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Islamic Manuscripts

Use to retrieve collections of primarily Islamic texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish. Individual works have been catalogued separately and are accessible via the library’s online catalog.

  • The Manuscripts Division holds nearly 10,000 volumes of Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and other manuscripts of the predominantly Islamic world, written in Arabic script. This is the largest such collection in North America and one of the finest in the Western world. Approximately two-thirds of the manuscripts came to Princeton in 1942 as part of the Garrett Collection, donated by Robert Garrett (1875–1961), Class of 1897. Building on this extraordinary collction, the Library has continued since 1942 to acquire Islamic manuscripts by gift and purchase. Text manuscripts on virtually every aspect of Islamic learning, both religious and secular, are the chief strength. Princeton's holdings also include Persian and Mughal illuminated manuscripts and miniatures. Other collections include European manuscripts written in Arabic script or containing translations. Arabic papyri are separately housed in the Princeton Papyri Collections. Voyager has bibliographical records for nearly all Islamic manuscripts at Princeton:

    http://library.princeton.edu/ 

    Digitized manuscripts are accessible through the Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts:

    http://library.princeton.edu/projects/islamic/

Research Tools for Printed Material (Books, Maps, Prints, etc.)

Related Collections in Finding Aids

Notable Holdings

  • Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts

    One of the finest collections of Near Eastern manuscripts, bequeathed to the Princeton University Library by Robert Garrett (1875-1961), a graduate (1897) and a trustee of the University (1905-61).

Related Collections not in Finding Aids

  • Princeton Papyri Collections

    Papyri are in all the languages and scripts of Egypt, dating from the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods.

  • Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts

    One of the finest collections of Near Eastern manuscripts, bequeathed to the Princeton University Library by Robert Garrett (1875-1961), a graduate (1897) and a trustee of the University (1905-61).

  • Princeton 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. The manuscripts are located in the Manuscripts Division of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, at the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library. Robert Garrett (Princeton Class of 1897) collected approximately two-thirds of these manuscripts and donated them to the Library in 1942. Since then, the Library has continued to acquire manuscripts by gift and purchase.

  • William McElwee Miller Collection of Bābī Writings and Other Iranian Texts, 1846-1923

    This collection is part of Islamic Manuscripts, Third Series, no. 1-47. The collection contains 47 bound volumes of Bābī, Bahai, and other texts in Arabic and Persian, which were purchased by William McElwee Miller (1892-1993), a Presbyterian clergyman and missionary in Iran from 1919 to 1962. 

  • Yemeni Manuscript Initiative