The Islamic manuscripts fall into three groups: Arabic, Persian and Turkish. The Arabic manuscripts, some thirty-three codices, are mostly Korans and tracts on Sufiism and Shiite sects. In addition, there is a collection of over two hundred pieces of Arabic calligraphy. There are some thirty-five Persian codices, primarily poetry, and about a hundred separate leaves, many containing miniature paintings. Among the latter is one leaf dated to the thirteenth century and a leaf from the Demotte "Shahnama", c. 1350. Finally, there are four Turkish manuscripts, mostly histories and two Malay manuscripts.
Descriptions of the Arabic manuscripts will be found in Adam Gacek, Arabic Manuscripts, Fontanus Monograph Series I, Montreal: McGill University Libraries, 1991 and "Arabic Calligraphy and the 'Herbal' of al-Ghâfiqî: A Survey of Arabic Manuscripts at McGill University" Fontanus vol.II (1989), 37-53; Early Qur'anic Fragments" Fontanus vol.III (1990), 45-64; and "A Collection of Qur'anic Codices" Fontanus vol. IV (1991) 35-53.