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Middle East and Islamic Studies Guide: Islamic Studies

Digital Collections of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books

Brill and Leiden University Library have joined forces to digitize the Arabic manuscripts from three of the library's core collections, now published online under the title Pioneer Orientalists: The Manuscript Collections of Scaliger, Raphelengius and Golius from the Leiden University Library. The publication consists of 267 Arabic manuscripts in 303 volumes, amounting to 109.517 pages, in full-colour, images. Here is a short tutorial.

Islamic Manuscript Studies Research Guides


Islamic Manuscript Collections in the NY Area

Primary Sources in Translation

Arjomand, Said Amir (ed.), Authority and Political Culture in Shi'ism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998).

Calder, Norman, J.A. Mojaddedi, and Andrew Rippin (eds.), Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature (Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2013).

Constable, Olivia Remie. Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

Fordham's Internet Islamic History Sourcebook.

Halm, Heinz, The Arabs: A Short History (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2012).

Hamza, Feras,  Sajjad Rizvi and Farhana Mayer (eds.), An Anthology of Qu'ranic Commentaries (vol. 1) : On the Nature of the Divine (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Levi, Scott C. and Ron Sela, Islamic Central Asia: An Anthology of Historical Sources (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009).

Peters, F.E., A Reader on Classical Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

Renard, John (ed.), Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).

Renard, John (ed.), Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism: Foundations of Islamic Mystical Theology (New York : Paulist Press, 2004).

Renard, John (ed.), Windows on the House of Islam: Muslim Sources on Spirituality and Religious Life (Berkeley: University of Califronia Press, 1998).

Roded, Ruth (ed.), Women in Islam and the Middle East: A Reader (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008).

Rossabi, Moris (ed.), The Mongols and Global History (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011).

Ruggles, D. Fairchild (ed.), Islamic Art and Visual Culture: An Anthology of Sources (Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

The Documents page of Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys

Useful Online Resources

The Quranic Arabic Corpus: an annotated linguistic resource which shows the Arabic grammar, syntax and morphology for each word in the Quran.

Al-Tafsir: Arabic and English commentaries on the Qur’an from a wide variety of viewpoints. It is the first website to cover all seven schools if Islamic law.

 Fondation Max van Berchem's Thesaurus d'Epigraphie Islamique

The School of Abbasid Studies

Mamluk Studies Resources 

Islamic Law Materialized: The project examines both edited and unedited Arabic legal documents from a new, comparative perspective. 

The Arabic Papyrology Database

AsnadDigial Persian Archive

Al-Furqan Digital Library Portal

al-Maktaba al-Waqfiyya A library of scanned PDFs in Arabic A searchable database of classical Arabic texts

Al-maktaba al-shamila A library of downloadable Arabic texts

A Porsopopography of the Scholars of al-Andalus (registration required)

Knowledge, Heresy, and Political Culture in the Islamic West (9th-15th centuries) (registration required)

al-Warraq Searchable texts in Classical Arabic

Historians of the Ottoman Empire

Islamic Arts


Reference Works

  • Brockelmann Online    Brockelmann Online is a full-text searchable resource that consist of both original volumes Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (GAL) by Carl Brockelmann (1868-1956), as well as the three supplement volumes, including the indexes.
  • Encyclopaedia of the Quran Online    Drawing upon a rich scholarly heritage, Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Quran (EQ) combines alphabetically-arranged articles about the contents of the Quran.
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam
  • Oxford Islamic Studies Online  Includes 3500 entries on reference content and commentary by renowned scholars in areas such as global Islamic history, concepts, people, practices, politics, and culture, and is regularly updated. 
  • The Cambridge History of Islam