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Islamic Manuscript Studies

Resources for the study of manuscripts produced in the Islamic world and the manuscript cultures they represent.

Manuscript catalogues online

This list represents but a selection of the various catalogues available online for collections of Islamic manuscripts, organized mainly by collection location

Included are digitized versions of print catalogues - some searchable, some available for download, some not - and electronic catalogues of varying complexity supporting search and browse.

Many of the catalogues incorporate companion images or complete digital surrogates. Languages of cataloguing vary.

For further lists of digitized catalogues representing a wide range of collections, see:

  • MENAdoc holdings (search with Keyword = Handschrift and  Collection = Middle East and North Africa Special Area Collection)

  • Jan Just Witkam's Islamic manuscripts reference library (use your browser's search function to locate the section "Manuscripts Catalogues (in reverse chronological order of publication)" as well as other catalogues listed by searching "catal"):





East Asia


Daiber Collection Database, The Arabic Manuscripts in the Daiber Collection, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo   

“This searching system is released for using the original catalogue attached (including titles, author and additional bibliographical information) and the digitized images of Daiber collection at the same time. The corresponding images are linked from the bibliographical information written in the catalogue.

This collection is the corpus of manuscripts mainly focused on Arabic, collected by Dr. Hans Daiber, a professor of Islamic studies in Germany, over many years. Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo purchased the collection, its first part in 1986-1987 and its second part in 1994.”

South and Southeast Asia


Online Catalogues (Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna)


Database of Southeast Asian Islamic Manuscripts, Faculty of Adab and Humanities, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University

Click on "Manuscript" to browse.

"Database of Nusantara Islam Manuscripts is a database that provides various informations related to Nusantara Islam manuscripts. The database covers a wide range of Nusantara Islam manuscripts-based research—using philological approach or other approaches; conducting by foreign scholars or native scholars. As the center of Nusantara Islam manuscripts, the database not only records the title, author, copyist, language, and literacy texts, but also provides a number of manuscript collections and catalogues including lists, and various publications relating to manuscript which is used as the primary resource of research. In addition, the database provides authors and copyists’ biographical information and their activities. Therefore, Database of Nusantara Islam Manuscripts, as the center of information and research on manuscript that can be accessed online, is very important for the manuscripts-based researches and other researches. Thus, through the information contained in the database of Nusantara Islam manuscript, various topics of research can be developed further, while the potential for duplication and plagiarism cases in the study of manuscipt can also be avoided."


Catalogue of Arabic manuscripts, International Islamic University, Malaysia

.MyManuskrip (Digital Library of Malay Manuscripts)

“.MyManuskrip or Digital Library of Malay Manuscript enables repositories within Malaysia and those outside to participate in building and offering manuscript content as well as outputs of manuscript research such as articles, reports, theses and links to relevant sites. As such, repositories, cultural and national heritage centers, manuscript libraries and museums are invited to share and provide access to their manuscript contents and expert knowledge concerning Malay scriptorium. We now have 4 collections and more than 179 titles of manuscripts in our archive.”

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Manuscripts

University of Malaysia Manuscripts

Includes digital surrogates and detailed descriptions.


New Zealand

University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand)

Daneshgar, Majid and Donald Kerr. Middle Eastern and Islamic Materials in Special Collections, Working paper. University of Otago, 2017. Retrieved from

"An inventory of Middle Eastern and Islamic Materials in Special Collections at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand."

Auckland Libraries (Auckland, New Zealand)

Middle Eastern and Islamic manuscripts held at Sir George Grey Special Collections Auckland Libraries New Zealand / compiled and edited by Majid Daneshgar. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 2018. Browse online

Southwest Asia (Middle East) and Central Asia


Uzbek Zawiya (Bukharya)

“The Uzbek/Naqshabandi Zawiya is one of the many Sufi Courts in the Old City of Jerusalem which prospered during the Mamluk and later the Ottoman eras. The Naqshabandi Court was mentioned in many sources which documented earlier times of Jerusalem and was known as Uzbek Zawiya after the name Sheikh Hassan Ben Mohammad Al Uzbeki. It was also known as Bukhari Zawiya after the Bukhari family who still live in this court....The first catalogue of Uzbek manuscripts collection was published in 2003 and contains 177 manuscripts including 167 single manuscripts and 10 Majamee’ (clusters). The largest manuscript in the collection is in the size of 22.5/32.5 cm and the smallest is in the size of 10/15.5 cm.”

