Wednesday, September 4, 2019

American Center Of Oriental Research Photo Archive

American Center Of Oriental Research Photo Archive
ACOR Photo Archive
The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan, is a non‑profit, 501(c)(3) academic institution dedicated to promoting research and publication in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on issues related to Jordan and the broader region.

The ACOR Library holds a remarkable photographic archive related to its role in preserving and promoting the country’s heritage. The complete collection, estimated to number more than 100,000 images, provides primary visual documentation of Jordan, including the major archaeological and cultural heritage projects that the center has sponsored across the country over the decades.

Given its broad range of content and subject matter, the ACOR Library photographic archive has the potential to be a crucial resource for American, international, and Jordanian scholars involved in cultural and natural heritage preservation and management.

As a first step in making this extensive archival collection available to researchers, the ACOR Library is cataloging, digitizing, and making accessible online ACOR’s major institutional and donated photographic holdings.
The project is supported by a U.S. Department of Education, Title VI grant (2016-2020)
The ACOR Research Library Photographic Archive Project is made possible under a Fiscal Year 2016  American Overseas Research Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Use ACOR Photo Archive Images:
Request to use images

Read more about our archive policies: ACOR Library Photographic Archive Notice and Takedown policy

A Guide to Online Visual Sources in Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic Studies

A Guide to Online Visual Sources in Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic Studies by Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg the Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art & Architecture at the Harvard Fine Arts Library.

"Let’s face it: every publication is better with images. Whether it’s a presentation, a blog post, a book, or just a paper, images engage an audience instantly. The internet is flush with images from Islamic art, architecture, and society, but reliable sources (with credit information) are more difficult to track down. So we’ve done it for you! Here are some of the best sites for finding credited visual resources for Islamic, Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Feel free to suggest more in the comments and we’ll update the list!...
see more 

Friday, July 5, 2019

125 More Arabic Scientific Manuscripts in the Qatar Digital Library

125 More Arabic Scientific Manuscripts in the Qatar Digital Library

"The second phase of the British Library/Qatar Foundation Partnership digitisation project has now come to a successful close. You can find lists of the 80 manuscripts digitised during the first phase of the project here and here, and as we enter the project’s third phase, we are delighted to present an overview and complete list of the 125 Arabic scientific manuscripts digitised during the second phase..."

See also: Alphabetical List of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Open Access Manuscripts Collection: Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture

Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture is making available more than 4,000 manuscripts in the fields of the Humanities, Hadith, Quran, Arabic Language, Jurisprudence, History, Literature, as well as Astronomy, Medicine and Marine Science.

 See also: Alphabetical List of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

[NOTE via Evyn Kropf: "Please note that these manuscripts are presently not being made available in their entirety open access, but for a fee (at this stage most manuscripts appear to be set at the price of 10 Omani Rials or about 25 USD)... Registration is also required. And images are watermarked.

It is however possible to search the database of descriptive data and to view an excerpt (looks to be around 10 openings or so) without registering or submitting payment.  "

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Ocean of Paper Database

"An Ocean of Paper seeks to stimulate new research in the social history of the Sultanate by collecting, cataloging, and publishing the thousands of deeds (called waraqas) produced by Omanis in South Arabia and East Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These deeds, which exist in private and public collections in Oman and East Africa, recount transactions in money, property, and commodities between Omanis from different parts of the country who engaged in activities around the Indian Ocean. Individually, they tell stories of the lives, fortunes, and trajectories of Omani migrants; together, they constitute some of the richest written records we have on any community in the region, and promise to completely reshape the foundations of Omani social and economic history in the Indian Ocean."

Ocean of Paper is a part of Indian Ocean in World History educational resources project of Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center.

Facebook's black market in antiquities : trafficking, terrorism and war crimes

Facebook's black market in antiquities : trafficking, terrorism and war crimes 

by Al-Azm, Amr‏ ; Paul, Katie A. with contributions by Graham, Shawn.
Publisher: Athar Project
Published:  June 2019
83 pages.
"Facebook’s “Groups” feature, which allows users to create and control a contained network of individuals with “shared interests,” has become a facilitator for the expansion of antiquities trafficking networks. The Groups provide a seamless environment for digital interactions and cross-border networking between users interested in buying and selling antiquities, allowing them to communicate efficiently and discretely. The ATHAR Project’s report covers nearly two-years of investigative research and incorporates a case study on Groups based in Syria.
Facebook’s rapid growth and lack of internal policing mechanisms over the past decade have helped the platform become a digital black market where users buy and sell goods, including illicit antiquities, from some of the world’s most conflict-ridden nations. The social media platform has marketed itself as a tool for the global dissemination of ideas and information. In the process, however, it has unwittingly expanded the communication abilities of transnational criminal networks the world over.
Today, Facebook offers a veritable digital toolbox for traffickers to utilize, including photo and video uploads, live streaming, disappearing ‘Stories,’ payment mechanisms, and encrypted messaging. Facebook is the perfect platform for a one-stop-shop black market..."

