Launched and managed by the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA) and the OUI (Urban Observatory of Istanbul), the Map workshop archives is a cartographic database making available several hundreds of maps and plans of Istanbul and Turkey from the 12th century to present day. The project Archivis carto from which the database emerged continues, and maps are regularly added to the archives.
At the time of our visit, the archives included close to 400 high resolution digital maps and plans with short bibliographic descriptions (title, cartographer, editor, place and date of edition, scale).
Visitors can either search the database or use the Research by theme feature offering eighteen historical, geographical, and cartographic categories to browse:
All materials can easily be downloaded and/or shared using a permalink, however they are strictly provided for personal (individual or institution) use within the scope of research. For commercial use, contact: email@example.com. “It is forbidden to redistribute or publish this documentation without informing the IFEA, otherwise the IFEA would be free from any copyright problems or conflicts with the publishers of the concerned documents.”
The website is available in English, French and Turkish.
A Corpus of Arabic Legal Documents (CALD) is a database of edited (transcribed) primary source materials from the pre-modern period (8th-15th century). According to the creators, CALD “is the first-ever collection of scattered editions of legal documents often [provided] with improved readings compared to earlier print versions”.
CALD includes a great variety of documents, such as sales contracts, lease contracts, acknowledgements, charity aims, court attestations, etc., available in PDF with the original Arabic text in modern spelling as well as complete bibliographical data. In addition, images of original materials and/or URL links are provided when possible.
Example of an edited document
Visitors can browse
documents either by location (city) or library inventory number, or search the database for legal terms in Arabic.For greater access to CALD’s functionalities, visitors can create an account
: logging in allows to cross-search Arabic terms, document types, dates and keywords.
The interface is available in French, English and Arabic.
Among the Library of Congress‘ numerous digital collections, two collections include Ottoman photographic and textual materials from the African and Middle East Division: the Abdul Hamid II collection and the Abdul Hamid Collection of books and serials gifted to the Library of Congress.
Made up of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums from the late 19th century, the Abdul Hamid II collection illustrates the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, and the modernization of of the Ottoman Empire. Photographs were taken by well-known Ottoman commercial photographers, Turkish military photographers and the Photographic Unit of the Imperial School of Engineering. Abdul-Hamid (1842-1918) was an avid collector and promoter of photography. He presented a copy of the survey to the Library of Congress in 1893 or 1894 and gave a very similar collection to the British Museum (now housed in the British Library).
[Tuberculosis ward of the Hasköy Hospital for Women] / Abdullah Frères (Constantinople), between 1880 and 1883.
The Abdul Hamid Collection of books and serials gifted to the Library of Congress
contains over 300 original Ottoman Turkish, Persian and Arabic works as well as translations from European languages of medical, historical, or legal, works. All the volumes are bound in red Morocco with gilt edges, and richly embossed with the following inscription in English, French and Ottoman:
“Gift made by H.I. M. the Sultan Abdul-Hamid II to the national library of the United States of America through the Honorable A.S. Hewitt Member of the House of Representatives A.H. 1302-1884 A.D.“.
The collection was donatedto the Library of Congress in 1884.
Medhal-i fıkıh / Abdüssettar. İstanbul : Mahmud Bey Matbaası, 1299 
Digital contents are available for download in very high resolution, and free to use or reuse as they are in the public domain.
Documents and materials from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Library and Information Centre invaluable collections are being digitized, and made available through the Academy’s institutional repository (REAL):
- REAL-d hosts theses submitted at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
- REAL-EOD hosts books digitized by the Library and Information Centre (modern books published by the Library, books published by, or related to the Academy and its members)
- REAL-J hosts hundreds of historical journals -scientific and popular- -most of which in Hungarian
- REAL-MS hosts hundreds of digitized manuscript materials from the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books and the Oriental Collection
- REAL-PhD hosts PhD thesis deposited at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and in nine other Hungarian Universities and Institutions
- REAL-R hosts digitized rare books and manuscripts from the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books and the Oriental Collection
All collections can be either searched (simple and advanced searches) or browsed. Browsing categories, however, vary from one to another to include year of production/publication, author, title, codex, series, University, subject (Library of Congress subject headings), collection, etc.
REAL-MS is the most relevant collection to Islamic and Middle East studies as it contains more than 300 Arabic manuscripts, 155 Persian manuscripts, and 50 Turkish manuscripts. In addition, REAL-MS includes an impressive amount of famous Orientalists’ and Hungarian scholars’ personnal papers and correspondence like Ignaz Goldziher’s correspondence (over 13,000 documents).
Siddiqi, Muhammad Zubair (1925) M. Z. Siddiqi’s letter to Ignaz Goldziher. , Charlottenburg (Manuscript)
If Persian manuscripts can be previewed and/or downloaded as colour PDFs, access to most Arabic and Turkish manuscripts is for the moment “restricted to Repository staff only”. However, a copy can be requested for research purposes.
REAL interface and bibliographic descriptions are available in both Magyar and English.
From Monday September 11th to Friday September 14th, the Islamic Studies Library had the pleasure to host an Islamic Paleography and Codicology workshop co-organized with the Institute of Islamic Studies, and the McGill Islamic Studies Students Council.