Catalogues of manuscripts in the Khalidi Library, Jerusalem


Catalogue of the Manuscripts Library at the University of Kuwait

فهرس مكتبة المخطوطات، جامعة الكويت


Online catalogue for the manuscripts of the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia (CGIE)

فهرست تسخه های خطی كتابخانه دیجیتال رکز دایره المعارف بزرگ اسلامی

Includes representative images for most manuscripts.

Digital Library of Oriental Documents and Manuscripts

(كتابخانه‌ي ديجيتالي نسخه‌هاي خطي و اسناد شرقي)

Includes representative images for most manuscripts. Interface in Persian, Arabic and English.

Shaykh Agha Bozorg Tehrani Bibliographic Database

بانک اطلاعت كتب و نسخ خطی

Manuscripts of Malek National Library and Museum (Kitābkhānah va Mūzih-i Millī-i Malik)

کتابخانه کتابخانه و موزه ملی ملک

Manuscripts of the Majlis (Parliament) Library, Iran

مجموعه نسخ خطی کتابخانه مجلس

Manuscripts in the Digital Library of the National Library of Iran 

کتابخانه و اسناد رقمی (دیجیتال)

Includes brief bibliographic details alongside images of fully digitized manuscripts.

پایگاه اطلاع رسانی کتابخانه های ایران

Union catalogue for federated search of the holdings of many Iranian libraries.

National Content Consortium

کنسرسیوم محتوای ملی

Select "نسخ خطی" to limit search to manuscripts.


Manuscripts of the Academy of Sciences

The site also includes digital files for lithographs and other materials from the collections 


Al-Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies (Uzbekistan of Academy of Sciences)

Search platform by tome and field (number, title, author, language, subject, illustration)

North Africa


فهرس المخطوطات العربية المحفوظة في الخزانة العامة بالرباظ

(Fihris al-makhṭūṭāt al-ʻArabīyah al-maḥfūẓah fī al-Khizānah al-ʻĀmmah bi-al-Rabāṭ)

Digitized volumes of the catalogue of the Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of Morocco, i.e. Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc (BnRM), previously Bibliothèque Générale and  Bibliothèque Générale et Archives (BGA).


Bibliothèque Nationale de Tunisie 

Entries for manuscripts listed in the Library Catalog Searchue, mostly in Arabic script. Use advanced search (i.e. "Recherche élaborée" or "البحث المتقدم") and limit to manuscripts collection (i.e. "Collection Manuscrit" or "المخطوطات") to search by title, author, or subject in Arabic script.


Catalogue of the manuscripts of al-Maktabah al-Bārūnīyah, Djerba, Tunisia

فهرس مخطوطات المكتبة البارونية بجربة

Preliminary Catalog of Arabic Manuscripts at the Association pour laSauvegarde de lÕële de Djerba (Houmet Souk, Tunisia) (Paul Love)


 (دار الكتب والوثائق القومية (دار الكتب المصرية

Catalogue for manuscripts (and other material) of the Egyptian National Library and Archives. Limit your advanced search to manuscripts.

فهرس المكتبة >> بحث متقدم >> صيغة = مخطوطات

رابط فهرس المكتبة

المكتبة المركزية للمخطوطات الاسلامية بوزارة الاوقاف المصرية

Catalogue (indivudal entries and indexes) for manuscripts of the Central Library for Manuscripts in the Egyptian Ministry of Awqāf


فهارس المكتبات الخطية

Federated search of catalogues for manuscripts from several Egyptian libraries

"يشتمل هذا الباب من الموقع ، على فهارس وصفية كاملة لمكتبات خطية مهمة . ويمكن البحث فى محتوى هذا الباب ، بكلمة من عنوان المخطوطة ، أو كلمة من اسم مؤلفها ، أوكلمة من بدايتها أو موضوع المخطوطة أو رقم حفظها"

