Primary Sources: Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library

The Library has recently acquired Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library (1475-1900), a full-text searchable digital library of early printed books in Arabic script. It includes works on law, the sciences, religion, history, geography, travel, mathematics, and many other subjects. There are some European translations of Arabic works included, as well as Arabic translations of European works.

The resource is divided into three subject modules, though all can be searched simultaneously.

 

Module 1: Religion and Law
The Qu’ran, traditions (Hadith), tafsir, theology, commentaries on religious texts, religious teaching and practice, biographies of religious figures; law, fiqh and statutes, fatwas and rulings

Module 2: Sciences, History, and Geography
Natural history, medicine, physiology, other science, classical sciences, philosophy, logic, politics, ethics, mathematics, arithmetic, geometry, mechanics, astrology, chemistry; history, early caliphs and conquests, modern history, genealogy, biographies; geography and travel, regional geography, and topography

Module 3: Periodicals, Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogues and General Works
Periodicals, folktales, pre-Islamic literature (Antar, Bani Hilal, Imru’l qays), Islamic poetry and prose (al-Burdah), poetry and prose (maqamat), Kalilah wa-dimnah, Luqman, proverbs and sayings, Thousand and one nights, later literature, poetry and prose, general literature; language and lexicography, dictionaries, grammar, syntax, rhetoric, ‘ilm al-bayan, catalogues, manuscript catalogues, etc.

Searches can be done in Arabic (using a built-in keyboard tool), transliterated Arabic, or Latin script.


Trial: Classic Arabic Texts Online

From now through November 21, 2014, we have trial access to a beta version of Classic Arabic Texts Online from Brill.
The trial version includes access to the following texts:

Kitab Futuh al-buldan (Arabic text) | Author: Ahmad b. Yahya al-Baladhuri | Edited by: M.J. de Goeje (1866) The Kitab Futuh al-buldan by Ahmad b. Yahya al-Baladhuri (d. c. 892 CE), edited by M.J. de Goeje and originally titled Liber expugnationis regionum (Leiden, 1866), offers an account of the early conquests of the Islamic polity. It has the form of a geographical survey of the Caliphate’s territories, describing how each location came under Muslim rule.

Kitab Futuh al-buldan (English translation) | Subtitle: The Origins of the Islamic State | Author: Ahmad b. Yahya al-Baladhuri | Translation by: P.K. Hitti (volume I: 1916) and F.C. Murgotten (volume II: 1924) The Origins of the Islamic State is the English translation of Kitab Futuh al-buldan, written by Ahmad b. Yahya al-Baladhuri (d. c. 892 CE). The work offers an account of the early conquests of the Islamic polity. It has the form of a geographical survey of the Caliphate’s territories, describing how each location came under Muslim rule. It was translated into English by Philip Khûri Hitti (volume I: 1916) and Francis Clark Murgotten (volume II: 1924).

Mukhtasar Kitab al-Buldan | Subtitle: Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum 1-5 | Author: Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani | Edited by: M.J. de Goeje (1885) Ibn al-Faqih was the Iranian author of a Geography in Arabic entitled Kitab al-buldan written around the year 903. The original work is lost, but the abridged version, possibly composed around 1022, has survived in a handful of manuscripts. Only three manuscripts were known during De Goeje’s life and he used them all for his edition, which was originally published in 1885. Its introduction includes a summary of Ibn Faqih’s life on the basis of the classical sources by De Goeje. Ibn al-Faqih’s Kitab al-buldan offers geographical and historical details not found in other sources, and it was in itself an important source for later works, for example by Muqaddasi and Yaqut.

As Brill builds out this product, they plan to add the following texts by the end of 2014:
Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum (with indices and glossaries) edited by M.J. de Goeje and J.H. Kramers
De Goeje’s edition of al-Tabari’s Ta’rikh al-rusul wa l-muluk
Origins of the Islamic State by Murgotten and Hitti, the English translation of al-Baladhari’s Kitab Futuh al-buldan

Please send comments and feedback to Shayee Khanaka.


Trial: Oxford Dictionaries | Arabic

Oxford Dictionaries | Arabic is a new groundbreaking resource for those with an interest in the Arabic language. Structured by Oxford’s renowned language research and compiled by an international team of expert advisers, the dictionary is based on language as it’s used today.
Oxford Dictionaries | Arabic contains the latest vocabulary in technology, business, media, and the arts in both languages to ensure you have the most up-to-date words at your fingertips.
Key benefits include:

  • Over 330,000 words, phrases, and translations
  • 70,000 real life example sentences
  • Vowels in all Arabic text
  • Fully searchable in Modern Standard Arabic and English
  • Regular word and content updates to ensure this resource is the most up to date bi-directional Arabic and English dictionary available
  • Incorporates extra content including tables of Arabic verbs, numbers, and dates
  • Modern and user-friendly design is optimized for use on a phone or tablet

Our trial to this resource will end on October 29, 2014.  Send feedback and comments to Shayee Khanaka.