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Palestinian Oral History Archive

Palestinian Oral History Archive
"About the Archive :
The Palestinian Oral History Archive is a project to digitize, index, catalog, preserve, and provide access (through a searchable digital platform) to an
archival collection of around 1,000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon. POHA documents the life stories of Palestinians residing in refugee camps and different communities in Lebanon. The Archive's main focus is personal accounts surrounding the Nakba, a defining moment in Palestinian history and collective experience. Furthermore, the collection contains life narratives of the pre-Nakba period in pre-1948 Palestine, folktales and songs, as well as stories of the women in Ein el-Helwe camp after its destruction in 1982."

The project is a partnership between the Nakba Archive & al-Jana (collection owners) and Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut and the University Libraries. It was made possible by an award from the NEH, and used the OHMS application and viewer.

Palestinian Oral History Map

Palestinian Oral History Map

"The project is a means to navigate the POHA oral history platform, which contains over one thousand hours of oral testimonies from Palestinians who lived through the Nakba, describing everyday life and culture in Palestine before 1948, as well as their experiences of displacement and exile.
The interactive map allows you to explore the testimonies based on the historic landmarks that they describe—from schools, hospitals and factories to rivers, valleys and mountains—and to see these in the context of detailed historic maps from the 1940s that Visualizing Palestine helped to make available through Palestine Open Maps (POM)."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Arab Image Foundation

Arab Image Foundation
[Update:  June 3, 2019 :
"Arab photography archive releases 22,000 historic images online
Arab Image Foundation completes $255,000 digitisation initiative and will reopen its Beirut building this summer"]
The Arab Image Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Beirut in 1997. Its mission is to collect, preserve and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora. 
The AIF’s expanding collection is generated through artist and scholar-led projects. The Foundation makes its collection accessible to the public through a wide spectrum of activities, including exhibitions, publications, videos, a website and an online image database.  
 The ongoing research and acquisition of photographs include so far Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Mexico, Argentina and Senegal. To date, the collection holds more than 600,000 photographs.

East of Jordan: Travellers 'East of Jordan' in the 19th Century

East of Jordan: Travellers 'East of Jordan' in the 19th Century 
'East of Jordan’ is the title of an upcoming book about 19th century western travellers who made the journey into what is now Jordan. Of particular interest are those who went to Petra, the remarkable Nabataean and Roman city and wonder of the world rediscovered to the West by Burckhardt in 1812, and those who explored the Roman cities and villages of the Decapolis in the northwest. The journals, diaries, sketches, paintings and photographs offer insights into their remarkable experiences, hardships and delights in a mysterious and ancient land, and the peoples and places encountered.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

"vHMML offers resources and tools for the study of manuscripts and currently features manuscript cultures from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The site houses high-resolution images of manuscripts, many of them digitized as part of HMML’s global mission to preserve and share important, endangered, and inaccessible manuscript collections through digital photography, archiving, and cataloging. It also contains descriptions of manuscripts from HMML's legacy microfilm collection, with scans of some of these films...

Virtual HMML [vHMML] Reading Room, the digital library of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, has thousands of Islamic manuscript records, with 400,000 West African Islamic manuscript images and metadata coming from Timbuktu, Mali in the coming years.

The vHMML platform also includes a component called School, a resource for teaching Arabic paleography from the 9th to 20th centuries, using Christian Arabic manuscripts from Sinai and HMML’s collections.

See also: Alphabetical list of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

British Library - Digital Access to Persian Manuscripts

List of digitised Persian manuscripts

"Below we have listed the Persian manuscripts in the British Library which have been digitised up to the present time.  Click on the manuscript number at the head of each description to go directly to the relevant entry on the British Library's digitised manuscripts site. Once there, click on the thumbnail image of the manuscript to get to the full digitised version which will open in a new window (please note that all subsequent digitised manuscripts that you view will appear in this same window). You can choose to view one page at a time or two together in book format (i.e. as if you were reading it). Make sure, however, that you select 'Right to Left' in the 'Direction' box..."