"المتاح حالياً من الفهارس ، هو

  • فهرس مكتبة رفاعة الطهطاوى وهى المكتبة التى تشمل على قرابة (1800 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس المخطوطات العلمية بمكتبة بلدية الإسكندرية (470 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس  مخطوطات شبين الكوم (350 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس مخطوطات الفقة بمسجد ابى العباس المرسى(800 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس مخطوطات المعْهَدِ الدِّيِنى بسُمُوحَـةِ (204 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس مخطوطات دار الكتب بطنطا (447 مخطوطة)
  • و فِهرسُ مَخْطُوطَاتِ البُحَـيْرَةِ (دمنهور ، رشيد) (341 مخطوطة)
  • و فِهرسُ مَخْطُوطَاتِ بلدية الإسكندرية (تصوف) (407 مخطوطة)
  • و فِهرسُ مَخْطُوطَاتِ بلدية الإسكندرية (منطق) (241 مخطوطة)
  • و فِهرسُ مَخْطُوطَاتِ بلدية الإسكندرية (تاريخ) (308 مخطوطة)
  • و فِهرسُ مَخْطُوطَاتِ بلدية الإسكندرية (حديث) (448 مخطوطة)
  • و فهرس أبي العباس المرسى (التصوف – التفسير – السيرة- التوحيد - الحديث) (402 مخطوطة)"


Qatar Digital Library

Qatar National Library Digital Repository

Search or browse by title, language, subject, date, etc

كشاف البخاري

Manuscripts, reading notes, etc related to Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

West Africa

West African Arabic Manuscripts Database or

"The West African Arabic Manuscript Database currently includes descriptive records of 20,000 Arabic manuscripts from West Africa. The database and search interface are bilingual. Comments, queries, and expressions of interest in adding data sets to this one are encouraged: please contact Prof. Charles Stewart."

For more on the project and included collections see 

Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa: A Catalog of the Herskovitz Library Collection  

“The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University houses an important collection of Arabic script materials from West Africa. It contains over 5,000 items collected from Africa and donated to the library by several Northwestern professors. Original, hand-written manuscripts make up more than 60 percent of the content, which also includes ‘market’ editions (photocopies of handwritten works that are often sold in African marketplaces), printed editions, and photocopies. Most are in Arabic, though some are in ajami—African languages such as Hausa, Fulfulde, and Wolof written in the Arabic script.

The collection unites an impressive concentration of works by West African authors, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, making it a unique and valuable resource for scholars interested in the production of Islamic knowledge in West Africa (for more information on this tradition, see “Historical Context”). It is especially strong in works from northern Nigeria (Kano in particular) but also includes items from Ghana, Senegal, and Mali. The works cover a wide range of subjects, including poetry, Arabic grammar, history, theology, Sufism, law, astronomy, and numerology. Highlights include the collection’s rich body of work on the Tijâniyya Sufi order, fine examples of Hausa poetry, and writings on medicine and healing.

This website provides information about the catalog, which contains entries from four separate collections: The Umar Falke CollectionThe John Paden CollectionThe John Hunwick CollectionThe University of Ghana Collection, and access via NUsearch, Northwestern Library's discovery search tool."

Old Kanembu Islamic Manuscripts (Chad, Niger, Nigeria)

"The digital collection of Old Kanembu manuscripts provides an online access to one of the earliest written sub-Saharan languages in manuscript form. Old Kanembu written in Arabic script was a language of Qur’anic interpretation in the ancient Borno Sultanate. It has survived in marginal and interlinear annotations in the early Qur’an manuscripts dating from the 17th to 19th centuries and in various other religious texts dating from the 19th century to 1980’s. 

The Old Kanembu corpus originates from Qur’anic manuscripts photographed by David Bivar in 1950s and donated to the SOAS Library in 2003. The initial collection consisted of four manuscripts represented by 230 folios in photographic and microfilm form, all subsequently digitised in 2005. In 2005-2007, in the course of fieldwork conducted by Dmitry Bondarev and Abba Isa Tijani in northern Nigeria, and in 2009-2013 by Dmitry Bondarev in Nigeria, Niger and the Republic of Chad, the corpus of digitised manuscripts was substantially increased to more than 5,000 folios, including five more copies of the Qur’an and numerous other bilingual (Arabic and Old Kanembu) manuscripts. The collection now spans a period of about 400 years, from the oldest manuscripts found by Bivar (17th to early 18th centuries) to the manuscripts of a later period (18th to late 20th centuries), produced in different places in northern Nigeria, southeast Niger and west Chad."


