The Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) Collection of Central Eurasia publications consists of approximately 5,000 volumes including printed books from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, catalogues, and maps. The collection also counts more than 3,000 offprints, most of which signed by their authors with dedication inscriptions to their colleague and friend, Ambassador or Professor Jarring. Besides the travelogues and related literature, linguistic treatises and dictionaries for a great number of languages can be found in the collection, as well as books on history, religion, literature and several other disciplines.
The Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection is part of a digitization project initially funded by the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2011–2014), conducted in cooperation with the Sven Hedin Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and at a global level with the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) which is a network coordinating databases for collections from the Eastern Silk Road. Rare and fragile manuscripts and printed matters as well as other objects, such as photos, maps and drawings in the Jarring Collection at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII) have been digitized for storage and presented on this website.
Parallel to his career as a top diplomat in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) entertained a life-long academic career devoted to the Turkic world in general and Eastern Turkestan in particular. A large part of his own private library consisted of publications on Central Eurasia, both from the region itself and from other parts of the world, not least the former Soviet Union, where Jarring was Ambassador from 1964 to 1973. All of the most well-known accounts of expeditions to Inner Asia can be found in this collection along with a great number of less known accounts, some of which are very rare and accessible at just a few or perhaps even no other libraries in the world.
So far, two parts of the collection have been digitized, and are continuously updated:
If the materials are in numerous languages, the website is in English.
The McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies Student Council (MIISSC) will hold its 7th annual Graduate Symposium on April 26-27, 2017. Entitled Conversations in Islam and Islam in Conversation, it will feature a keynote address by Professor Zulfikar Hirji (York University, Toronto) about « Muslim Discourses and the Politics of Refusal ».
This symposium brings together graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows from Canada, the US, and across the world, to present and engage in conversations surrounding the following panels:
– Dialoguing Sciences
– Conversations across Traditions
– Challenging Encounters
– Ontological Debates
– The changing Role of the State
– The Power of Place
– A Question of Hermeneutics.
The symposium will end with an open conversation between attendees and presenters on the role of Islamic studies scholars in combating Islamophobia.Where: Thomson House, 3650 McTavish St.,Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2
When: Wednesday April 26th & Thursday April 27th, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/421927201511925/
The McGill Library is trialing the EBSCO ebook Arabic Collection until June 3, 2017.Serving the countries and territories of the Arabic League and beyond, the Middle Eastern collection from EBSCO includes over 4,400 Arabic e-books covers a broad range of academic subjects, including art, biography, business, child development, education, medicine, social sciences, humanities, Islamic studies, history, law, music, religion, political science, technology, engineering and more.
The collection includes content from noteworthy publishers as well as award-winning authors including Abbas Mahmoud El Akkad, Fatima Naaot, Mohamed Awad Aidi, and Ibrahim Abdel Qader Mezni.
Check it out, and let us know what you think!
La Bibliothèque d’Études Islamiques de McGill est heureuse de co-organiser un événement Un livre, tant de communautés (One Book, Many Communities) en français à la Bibliothèque des Lettres et Sciences Humaines (BLSH) de l’Université de Montréal le jeudi 13 avril 2017, à 17h00.
Rejoignez-nous pour discuter la nouvelle Retour à Haifa écrite par Ghassan Kanafani publiée dans le recueil intitulé Retour à Haifa et autres nouvelles. La discussion sera animé par la professeure Dyala Hamzah, (Histoire du Moyen-Orient, Département d’histoire de l’Université de Montréal).
La campagne de lecture Un livre, tant de communautés (One Book, Many Communities) a été initiée par Bibliothécaires et archivistes avec la Palestine (Librarians and Archivists with Palestine), un réseau de bibliothécaires, archivistes et professionnels de l’information solidaires avec la lutte des Palestiniens pour l’auto-détermination.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/175513959620166/
The novel to be discussed is a short volume entitled Returning to Haifa by Palestinian author, Ghassan Kanafani. The group discussion will be moderated by Professors Michelle Hartman (Arabic literature, Institute of Islamic Studies), and Laila Parsons (Middle East history, Department of History and Institute of Islamic Studies).