See: Alphabetical list of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Manuscripts of the Muslim World

Manuscripts of the Muslim World project made recently available digital copies of 208 manuscripts. The goal of the project is to provide digital editions of more than 500 manuscripts and 827 paintings from the Islamicate world broadly construed. Together these holdings will represent in great breadth the flourishing intellectual and cultural heritage of Muslim lands from 1000 to 1900, coving mathematics, astrology, history, law, literature, as well as the Qur'an and Hadith. The bulk of the collection consists of manuscripts in Arabic and Persian, along with examples of Coptic, Samaritan, Syriac, Turkish, and Berber.
The primary partners are Columbia University, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania with significant contributions from Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College.
This project is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

The collection is available here:

These 208 online manuscripts come from the following institutions:
        37 manuscripts from the Free Library of Philadelphia
        45 manuscripts from the University of Pennsylvania
        127 manuscripts from Columbia University
        1 manuscript from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

New content is added regularly so please check the site often. Eventually the manuscripts housed there will also be available in more public-friendly page-turning format but the OPenn raw files will remain the canonical source. In addition, the local library catalogs at Columbia, the FLP, and Penn will contain links to the digitized facsimiles as well as to other manifestations differing by institution (Columbia for instance will link to Internet Archive e-book versions).

Please do let us know about any interesting finds in the digitized corpus.
Kelly Tuttle, the cataloger for the project has recently begun tweeting images from the project at

Alphabetical list of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

Alphabetical list of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

63 collections as of July 3, 2019
[First posted 12/10/2010, updated 7/2/2019]

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Arabian Gulf Digital Archive

Arabian Gulf Digital Archive 
(collaboration between the UK National Archives and United Arab Emirates)

"The Arabian Gulf Digital Archive (“AGDA”) is an online archive that has been created to showcase historical and cultural material that tells the story of the rich, intriguing and complex history of the Arabian Gulf.

An accessible resource, it serves to offer digital material that spans two centuries, documenting events and personalities that have shaped and defined the region. The contents offer an insight into the past with some material previously unseen by the general public.

AGDA contains, among other things, letters, memos, transcripts, photos and official correspondence from leaders and governments that shaped the events of their time. It’s a free and open resource for students, researchers, enthusiasts and anyone who is curious to explore the rich and varied past of the Arabian Gulf."

Monday, April 29, 2019

Digital Muṣḥaf

"The Digital Muṣḥaf Project aims to create a database of images of early Qurʾānic fragments from dispersed muṣḥafs or codices of the Qurʾanic text and, as far as possible, virtually re-create the original codices so that they are available for scholars and the public in one place together with descriptions and metadata.

There is an ever-growing scholarly interest in Qur’anic Studies in the East and the West. The newly founded International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is but one manifestation of this. In particular there is an interest in early Qur’anic fragments from a number of points of view including those of chronology, textual criticism, art history, palaeography, and codicology. There may be a number from the high-hundreds to as many as a figure in the low-thousands of fragments from early muṣḥafs from the 7th to 10thcenturies C.E., scattered throughout the libraries of the world, the exact figure is not known, and although Whelan (1990), Dutton (1999) and others have done valuable work in identifying fragments belonging to the same muṣḥaf, much work remains to be done.

For this Pilot Project, the team decided to focus on a single muṣḥaf, namely the codex discussed by Estelle Whelan (Writing the Word of God, Part I, p. 116-118 ) of which 344 folios are known to be dispersed throughout various libraries. We have given this Codex the rubric Digital Muṣḥaf 1 (DM1). Please refer to Appendix 1 for details of currently known fragments.

Of this muṣḥaf, the following fragments have been selected for the pilot project:
Chester Beatty Library, CBL Is 1407, fols. 1-4.
Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Cod. 12.11 Aug. 2°, fols. 1-6.
BNF Cod. 350a, fols. 99-141.
The Bodleian Libraries, MS. Marsh 178, 22 fols.

For the online reconstruction of DM1, 149 images from the four participating libraries have been gathered for display: 44 from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, seven from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, 86 from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and 12 from the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Our reconstruction of the original codex is powered by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), a set of standards and tools for creating interoperable image repositories.

