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Near Eastern and Islamic Studies


This page will give you a small inkling into the vast collections and databases available for sources related to the Near East, from ancient times down to the contemporary day. This should serve as a good step into collections, and help guide research beyond Princeton. If you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail the Near Eastern Studies Librarian, Deborah Schlein.

Alphabetical List of Digital Archives outside Princeton

The Chester Beatty Online Collections feature objects and books from the Chester Beatty museum and library in Dublin, Ireland. It is home to one of the most significant collections of Islamic and Near Eastern artefacts and manuscripts. Take a look at their Islamic Collection, Arabic Collection, Persian Collection, Turkish Collection, and Syriac Collection

Fihrist is an online catalogue and database of Islamicate manuscripts help in contributing libraries in the United Kingdom, which include the Bodleian at the University of Oxford, the Cambridge University Library, SOAS, the British Library, and others. It includes digitizations when available, as well as catalogue entries for manuscript descriptions of both digitized and currently undigitized materials.

 Here you can learn about Islamic medicine and science during the Middle Ages and the important role it played in the history of Europe. This site, with its biographies, colorful images, and extensive historical accounts of medieval medicine and science is designed for students and everyone interested in the history of Islamic and European culture.

For students, the site includes an extensive glossary of medical, scientific, and book-production terminology linked to the text.

For advanced scholars, the site provides a catalogue raisonné (including images) from the 300 or so Persian and Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of Medicine. Most of these manuscripts deal with medieval medicine and science and were written for learned physicians and scientists. Some of the manuscripts are richly illuminated and illustrated.

The United States Library of Congress styles itself the "largest library in the world," with its thousands of books and multimedia files. The Digital arm of the library has an impressive collection of accessible pre-modern and modern materials, including the African and Middle Eastern Division, which incudes collections dedicated to Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan Government Web Archive, Manuscripts in St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, Persian Language Rare Materials, and many more. 

Qalamos is a database of Near Eastern manuscripts across Germany. It provides direct access to metadata and digitizations of manuscripts (if available). It features approximately 135,000 manuscript datasets in more than 160 languages and scripts. Qalamos seeks to enhance international collaboration and access by also featuring collections from Indonesia, Yemen, Mauritania, and Austria. 

Provides digital access to the digitized items at Cambridge University Library. The numerous collection cover the ancient to the modern, and strives to provide international access to world heritage collections, facilitate collaboration and engagement. 

Sefaria is home to 3,000 years of Jewish texts. We are a non-profit organization offering free access to texts, translations, and commentaries so that everyone can participate in the ongoing process of studying, interpreting, and creating Torah.

Manuscript Collections



Middle East and North Africa

North America

South and East Asia