Participants had the opportunity to listen to inspiring and enlightening lectures, some of which involved the display and manipulation of manuscripts and rare books from the McGill Library and Archives collections.
Day 1 of “Islamic Paleography and Codicology Workshop”: An Introduction to the Arts of Bookmaking
Guests lectures were delivered by internationally renowned scholars in the field: Professor François Déroche from Collège de France (Paris, France) and András Riedlmayer from the Aga Khan Program Fine Arts Library at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). Professor Déroche’s presentation focused on a research he has been conducting on three mammoth Qur’ans from the Ommeyad and Abbasid periods. András Riedlmayer’s lecture focused on the arts of illuminating and illustrating manuscripts in the Islamic World, and concluded with a fascinating section on the fake illuminated manuscripts market.
Other lectures covered various aspects of the production of manuscripts (such as writing supports, scripts, illuminations and illustrations, covers and bindings), as well as some challenges that arise when working with manuscripts (such as identification, location, attribution, etc.). And all sessions of the workshop were very well attended by members of both the McGill community and the wider community.
Day 3 of “Islamic Paleography and Codicology Workshop”: The Persian Manuscripts Tradition
Special thanks go to the Institute of Islamic Studies, the Post-Graduate Students’ Society, McGill Libraries and Archives and the Dean of Arts Development Fund for supporting this event.
In May 2018, the French Centre for Economic, Legal, and Social Study and Documentation (CEDEJ) based in Cairo, Egypt, launched in association with Bibliotheca Alexandrina a new portal to host its rich collection of Egyptian caricatures.
Egyptian Caricatures Archive/أرشيف الكاريكاتير المصري makes available 12,000 humorous drawings published in Egyptian newspapers between 1970 and 2010. This invaluable collection of primary source materials now available in Open Access to researchers and the general public.
The caricatures have been catalogued by the CEDEJ Library allowing for the database to be searched by different fields:
- title of caricature
- date of publication
- title of newspaper where it was published
- topic (drop-down menu)
Images are provided in JPEG, and can easily be downloaded and saved.
At the time of our visit the interface was only accessible in Arabic, but according to the official announcement made by CEDEJ, the implemention of the English and French interfaces is scheduled for Octobre 2018.
The programme of the 8th edition of Montreal Orientalys Festival was just announced and is now available on their website:
For the past seven years, Orientalys has aimed at providing a platform to showcase North African, Middle Eastern, and South East Asian cultures and traditions in Quebec. The festival will take place in the Old Port of Montreal on Thursday August 2 from 6 to 11 p.m.,Friday August 3 from 3 to 11 p.m.,Saturday August 4 from 12 to 11 p.m.,Sunday August 5 from 12 to 11 p.m.
The programme includes dancing performances and concerts, as well as a wide variety of interactive activities for children and/or adults (such as cooking and handicraft workshops). Orientalys is free and open to everyone.
For more information see:
The Egyptian Press Archive of CEDEJ is an initiative of the Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales (CEDEJ) based in Cairo and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) consisting of scanning and publishing online press articles collected and curated by CEDEJ over the past 40 years.
This online archive includes more than 500,000 press clips authored by more than 17,000 journalists and reporters and published by more than 170 publishers. This incredibly rich and vast collection is discoverable by author, publisher, subject or date of publication (via the timeline). The list of subjects is based on the themes and subjects used by CEDEJ when initially constituting the collection. Results display in the form of a list, highlighting search terms, and articles open in the BA online reader in a new tab. In the right-hand-side column, related articles to those displayed in the results’ list are suggested.
The website is available in Arabic, English, and French.
The Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic is developed under the auspices of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Doha, Qatar. Founded “on the ideal that the social sciences and humanities have an invaluable role to play in Arab societal development”, ther ACRPS produces and publishes both applied and fundamental research, organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops accross the Arab World.
Officially launched in 2012, the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic initiative aims at creating a comprehensive Corpus of Arabic,deriving sub-dictionaries from the Historical Dictionary of Arabic, publishing lexicographical research and studies. At the time of our visit, a lot of resources were not yet available to visitors but one can hope the Lexicographer’s Forum will soon be activated, and Lexical Services soon be available.
The website is available in English and Arabic.
The McGill Centre of Islamic and Science and Institute of Islamic Studies co-organize a workshop entitled Science Teaching in Pre-Modern Societies from May 24 to 26 2018. This two-days event will bring together scholars from all over the World, including Canada, the United States, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, etc.
The four panels will focus on Science Teaching in cross-cultural perspective, Science Teaching and the religious context, Science Textbooks and the “Science of the Stars”, and Epistemological Foundations of Science teaching. The full program, abstracts, and speakers biographies can be found here.
“This workshop is part of an international collaborative project entitled “Science Teaching in Pre‐Modern and Modern Islamic Societies: Pedagogical Approaches in Religious, Institutional, and Geographical Contexts,” with funding from a SSHRC partnership development grant, plus additional support from 3 partner institutions: the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG); Medeniyet University, Istanbul; and the University of California, Berkeley.”