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Supplementing the Library's extensive holding of books and manuscripts in Arabic as well as numerous printed books in Turkish, Persian and Hebrew, the Library has a collection of rare books in Western European languages on the Near East. The collection includes an important group of 16th and 17th-century European works, chiefly on Turkey, formerly in the collection of G.J. Arvanitides (acquired in 1957-58). In 1959-60, the Library added Noe Bianchi's Viaggio da Venetia al S. Sepolcro et al Monte Sinai (Venice, 1648) [(Ex) 1793.177].
The collection is currently being actively developed by the Curator of the Near East Collections. Recent accessions include a number of rare Portuguese books dealing with the Arabic speaking world as well as a copy of the first translation of the Gulistan into a European language (French, printed in Paris, 1634).
See also entry for Napoleon in this Guide, for discussion of Description de l'Egypte.
See also OTTOMAN EMPIRE.