The Islamic Studies Library was founded, along with the Institute of Islamic Studies, by Prof. Wilfred Cantwell Smith in 1952. The Islamic Studies Library and the Institute have occupied several campus locations, but since 1983 have been situated in Morrice Hall, the former Presbyterian College of Montreal. This research library is intended to be of primary interest to post-graduate students and faculty.
The Islamic Studies Library holds over 100,000 volumes of monographs and nearly 1,000 serial titles covering the whole of Islamic civilization. The collection includes: early printed books, dating from the 16th-19th centuries. Among them there are sixteen works published in the early 18th century in Istanbul by the celebrated Turkish painter Ibrahim Müteferrika, and a sizeable number of Egyptian imprints from Bulaq. It also holds a collection of approximately 700 lithographed books printed in the 19th century in Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and India.
The manuscript collection consists of texts in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Persian. Although small in size, this collection is rich in shi`te texts. Among the manuscripts of note there is a collection of prayers, (Majmû`ad`iyah), by the famous Sufi mater `Abd al-Qâdir al-Jîlânî (d.561/1167), which was elegantly calligraphed and decorated in 1094/1683. There is also an illuminated copy of Man lâ yahduruhu al-faqîh by Ibn Bâbûyah (d.381/991), copied in 993/1585; and a recently acquired early 12/18th century composite codex executed for the San`a vizier Sharaf al-Dîn al-Haymî (d.1140/1727). These works are located in the Rare Books and Special Collections.
sean.swanick [at] mcgill.ca (Sean Swanick) , Islamic Studies Liaison Librarian
Dean of Libraries