Resources for Middle East and Islamic Studies in the Midwest

Please check back for further updates. Any suggestions can be made to the MAMEIS administrative assistant at:

General Manuscript Collections

University of Michigan Collection:

Islamic Manuscripts Collection: The site displays descriptive information for a selection of digitized manuscripts from the Islamic Manuscripts Collection at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
This guide offers an introduction to the Islamic Manuscripts Collection at the "University of Michigan. In addition to details on the collection history, size, and scope, you will find strategies for locating manuscripts of interest, instructions for viewing manuscripts in the Library, and advice on locating, viewing and downloading digitized manuscripts." Updated frequently via Evyn Kropf.

Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts:
The Princeton University Library has some 9,500 Islamic manuscripts, chiefly bound paper codices, containing a total of more than 20,000 texts.

Harvard University's Islamic Heritage Project:
Through the Islamic Heritage Project (IHP), digital copies of over 280 manuscripts, 275 printed texts, and 50 maps, totaling over 156,000 pages are made available to the public.

The Hakki Tarik US Collection at Beyazit State University:
This site features a collection of digitized Ottoman Periodicals.

McGill University's Digital Collection of Islamic Manuscripts:
Catalogues on Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hindustani, and Urdu manuscripts. Also features digitalized Islamic manuscripts and art collections from around the world.

Arabic Papyrology School:
A site which offers easy, step-by-step introduction to methods that enable you to read and understand original Arabic documents, which give an insight into everyday life.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture's Manuscripts Website:
One must make an account, which may take a few days for approval. Then, one can order manuscripts online.

The Centre for Islamic Studies in Istanbul (İslam araştirmalari Merkezi):
A search engine for all of the libraries and manuscript collections in Turkey. Click on "Türkiye Kütüphaneleri Veri Tabanı" at the top. Most manuscript collections have been digitized, or are in the process of digitization, and digital copies (on CD) can be ordered by calling the particular library.

Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR):
Many sources of a wide variety related to Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies are linked upon this page continuously throughout the year.

The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection (University of Nebraska-Omaha)
The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University Library is the largest collection of Afghan materials in the country. Currently the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection holds more than 12,000 titles. The Collection contains materials on all subject areas pertaining to Afghan life and culture which includes economics, education, folklore, law, agriculture, language, architecture, geology, geography, history and literature. Documents in this collection are in more than 24 different languages. However, the majority of the materials are in English, Persian/Dari, and Pashto languages. Also included in the collection are photographs by Luke Powell.

The Afghanistan Digital Library Project (New York University):
Collecting and digitizing printed materials from Afghanistan (and in collections within Afghanistan) for the period 1871–1930. They aim to collect books and "all published serials, documents, pamphlets, and manuals."

Tombouctou Manuscripts Project:
The manuscript libraries of Timbuktu are significant repositories of scholarly production in West Africa and the Sahara.

Digital Archive for the Study of Pre-Islamic Arabian Inscriptions (DASI):
The DASI website serves as a comprehensive online database of pre-Islamic Arabian epigraphic material for specialists and the broader public.

Altsüdarabische Inschriften auf Holzstäbchen:
This site features a collection of digitized items.

Philipps-Universität Marburg's Database of Persian Historical Documents from Iran aand Central Asia Up to the 20th Century
The Database includes "public" and "private" documents: royal decrees and orders, official correspondence, and shari'a court documents, such as contracts of sale and lease, vaqf deeds, marriage contracts, and court orders. It also serves as a bibliographic reference tool, being a continually updated repertoire of published historical documents.

Catalog of the Institute of Manuscripts, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences:
Site lists about 40,000 manuscripts in Turkish, Persian, Arabic and a few in Russian. Courtesy of Kevin Gledhill.

King Saud University Manuscript Collection:

A catalogue that provides a searchable interface to basic manuscript descriptions from some of the major manuscript collections in the UK.

Iranian Majles Library Digitized Manuscript Holdings:
Access to over 30,000 manuscripts in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and other languages.

A Catalog of Mostly Persian and Arabic Manuscripts in Major Iranian Libraries:
The site includes some of the major holdings from around the world. Named in the honor of the author of "Al-dharī'ah ilá taşānīf al-shī'ah."

Aga Khan Museum Manuscripts:
The manuscripts of this museum's collection (Qur'an, religious commentary, books of science, philosophy , and literature (including some famous Shahnameh) have been scanned (digitized) and are available on this website.

Sanskrit and Persian Texts:
The website contains links and digital records pertaining to Sanskrit and Persian learned traditions in early modern India.

Project for Preserving the Syrian Christians in India:
The thousands of Syriac, Malayalam, Malayanma, Kolezhuttu, and Vattezhuttu manuscripts of older and more recent date, belong to the autochthonous communities of the St Thomas Christians, a seven million-strong minority group that has lived organically incorporated into the local Hindu society in Kerala (India) for almost two thousand years. Because of the humid, tropical climate and other factors, these manuscripts are greatly endangered. This project aims at saving these manuscripts both in their content and in their physical reality.

Internet Islamic History Sourcebook
A collection of sources gathered by Fordham University: The Jesuit University of New York.

Individual Manuscripts/Multiple Manuscripts of One Work

Peck Shahnameh Manuscript:
"Shāhnāmah" from the Prniceton University Digital Library.

Cambridge Shahnama Project:
From the site intro: "This site brings you a comprehensive collection of manuscripts of the Shahnama, the Persian epic 'Book of Kings', completed by the poet Firdausi in AD 1010, together with a display of the miniature paintings in each one. There are currently about 1,500 manuscripts and single pages recorded, 18,000 records of paintings, and 12,000 images from all over the world, now accessible with a few clicks of a mouse."

A Rare Manuscript of the Farhang-E Sho'Uri:
Digital copy of an antique Persian-Arabic dictionary, hosted by Harvard.

Printed References

Pearson, J.D. Oriental Manuscripts in Europe and North America. Zug [Switzerland]: Inter Documentation Company, 1971.

Link Area


James M. Gustafson
President, MAMEIS
Assistant Professor of History
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809