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Islamic manuscripts & rare books

Welcome - Merhaba - أهلا وسهلا - Hoşgeldiniz - خوش آمدید ! This guide details useful sources for the study of Islamic rare books and manuscripts. It focuses primarily on materials held at McGill, and projects realized by the Islamic Studies Library.

WorldCat Discovery



Search WorldCat Discovery for McGill books, articles, etc.

Islamic manuscripts at McGill

RBD MS Persian 0028

RBD MS Persian 0028

The Islamic manuscripts at McGill are in Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and a few other languages:

Islamic manuscripts are preserved in the Rare Books and Special Collections library located on the 4th floor of the McLennan building.

Islamic rare books at McGill

شاہنامۂ اردو / فردوسي - PK6456.5 U73 1800

The Islamic rare books at McGill is made of a number of collections in a variety of Islamic and European languages:

  • the Islamic lithographed books collection includes approximately 700 volumes of which 264 in Arabic, and the rest in Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Urdu covering a wide range of literary and scientific topics
  • the Islamic Studies Urdu collection includes approximately 3,700 printed volumes, of which 300 lithographed, embracing all aspects of the South-Asian Islamic culture
  • the Ibrahim Müteferrika Incunabula collection includes 13 volumes published in Istanbul between 1729 and 1742 covering non-religious disciplines, primarily History and Geography.
  • the Islamic Studies European collection includes approximately 1,800 volumes in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, etc.

McGill Islamic rare books are preserved in the Rare Books and Special Collections library located on the 4th floor of the McLennan building.


Further to Quebec government and university directives, McGill campuses are currently closed. As a result, all library branches are closed until further notice. Library staff will continue to provide virtual reference during service hours. I will also be available via email and virtual consultation. For more information about the closure, please visit our COVID -19 | Library Closure & Service Disruptions FAQ.


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Anaïs Salamon
3485 McTavish Street
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Romanization & transliteration

To search the Library catalogue, use the Library of Congress romanization tables  for ArabicOttoman TurkishPersian  and Urdu.

For other ALA-LC romanization Tables click here.

Suggested fonts for the romanization:

  1. Unicode fonts
  2. New Times Arabic

A tool for Mac users: The Arabic Macintosh: an informal resource centre

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