Oriental Manuscript Resource (OMAR)

“OMAR was built at the University of Freiburg (Germany), in cooperation with the Center of Informatics of the Unversity of Tübingen (Germany). The databank contains images of approx. 2.500 Arabic manuscripts (in full text, 134.000 images) from Mauritania together with the corresponding bibliographical metadata.

The scans were taken from microfilms, stored at the University of Freiburg, whose originals are preserved at the IMRS (Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Scientifique) in Nouakchott (Mauritania). The microfilms where made by Rainer Oßwald, Ulrich Rebstock and Tobias Mayer during several research trips in Mauritania between 1979 and 1997.”


Listing of the manuscripts in the Djenné Manuscript Library (41 family libraries)

Available for download as an Excel spreadsheet with inventory (in Arabic) for each family library in a separate sheet.

Preliminary survey of Arabic manuscripts in Djenné, Mali (EAD project)

Survey (in Arabic and English) of 13 family libraries recently donated to the Djenné library


Arewa House Arabic / Ajami Manuscripts Catalogues (Arewa House, Ahmadu Bello University)

Search and / or download (Excel, CSV, PDF) 




ÖNB-HANNA-Katalog. Handschriften,  Nachlässen und Autografen (Vienna)

To browse catalogue entries for Arabic, Turkish and Persian manuscript holdings at the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), navigate to the “Erweiterte Suche” page in the ÖNB-HANNA-Katalog and choose “Arabisch,” “Türkisch” or “Persisch” from the “Sprache” drop-down menu.


Mehemmed Füzuli adına Əlyazmalar İnstitutu, AZƏRBAYCAN MİLLİ ELMLƏR AKADEMİYASI (Baku)

Links to assorted catalogues available for download.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Orijentalni rukopisi, Katalog, Bošnjački institut (Sarajevo)

Two volume catalogue of the Oriental manuscripts of the Bosniak Institute in Sarajevo, available for download in two rar files of images.

Manuscripts of the Qur’an (Rukopisi Kur’ana) (Sarajevo)

Exhibition catalogue of Qur’anic manuscripts from the Oriental collection of the Historical Archive Sarajevo.

Gazi Husrev-Begova Biblioteka (Sarajevo)

Online catalogue for the library ; select "Rukopisi" to search manuscript holdings.

Czech Republic

“The collection of Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of the Czech Republic”

“The collection of Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of the Czech Republic contains 200 items. It is a component part of larger holdings of Oriental manuscripts, especially Persian, Turkish, and Indian. The whole collection of Orientalia has ca. 1200 volumes of which Indian manuscripts mainly on palm-leaves form more than a half.

The library possessed a small number of Oriental manuscripts in the 19th century as it results from the documents from the period, when the director of the library was Pavel Josef Safarik. Large acquisitions of Oriental manuscripts took place in 1920s and 1930s. From this time also their first - rather imperfect - list has been preserved. Their more detailed processing is taking place only towards the end of 1990s.

The Arabic manuscripts cover various branches of human activity as, for example, logic, mathematics, religion, politics, law, astronomy, medicine, science of nature, or literature. Concrete information about their acquisition has not been preserved.

This short catalogue is their first list ever published.”


Calames: Online catalogue of archives and manuscripts in French University and Research libraries (Union catalogue, France)

Search for relevant manuscripts by language (Arabic, Chagatai, Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, Persian, “Turkish, Ottoman” etc.)  Interface in French and English.

BnF archives et manuscrits (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)

Browse by language by selecting Collections >> Département des Manuscrits >> "Arabe" (or "Persan" or "Turc" etc.) 

Links to digitized catalogues and indexes

Mandragore, base des manuscrits enluminés de la BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)

Electronic catalogue of illuminated / illustrated manuscripts held at the BnF with descriptions and color images available for viewing and download.

Fonds Arsène Roux : Manuscrits (MMSH-IREMAM, Médiathèque de la MMSH, Aix-en-Provence)

online catalogue

digitized catalogues


Qalamos --- connecting manuscript traditions

"Portal für Handschriften aus asiatischen und afrikanischen Schrifttraditionen. Das Portal wird im Rahmen des DFG-Projekts „Orient-Digital“ entwickelt. Projektpartner sind die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, die Forschungsbibliothek Gotha, die Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin und das Universitätsrechenzentrum Leipzig."

