collections Curator.

Scholars with specific questions and/or requests regarding Princeton's manuscript collections may contact the Manuscripts Division of Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) at Princeton University.

Some text within the box descriptions of this guide has been taken from websites and online guides; other descriptions were written by K. E. Leaman or Princeton University Library staff.


Selections from Album of miniatures and specimens of calligraphy of Indian origin.

The Princeton University Library's Near East Manuscript Collections include more than 20,000 titles in 11,000 codexes; predominantly in Arabic, but there are also many in Persian and Ottoman Turkish.  The Collections owe an enormous debt to Robert Garrett (class of 1897), who in 1942 gave to Princeton his superb collection of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts, and then added the gift of the Yahuda Collection in 1943, which contains over 5,000 medieval Arabic items.  The Garrett Collection is one of the most important scholarly resources of the Library's Near East Collections, and accounts for approximately two-thirds of what is considered the greatest Collection of its kind in North America.

In addition to manuscripts, the Library holds modern and personal papers relating to the Near East Collections and is also home to the S.D. Goitein Laboratory for Geniza Research and the Computer Geniza Project.

The Collections are housed in the Manuscripts Division of Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) at Firestone Library and at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.



April 19, 2013 - Online Cataloging for the New Series of Islamic Manuscripts at Princeton Complete

March 27, 2012 - Peck Shahnamah Goes Online



A wealth of information—such as image galleries, descriptive lists, and catalogsconcerning manuscript libraries and collections has been made more accessible thanks to the digital initiatives of individuals and institutions from around the world.

This guide has organized links to online manuscript libraries, collections, and catalogs alphabetically and by geographic area. 



May 09, 2014 - a Shahnameh with miniatures, dated 1460-80; an Asrarname of Faridoddin Attar, dated 1440; and a Masnavi of Rumi, dated fifteenth century are now available online.

January 4, 2014 - Review of the manuscript collections viewable at the Bab al-Khalq branch of Dar al-Kutub wa-al-Wathaʾiq al-Qawmiyya (Egyptian National Library and Archives), Cairo, Egypt

September 25, 2013 - Penn Libraries Acquire Unique Collection of Moroccan Lithographic Books

February 22-23, 2013 - Toward a Biography of a Manuscript: A copy of the Qur'an from 12th century Iran Workshop & Conference

January 12, 2013 - Islamic Bindings and Bookmaking (catalog) - Free Downloadable PDF now available from the Oriental Institute


October 24, 2012 - University of Utah's J. Willard Marriot Library finishes 6 year project of digitizing its Arabic papyri collection


June 26, 2012 - Arabic Manuscripts from J'lem Libraries to go Online


May 12-October 14, 2012 - Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit & Lecture Series at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA


May 9-10, 2012 - Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative International Workshop Program (PDF)


April 12, 2012 -  University of Oxford and Vatican to digitize 1.5 million pages of historical texts


Copyright for all images in this Library Guide lies with the named individual or institution. Permission to use these images must be requested from the relevant source.