The One Book, Many Communities annual reading campaign is an initiative of Librarians and Archivists with Palestine. The project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea, wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book.
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is a network of self-defined librarians, archivists, and information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
The event will take place in the Octagon Room at the Islamic Studies Library:
3485 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A OE1
The space is wheelchair accessible via the campus door entrance. Accessible washrooms located in the basement.
Ankara Üniversitesi Gazeteler Veri Tabanı is a modest but nevertheless interesting digital collection of digitized Turkish newspapers published at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Examples of titles included in the collection are: Cumhuriyet, Hakimiyet-i Milliye, Tercüman-ı Hakikat, or Zaman.
At the time of our visit, the collection counted eighteen titles accessible from the main page (click on the title). We were not able to find a description of the project specifying if the collection is a continually updated resource or if it is complete as is.
Issues can be either read or downloaded in PDF format. And a search tool (keyword, title, and author fields) available at the top of each page allows for basic navigation.
Although very simple, this website remains valuable given the content it provides access to. The interface is available in Turkish only.
The McGill Library is currently trialing Arab World Research Source.
Arab World Research Source is an EBSCO dabatase of academic journals, magazines, trade publications, conference papers, and industry profiles that are published in or pertain specifically to the Arab World. Disciplines covered range from Engineering, Science and Technology to Literature and Writing, passing by Law, and Social Sciences and Humanities.
Arab World Research Source includes more than 125 full-text titles in Arabic language, nearly 420 resources, among which 270 academic journals, all published from 1972 to this day. When available, abstracts in Arab World Research Source are included in Arabic, and titles are listed in both Arabic and English. The Arabic content in Arab World Research Source is easily discoverable thank to EBSCO’s enhanced multilingual content search technology.
The trial will end on May 13th, 2017. Check it out, and let us know what you think!
Supported by Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), and developed by Koç University Suna Kiraç Library, BiblioPera is the online union catalogue of the Libraries of nine international Research Centers located in Beyoglu, Istanbul:
- Istanbul Research Institute
- Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations
- SALT Research
- Deutsches Archäologisches Institut-Istanbul
- Netherlands Institute in Turkey
- Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes
- Orient-Institut Istanbul
- Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul
- Sismanoglio Megaro.
Not only BiblioPera brings those multilingual collections together, but also, it aims at promoting historical, archaeological, and social scientific research on Turkey, and providing a unique virtual environment for scholars, research center staff, and librarians to share ideas, experiences, and collaborate on new projects, for scientific and cultural production.
BiblioPera allows to search more than 500,000 print materials, by title, author, subject, publisher, keyword and ISBN. Results can further be refined by library, language, and year of publication.
The website interface is available in Turkish and English.
The ATLA Historical Monographs Collection: Series 1 & 2 provides religious and theological literature from the late 13th century to 1922.
Series 1 contains over five million pages from titles dating from the late 13th century through the 1893 World Parliament of Religions, with a majority of 19th century titles. Because religion was such an integral part of the social, political and economic fabric of life during this time period, historians researching a wide range of areas, not just religion, will find invaluable material relevant to their work.
Series 2 contains over five million pages from over 14,880 monographs dating from 1894 to 1922, and provides a broad view of the changing landscape of religion in America at the end of a century of dramatic cultural and political change.
The ATLA Historical Monographs Collection is also accessible in eleven thematic subsets such as:
- Islam in the Modern World, 1804-1918
- Missions and Missionaries Around the World, 1611-1922
- Religion and Social Change, 1723-1921
- Religious Leaders and Thinkers, 1516-1922
This resource will be of interest for scholars working on understanding religious thought and practice, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Preserved and curated by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), the Historical Monographs Collection includes over 29,000 titles in more than 50 languages.
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.
- Stories and Tales
- Cities and Regions
- Arts and Artists
- Histories and Culture
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 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:
The website interface is bilingual Turkish/English.
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.
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!
The 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:
- 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 sources2. 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 Maryland3. 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.
During 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.
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.
This 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.
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!
Archnet 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.