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Near East Collections: Manuscript Resources at Princeton University and Beyond: MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS-PRINCETON

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.

THE NEAR EAST MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

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 their beginnings to the remarkable manuscripts collected and donated by Robert Garrett (class of 1897) from 1900-1943.  The Collections continued to grow under the tenure of Enno Littmann, librarian of what was then called the Oriental Collections, and through the bequests of the personal libraries of Rudolf-Ernest Brunnow and David Paton.  By 1965, the Islamic Collection had become the best in North America, thanks to the efforts made by Rudolph Mach, curator of the Near East Collections from 1955-1977.

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

Don Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts in the Manuscripts Division, Rare Books & Special Collections Department, has written a Collection Profile of the Islamic Manuscripts held in RBSC.  A link to the Profile is provided here.

For more information on RBSC and its research services, click here.

For more information on Rights and Permissions, and Photoduplication Services, click here.

FINDING AIDS

Princeton University Library Finding Aids are descriptive inventories for archival records and manuscript collections housed at the University Library.  Over 1,700 finding aids from RBSC are now available online. 

Finding Aids for the Near East Collections include material from the Manuscripts Division of RBSC at Firestone Library and the Princeton University Archives and Public Policy Papers held at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

FIRESTONE C FLOOR MAP - RBSC

CAMPUS MAP - SEELEY G. MUDD MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY & CONTACT INFORMATION

EXAMPLES FROM PRINCETON'S DIGITAL LIBRARY OF ISLAMIC MANUSCRIPTS

Full page miniature with illuminated floral

decoration on margin from Divan-i Hafiz.

Gift of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897; 1942.


Excerpt from a Work on botany in Arabic. Written

in medium small naskh with elements of nasta'liq in

black ink with use of red headings and entries.

Marginal annotations. Plants Illustrated in

watercolor.

Gift of Robert Garrett,Class of 1897; 1942.


Ahlak-i alai binding.  Brown leather with a gold

tooled mandoria with pendants in the center and

4 gold tooled corner pieces in foliage pattern on

upper and lower covers.

Gift of Robert Garrett,Class of 1897; 1942.


Miniature 2 (fol. 17a), from Sihr al-Bayan.

The Birth of Prince Bi Nazir

("Tavallud-i Shahzadah Bi Nazir").

Gift of Robert Garrett,Class of 1897; 1942.