Portal for manuscripts from Asian and African writing traditions preserved in partnering German libraries. Will include descriptive data and links to digitized manuscripts (where available) 

Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland Digital

Digital copies of the volumes of this essential reference catalogue

Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in Germany (KOHD)

Online database for this essential catalogue covering Old Turkish, Arabic, Dravidian, Khmer, Persian, Sanskrit and Tibetan

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

"Orient-Digital ist die Datenbank der orientalischen Handschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz. 
Die von der Orientabteilung betreute Sammlung umfasst mit ihren 43.000 Bänden (Handschriften und Blockdrucke) Werke in über 140 Sprachen und 70 verschiedenen Schriften aus Asien, Afrika und Europa. Sowohl von Umfang als auch von ihrem Inhalt her genießt die Sammlung Weltruhm. Weitere Informationen zur Sammlung orientalischer Handschriften, Neuerwerbungen, Veranstaltungen und Veröffentlichungen finden Sie auf der Homepage der Orientabteilung
Die Datenbank weist sämtliche Handschriftensignaturen nach. Minimalangaben sind Sprache, Schrift, Blattzahl und Katalognummer/Katalogisierungsstatus. Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Herkunft der Daten (Kataloge, Kurzverzeichnisse, Erwerbungslisten) ist die Erschließungstiefe in den Datensätzen nicht immer einheitlich. 
Derzeit werden für etwa 6.000 Texte unterschiedlicher Sprachen und Regionen umfangreiche und mehrschriftliche Beschreibungen angeboten, davon ca. 4.200 bereits mit Zugang zum Volldigitalisat. Die Zahl detaillierter Handschriftenbeschreibungen und digitalisierter Objekte wächst kontinuierlich. Zu den bereits jetzt in größerem Umfang digital zugänglichen Bestandsgruppen gehören wertvolle arabische Handschriften, sämtliche islamische Miniaturhandschriften (darunter die berühmten Diez-Alben und das Jahangir-Album), hebräische Handschriften, armenische Handschriften und viele weitere Bestände u.a. aus Zentral-, Süd- und Südostasien." 

Orientalischen Handschriften der Forschungsbibliothek Gotha der Universität Erfurt 

Growing selection (currently 650 indexed, 500 digitized) from the 3,500 manuscripts held at the Gotha research library. 

"The research library Gotha harbors one of the largest Oriental manuscript collections in Germany comprising about 3,500 codices, primarily in Arabic, Turkish and Persian. The collection covers more than 800 years of Islamicate scholarship and features manuscripts from all disciplines, amongst them history, theology, jurisprudence, medicine, science, grammar, lexicography and literature." 

Refaiya Library, Leipzig University (Universität Leipzig);jsessionid=40CBF730DCA8A9717F024FD5A9E908B3?lang=en

“The project aims at the historical and codicological research on, database development and digital presentation of the private Arabic-Islamic library of the Damascene Rifā'ī family. This library, called "Refaiya" (Rifā'īya) - comprising 488 carefully preserved volumes and handed down over several centuries until the 19th century - is the precious core of the approximately 3,200 Oriental manuscripts kept at Leipzig University Library. It is probably a unique example of a cohesive, traditional Arabic-Islamic family library. The preservation of its historical formation is due to the direct acquisition by the Prussian Consul and Arabist Johann Gottfried Wetzstein from its last owner, 'Umar Efendi al-Rifā'ī al-Ḥamawī, in 1853....

The trilingual database (English, German and Arabic) and the digitization will facilitate the presentation of a cohesive pre-modern Damascene family library on the Internet and, thereby, make the manuscripts accessible internationally - including the Islamic world - for further research. The digital recording of the Refaiya manuscripts is based on the DFG-funded database, "Pilot Project for a database-supported indexing and digital presentation of the recently acquired Arab, Turkish and Persian manuscripts at the University of Leipzig" ( ).”

Islamic Manuscripts at the Leipzig University Library;jsessionid=DEBB01E8A640C97708181DEA8123AC46?lang=en

Interface in German, English and Arabic.

“This project is sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) for the purpose of establishing a database-supported index of and digital access to Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts recently acquired by the Leipzig University Library. This project is part of the DFG's "Cultural Heritage" programme in the field of Scientific Library Services and Information Systems (LIS)".The project will set up a database-supported index and provide digital access to a group of about 55 Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts.

