al-hakawati.net

al-hakawati Arab Cultural Trust is an not for profit educational organization based in the United Sates and Lebanon aiming at telling the story of Arab heritage and civilization through folktales, and fairy tales from the Arab and Islamic heritage, biographies of personalities ancient to modern, artists and their arts, architecture, the environment and religions.

al-hakawatiContent published on al-hakawati content originates from the 22 states members of the Arab League, and can be browsed/accessed via the ten following sections:

  • Stories and Tales
  • Personalities
  • States
  • Cities and Regions
  • Civilizations
  • Arts and Artists
  • Histories and Culture
  • Environment
  • Architecture
  • Religions.

The section Stories and Tales will particularly appeal to Arabic language learners in search of easy texts to practice their reading skills: the Children Literature collection is quite interesting. Similarly, amateurs interested in Arab and Islamic Heritage will find valuable resources on different topics. However, due to the lack of accurate citation and attribution of writings, academics and scholars will not be able to use content published on al-hakawati. The website is available in English and Arabic

SALT Research digital collections

SALT Research comprises a specialized library, and an archive of physical and digital sources and documents on visual practices, the built environment, social life and economic history.

Collections at SALT Research focus on the period from the late 19th century to the present day with an emphasis on Turkey -primarily Istanbul- and the geographies of the Southeast Mediterranean and Southeast Europe.

The collections include visual and textual sources and documents on the art history of Turkey post 1950, the development of architecture and design in Turkey since the beginning of the 20th century, and the transformations in society and the region from the last century of the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic up until the 1990s.

SALT Research collections can be browsed and/or accessed (for digitized items) on the website:salt-arastirma-arama

The website interface is bilingual Turkish/English.

Arabic Literature of Africa Online

From February 8th to March 10th, 2017, the McGill Library is trialing Arabic Literature of Africa Online, a bio-bibliography on the Arabic manuscript tradition in the African continent.

ALAO offers authoritative information about African authors, the texts they wrote in Arabic, the manuscripts in which these texts are found, and the locations of these manuscripts, together with bibliographical references to the literature.

Please, check it out and share you feedback with us!

E-Marefah database- Islamic studies, Arabic literature & Middle Eastern Studies

From January 30 to February 28, 2017, the McGill Library is trialing E-Marefah, an integrated database of Islamic studies, Arabic literature  & Middle Eastern Studies.

E-Marefah provides acces to full text and comprehensive metadata of over 700,000 journals, research papers, theses and dissertations, conference papers, statistical reports, and e-books in all disciplines, including most recently published titles.

E-Marefah includes five databases for each specialty:

  • Islamic Studies and Arabic Language
  • Middle East Studies
  • Human science (Humanities)
  • Social sciences
  • Legal and Islamic Fiqh resources.

All databases can be searched simultaneously or separately, either in Arabic or in English, through a single search box. Search results display in a table including extensive metadata and a link to the PDF document when full-text is available:

We’re looking forward to receive your feedback!

Islamicate Texts Initiative

islamicate-texts-initiative-itiThe Islamicate Texts Initiative (ITI) is a collaborative effort to construct the first machine-actionable corpus of premodern Islamicate texts.Led by researchers at the Aga Khan University (AKU), Universität Leipzig (UL), and the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland (College Park) and an interdisciplinary advisory board of leading digital humanists and Islamic, Persian, and Arabic studies scholars, ITI aims to provide the essential textual infrastructure in Persian and Arabic for new forms of macro textual analysis and digital scholarship. ITI is composed of three different projects:

  1. Open Arabic Project is curated by Maxim Romanov, research fellow at Alexander von Humboldt-Lehrstul für Digital Humanities, Institut für Informatik, Universität Leipzig who has been exploring for years how modern computational techniques of text analysis can be applied to the study of premodern Arabic historical sourcesal-raqmiyyat-digital-islamic-history2. The Persian Digital Library is managed by Samar Ali Ata, Program administrative specialist and Assistant to the Director at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Marylandpersian-digital-library-by-persdigumd3. KITAB is led by Sarah Bowen Savant, Associate Professor at the Agha Khan University-ISMC who specializes on the cultural history of the Middle East and Iran ca. 600-1100. provides a digital tool-box and a forum for discussions about Arabic texts. Although KITAB is currently a closed community, the corpus and search tools can be used upon request. kitab-knowledge-information-technology-and-the-arabic-books

New Exhibition: A Tradition in Transition: Lithography in Islamic cultural History

title-page-3During the last decade, the field of Arabic and Islamic studies focused on the revaluation and rediscovery of an extensive amount of sources, mainly in manuscript form, that bear witness to hereto neglected aspects of Arabo-Islamicate cultural history. More specifically, the re-appreciation and the unprecedented analyses of these manuscript documents has fostered the reassessment of outdated narratives surrounding the evolution of various Islamic disciplines, such as linguistic sciences (al-ʿulūm al-lughawiyah), logic (manṭiq) and rational and philosophical theology (ʿilm al-kalām and ḥikmah), mathematical and astronomical sciences (al-riyāḍiyāt, ʿilm al-hayʾah), and Quranic exegesis (tafsīr) and legal methodology (uṣūl al-fiqh). Accordingly, scholars in these fields of the Islamic intellectual tradition are paying increasing attention to unveiling this manuscript tradition. However, the majority of these sources are not available in modern editions, and access to a considerable part of these manuscript forms can often be hindered by various kinds of obstacles. Scholars and researchers are therefore often forced to limit the range and scope of their research according to the accessibility of that manuscript heritage.