The images of DM1 are hosted in IIIF-compatible format by the Bodleian (in the case of the Chester Beatty, Wolfenbüttel and Bodleian images) and the BnF (in the case of the BnF’s own images). To bring all 149 images together, and to display them in the correct original sequence rather than in the order in which the libraries’ fragments have been bound, the Bodleian team created a IIIF manifest (, a piece of linked data in JSON-LD format that specifies the sequence, location and associated metadata for a collection of digitized objects. The Digital Mushaf manifest specifies the location and technical details for each DM1 image, along with page-level metadata provided by our scholars."

With thanks to Robin Dougherty.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bibliotheques d'Orient

Bibliotheques d'Orient

"This searchable web site began in 2016 by the Bibliothèque National de France and seven heritage and research libraries in Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Istanbul and Jerusalem. It was created to reveal the permanence and wealth of the scientific, intellectual and interreligious exchanges in this region. It is for researchers, teachers and students, and for all those who want to broaden their understanding of this region of the world, in its historic depth, so as better to grasp current events. It will be updated over time when new resources are obtained. Collaboration of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and international partners to create and curate open access thematic collections of digitized material from and about the Middle East."

Monday, April 8, 2019

Universität Bonn: Translatio digitization project

"Within the framework of a project supported by the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (duration 1.11.2013 – 31.10.2014) the Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies of the University of Bonn would like to research how European concepts had been discursively acquired between 1860 and 1945 in Asian and Middle Eastern societies.The aim of the project is to make the very scattered source materials on – to a scientific high degree innovative and for numerous colleagues connectable theme “Translation. The cognitive acquisition of European key concepts in Asian and Middle Eastern societies (1860-1945)” in a first step digital and in one place accessible. Relevant sources from the Middle Eastern and Asian saddle period shall be digitised, exploited and put on the research platform for evaluation and further work from the period 1860-1945: periodicals, lexica, encyclopedias, political publications, remissions and Ego-documents. As periodicals are the basis of the developed public sphere of the aforementioned period, these periodicals form the most important and most extensive primary texts for a conceptual history."


52 titles have been digitized in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman.




Thursday, March 28, 2019

"Blogs you should be adding to your bookmarks"

Hazine blog published a list of various blogs worth following on Islamic manuscripts, Middle East literature, culture, history, digital humanities, etc.

Happy to report AMIR was included in the list.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Annotated Turki Manuscripts from the Jarring Collection Online

The project Annotated Turki Manuscripts from the Jarring Collection Online is an effort to provide better access for the public to materials in the Central Asian manuscripts collected by a number of Swedish scholars and donated by Prof. (and Ambassador) Gunnar Jarring to the Lund University Library in Sweden. The project is directed by Prof. Arienne M. Dwyer and Dr. C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

We focus on non-translated manuscripts written in the the late Chaghatay language of the southern Tarim Basin, in what is today Xinjiang. In partnership with Lund University Library, our aim is to scan many more manuscripts than are currently available; to transcribe a large portion of these, and to provide additional linguistic annotation and translations for select manuscripts. The project also aims to create a digital edition of one manuscript.

The project began in early 2015; in the course of the project period (2015-2018) we scanned selected manuscripts, then made and will continue to make transcriptions of selected scans, and linguistic annotation of select transcriptions available on this site.

The project has been funded in part by the Henry Luce Foundation.

URL: Special thanks to Robin Dougherty.

See also: Alphabetical List of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections

Friday, March 1, 2019

Open Access journal: Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico

Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico
ISSN: 2532-6740
Risorsa digitale indipendente a carattere interdisciplinare. Uscita semestrale.
Pubblicata da Occhialì – Laboratorio sul Mediterraneo islamico
Dipartimento di Culture, Educazione e Società
Università della Calabria

N. 1/2017

N. 2/2018

N. 3/2018


Scarica il numero in PDF


Monday, February 25, 2019

Arabic Collections Online المجموعات العربية على الانترنت

UPDATE 2/25/19 : More than 10,000 books now available on Arabic Collections Online,
[Columbia 3411, American University of Beirut 2339, Princeton University Libraries 1354, NYU 1834, The American University in Cairo 361, Cornell 742]

[First posted in AMIR on October 24, 2014, updated March 17 , 2015, August 19, 2015]

UPDATE 8/19/15 : ACO has published new items.
It now has 1009 items [ 407 NYU, 402 Columbia, 200 Cornell.]