The Leipzig University Library purchased these manuscripts in 1995 and 1996. In this pioneer project, for the first time Arabic script will be integrated into a database that will also feature German and American transliteration systems. This will provide scholars of Oriental Studies worldwide with access to a hitherto unknown pool of Islamic manuscripts.The variety of disciplines covered in the manuscript collection, the origins of some works from early periods of Islamic scholarship, the age of the copies and their historical proximity to the respective author, as well as the elaborate decoration, deserve special attention. A key place in the collection will be taken by one of the oldest known Ismaili manuscripts in the world, the Kitāb al-Zīna by the Ismaili author Abū Hātim al-Rāzī (d. 322 H. / 934 AD).The manuscripts contain texts in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman-Turkish and show an amazingly broad spectrum as far as the content is concerned, which comprises almost all traditional Islamic fields of knowledge. With a few exceptions, the manuscripts are mostly complete and well preserved. That many of these manuscripts came from the libraries of private scholars or families is suggested in several manuscripts by the many comments, some of which span over several generations, from the previous owners. The place of origin seems to be the gulf region, Yemen and Iran.”

Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen

Links to digitized catalogues for selected Oriental manuscripts (Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Indian) in the holdings of the Tübingen University Library, including Weisweiler's catalogue for Arabic manuscripts:

More on the holdings here:

Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI) (Max Plank Institute for the History of Science + McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies)

"The mission of the Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI) is to make accessible information on all Islamic manuscripts in the exact sciences (astronomy, mathematics, optics, mathematical geography, music, mechanics, and related disciplines), whether in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or other languages."

Richly structured database compiling, works, persons, witnesses, codices, collections, repositories and other data for search and browse. ISMI-Lab provides query tools and visualization tools for working with the raw data.


Manuscripts of the Oriental Collection (Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) 

"In the database of the online catalog Manuscripts of the Oriental Collection the following special subsets can be searched:

  • Arabic manuscripts
  • Manuscripts of the Alexander Csoma de Kőrös Collection
  • The Goldziher correspondence
  • Manuscripts of the Alexander von Kégl Collection
  • Manuscripts of the Charles L. Fábri Collection
  • Persian manuscripts"

Online Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 

Another TIMA supported project with entries appearing in the online catalogue

Online Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

“With the help of TIMA, a project was started in November 2008 to catalogue sixty Arabic manuscripts in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (LHAS) within the on-line catalogue of the library. Upon the successful realisation of this project, TIMA helped with a further grant in 2009 the completion of cataloguing. In this new phase the description of 112 MSS was envisaged.

Although the Library was established in 1826, and although its Oriental Collection has been the single most important source for Oriental studies in Hungary, its manuscript collections remained without cataloguing until recently. A few years ago the catalogue of Turkish manuscripts was printed, but the Arabic and Persian manuscripts remained without a proper catalogue. This project intended to remedy this situation thereby bringing the collection to the attention of the interested public.”


See the database within the catalogue which also includes MSS in languages other than Arabic


Catalogue of the Turkish Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Digital version of the printed catalogue prepared by I. Parlatir, Gy. Hazai, B. Kellner-Heinkele, accessible via HUNGARICANA


Chester Beatty Library (Dublin)

Scans of Arberry's handlist for the Arabic manuscripts have been provided by the Library for download:

[formerly on Bibliography page of the Islamic seals database project, still available via internet archive]

"Arberry, A.J. The Chester Beatty Library, A Handlist of the Arabic Manuscripts, Dublin, 1955-64. Volume 1, Ar 3000-3250.Volume 2, Ar 3251-3500Volume 3, Ar 3501-3750Volume 4, Ar 3751-4000Volume 5, Ar 4001-4500Volume 6, Ar 4501-5000.Volume 7, Ar 5001-5500Volume 8, Indices."  


Trinity College Dublin 

Catalogue entries for many manuscripts appear in the online catalogue MARLOC (Manuscripts and Archives Research Library Online Catalogue = M&ARL Online Catalogue) notable for provenance and accession details. Search by language (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, etc) or by shelfmark from the Abbott catalogue


Inventory of the Oriental manuscripts in Leiden University Library, compiled by Jan Just Witkam (Leiden 2006-2007)

Oriental manuscripts belonging to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

P. de Jong's catalogue of 1862 and J. J. Witkam's full inventory.


Каталоги рукописей, ИВР РАН (Санкт-Петербург)

Manuscript catalogues (in Russian) from the IOM RAS (Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg) available for viewing and download.