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It is however less known that in between the 19th and the 20th centuries, a good amount of that manuscript heritage has been produced and circulated in the form of lithographed copies, mainly within madrasa networks in the Arab world. Lithography in the Arabo-Islamicate intellectual panorama was more welcomed than typography because of several religio-cultural and socio-economic reasons, and filled an important gap between the manuscript and printing tradition that would follow. Lithography was still tightly bound to traditional handwritten manuscript production while offering the advantages the printing technology. Many among the most relevant works on linguistic sciences, rational and philosophical theology, mathematical and astronomical sciences, Sufism and Quranic exegesis and juridical methodology, executed by professional scribes and supervised by trained scholars, have become the tools of the madrasa tradition. The tradition and the production of lithographed books has received little attention despite their number and  relevance to the Islamic intellectual tradition Scholars and researches in the Arabo-Islamicate tradition are thus often unaware of not only the existence of lithography but also of their relative accessibility. Accordingly, a rigorous and thorough investigation into the tradition of the Arabic lithographed books will undoubtedly benefit many scholars in various fields of research.

img_20170120_093122214This exhibition is an attempt to highlight the richness and complexity of the lithographed book tradition and suggest the importance it can have in modern scholarship. It was curated by Giovanni Carrera, doctoral student at the Institute of Islamic Studies and Anaïs Salamon, Head of the Islamic Studies Library. The selection of titles has been possible thanks to the efforts of Dr. Adam Gacek, who first provided a description of the Islamic Studies Library’s collection of lithographed books at McGill University in his Arabic Lithographed Books in the Islamic Studies Library in 1996.

A Tradition in Transition: Lithography in Islamic Cultural History is accessible on the 1st floor of the Islamic Studies Library during opening hours.

Archnet

Launched in 2002, Archnet is the world’s largest open access architectural library focusing on Muslim societies. A shared initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet aims at providing easy access to scholarly articles, data and original research that can be used for teaching, scholarship, and professional work in the fields of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design in the Muslim worlds. Archnet is a continually growing resource, thanks to numerous donations of historic archives and documentation. In sum, “Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam.”

archnetArchnet is a fully searchable database offering different search options:

  • the Research page allows visitors to do a text search (basic or advanced) applying geographical and time filters
  • the Timeline allows to visualize “a linear outline of the history of art, architecture and urbanism in Muslim societies”
  • materials grouped in collections such as Women in Architecture, Tangier Then and Now, or Hassan Fathy can be accessed directly via the Collections page
  • additional resources and pedagogical tools are also made available through the Resources and Pedagogy pages.

The website is in English.

New acquisition: al-Manhal, a database of Arabic books & journals

McGill Library has now subscribed to the Islamic Studies Collection of AlManhal database which gives access to thousands of electronic scholarly books and journals in Arabic. The collection is full-text searchable in English and in Arabic, and browsable by subject, by title or by publisher. Documents can be read online, listened to, downloaded in PDF, or printed. And the reader offers interesting features such as sharing, annotating, citing or highlighting the text. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

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Bülent Ecevit articles online

bulent-ecevit-articles-arts-and-politics-in-the-1950sThe Bülent Ecevit articles database includes 1,500 Turkish- and English-language articles written by Bülent Ecevit between 1950 and 1961, most of them published in the prominent daily paper Ulus. While much is known of Ecevit’s long career as a statesman–beginning with his service as Minister of Labor 1961 and lasting well into the 2000s–this early chapter in his life remains largely unknown. Yet the cultural commentary, art criticism, political analyses and travel writings that he produced in the 1950s constitute an extraordinarily prolific and consistent body of work on the importance of civic culture and democracy. The columns reveal the seeds of his later political thought, as well as giving a new perspective on the importance of the arts to his intellectual life.

All original research has been carried out by Sarah-Neel Smith, research director for the Ecevit digitization project, with the collaboration of SALT Research and the Rahşan Ecevit-Bülent Ecevit Foundation of Science and Art & Culture (Ankara). Over a four year period, SALT Research scanned all of Ecevit’s publicly available writings and converted them to fully searchable texts which match the originals. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Foundation founding member Emrehan Halıcı, Rahşan Ecevit, and her sister Asude Aral, who facilitated this project by supplying all the missing documents, the database encompasses Ecevit’s entire corpus of writing from the 1950s. All data has been compiled with permission of Rahşan Ecevit-Bülent Ecevit Foundation of Science and Art & Culture.

Sarah-Neel Smith, research director of the Ecevit digitization project, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she teaches modernism in a global and comparative perspective. The Ecevit online archive is the direct result of Smith’s ongoing research, begun in 2012, into Bülent Ecevit’s involvement in international debates about democracy and art after WWII. Her current book project How to Build An Art World: Art & Politics in 1950s Turkey investigates Ecevit’s place in the context of an emergent modern art world in the post-war period.

 

Records of the Kurds: territory, revolt and nationalism, 1831-1979

The Islamic Studies Library is currently trialing the Records of the Kurds: territory, revolt and nationalism, 2831-1979. British documentary sources collection. This set of 13 volumes includes documents tracing “early insurgencies of the Kurdish people directed against regional and metropolitan powers, their inter-relations with neighbouring tribes and other ethnic groups, while also depicting the extent of territories pertaining to the Kurdish homeland. The period witnessed the origins of Kurdish nationalist sentiments through a series of disparate revolts in the 19th century, through to a larger, more cohesive and discernible movement launched in the aftermath of World War One.”

fireshot-screen-capture-002-welcome-to-east-view-cambridge-archive-editio_-dlib_eastview_com_browse_books_1670_searchlink%2fsearch%2fsimpleDocuments are in Arabic, English and Kurdish (Sorani). The trial will be open until January 9th, 2017: try it out and let us know what you think!