UPDATE 3/17/15: ACO published 202 items from the collection of Columbia University Libraries

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Open Access Newspaper Archive: الاهرام = al-Ahram
Title: al-Ahrām=الاهرام
Published:  al-Qāhirah : al-Ahrām
Frequency:   Daily
Print began in 1876
Digital issues available: May-Dec 1890; 1892; 1895; July 1896-Jun 1900; Jan 1907-Dec 1908; Jan 1912-Dec 1913; 1943-1945; Oct-Dec 1970; scattered issues wanting.

Access to content published after 1923 is restricted.

[Made available by the Center for Research Libraries]

 Alphabetical List of Open Access Historical Newspapers and Other Periodicals in Middle East & Islamic Studies

Open Access Newspaper Archive: فتاة بوسطن = Fatat Boston [Dec 28, 1917-May 8, 1919]
Title: Fatat Boston.
Place of publication: Boston
Published by : W.E. Shakir
Dates of publication: 1914-1922

Frequency: Weekly
Language: Arabic

Notes: "Syrian semi-weekly newspaper."

Digital issues available: Dec 28, 1917-May 8, 1919

[Made available by the Center for Research Libraries]

Open Access Newspaper Archive: البيان = al-Bayān = The explanation [1911-1938]

Title :   البيان = al-Bayān = The explanation
Published :  Niyūyūrk : Sulaymān Baddūr, 1911-
Frequency    Three times a week
Note: Each issue includes an index

Digital issues available : Jan 24, 1911-Jan 22 1916; Jan 25, 1917-Jul 31, 1926; Jan 25-Dec 31, 1938

[Made available by the Center for Research Libraries]

Alphabetical List of Open Access Historical Newspapers and Other Periodicals in Middle East & Islamic Studies

Open Access Newspaper Archive: al-Hudá = الهدى = Al-Hoda [1903-1904; Jan-Jun 1908]

Title :    al-Hudá  [1903-1904; Jan-Jun 1908]
Other titles: Hoda = Guidance =  Jarīdat al-Hudá = Hudá al-jadīdah = New Al-Hoda.
Published in: New York, N.Y.
Began Feb. 22, 1898

Issues for <Sept. 17, 1971-Feb. 22, 1972> have also romanized title:Al-Hoda.
Issues for <Feb. 22, 1972-> have also Arabic title: Jarīdat al-Hudá (al-jadīdah)
Issues for <Aug. 31, 1984-Sept. 14, 1984> have also Arabic title: Hudá al-jadīdah.
Issues for <Aug. 31, 1984-Sept. 14, 1984> have also title: New Al-Hoda.

[Made available by the Center for Research Libraries]

See also: الهدى = al-Hoda = al-Hudá = Jarīdat al-Hudá [1898-1941] from Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies

Alphabetical List of Open Access Historical Newspapers and Other Periodicals in Middle East & Islamic Studies

Omar Ibn Said Collection

Omar Ibn Said Collection - acquired and digitized by the Library of Congress

 "The Omar Ibn Said Collection consists of 42 digitized documents in both English and Arabic, including an 1831 manuscript in Arabic on "The Life of Omar Ibn Said," a West African slave in America, which is the centerpiece of this unique collection of texts. Some of the manuscripts in this collection include texts in Arabic by another West African slave in Panama, and others from individuals located in West Africa."

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Open Access Book Series: Memoria fontes minores ad historiam Imperii Ottomanici pertinentes.

K. Volarić (Ed.): The Istanbul Letters
Klara Volarić (ed.), The Istanbul Letters of Alka Nestoroff. Bonn: Max Weber Stiftung, 2015. (Memoria. Fontes minores ad Historiam Imperii Ottomanici pertinentes, 1) ISSN: 2364-5997.

Paulina D. Dominik (Ed.): The Istanbul Memories
Paulina D. Dominik (Ed.): The Istanbul Memories in Salomea Pilsztynowa’s Diary »Echo of the Journey and Adventures of My Life« (1760). With an introduction by Stanisław Roszak. Bonn: Max Weber Stiftung, 2017. (Memoria. Fontes minores ad Historiam Imperii Ottomanici pertinentes, 2) ISSN: 2364-5997.

R. Gallé (Ed.): Strolling Through Istanbul in 1918
Ruben Gallé (Ed.): Strolling Through Istanbul in 1918. The War Memoirs of the German Private Georg Steinbach. Bonn: Max Weber Stiftung, 2017. (Memoria. Fontes minores ad Historiam Imperii Ottomanici pertinentes, 3) ISSN: 2364-5997.