Bibliografía » Manuscritos » Árabes (Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial, Madrid)

Catalogues of the Arabic manuscripts of the Escorial available for download in pdf format.


Jarring Collection, Lund University Library (Lund)​

“In 1982 the Swedish diplomat and philologist Gunnar Jarring (1907-2002) donated his unique collection of manuscripts from Eastern Turkistan to the University Library in Lund. It is an extremely rich collection, possibly the biggest in the world. The manuscripts come from the periphery of the Islamic world in Central Asia, that in the Eastern, or Chinese, Turkistan from cities like Kashgar, Yarkend and Urumchi.

This service provides access to Gunnar Jarring's own preliminary hand-written catalogue, a searchable index of brief manuscript descriptions and in some cases scanned images.”

“The Jarring Collection consists of 560 manuscripts from Eastern Turkestan, today's Chinese province of Xinjiang. The books date from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The collection not only mirrors Eastern Turkestan society and culture with its classic and folk literature, Islamic religious manuscripts, judicial and historic documents, manuals of medicine, trades and mysticism etc., but also contains documents from the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden in Eastern Turkestan. The manuscripts were donated to the library by the Swedish diplomat and philologist Dr. Gunnar Jarring (1907-2002), who also supplied a summary catalogue of the collection in English. His handwritten catalogue has now been digitised as well as some of the unique manuscripts.”

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."


Yazma Eserler Portal (Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Başkanlığı)

New Manuscripts Portal of the Turkish Manuscripts Institution covering hundreds of collections. Registration required. 

Türkiye Yazmaları (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı) (Union catalogue, Turkey)

Manuscripts portal of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Searchable electronic catalogue with images for some manuscripts available to those who register. Includes entries for manuscripts from collections in numerous Turkish libraries ( and libraries outside Turkey as well.

Türkiye Kütüphaneleri Veri Tabanı - Ayrıntılı Arama

Union catalogue available from İSAM ; limit "Yayın Türü"  to "Yazma" for manuscripts

Millet Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi (Istanbul, Turkey)
Online catalogue for the manuscripts of the Millet Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi which holds 2757 manuscripts in Turkish, 3704 in Arabic, 509 in Persian, and 28 in other languages.

Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Yazma Eserler Kütüphanesi (Istanbul, Turkey)

Online catalogue for the manuscripts of the Topkapı Sarayı Museum Library.

İstanbul Üniversitesi Merkez Kütüphanesi (Istanbul, Turkey) 

Limit to "Nadir Eserler Kütüphanesi" for search ; then select "Yazma Eser" from lefthand menu while viewing search results to limit to manuscripts. Or limit to "Yazma Eserler" for search. 

Koç University Manuscript Collection, Istanbul

Digitized manuscripts (mainly in Ottoman Turkish) from the rare book / special collections of Koç University. May be browsed or searched and viewed online.

Digitized manuscripts from the rare books collection of Marmara University Library (Marmara Üniversitesi Nadir Eserler Koleksiyonu), Istanbul 

Select "El yazısı" from the "Şekil" dropdown menu to browse a listing of manuscript descriptions. Create account and log in to download and view digitized manuscripts. 

Digitized manuscripts from İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Kütüphanesi

Browse listing of manuscripts. Click on catalogue entries for more detail and links to digital copies of manuscripts in PDF 

United Kingdom 

British Library (London, UK)

Cambridge University Library (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Online manuscript catalogues pertaining to the Near and Middle Eastern manuscripts collection at the Cambridge University Library. See also:

FIHRIST (Union catalogue, UK)

“This catalogue provides a searchable interface to basic manuscript descriptions from some of the major manuscript collections in the UK. With the continuing contribution of manuscript records from UK libraries, Fihrist aims to become a union catalogue for manuscripts in Arabic script.”  

John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Legacy catalogues for Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts (among others) are available for viewing and download from the Manchester eScholar repository  e.g.

Mingana, A., Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library Manchester (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1934).

  • Sections I – VI, cols. 1-332. eScholarID:3o998
  • Sections VII – XII, cols. 331-716. eScholarID:3o999
  • Sections XIII – Indexes, cols. 715-1192. eScholarID:3o988

Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Persian section, pp. 1-159. (Privately printed, 1898). eScholarID:3o10

cf. John Hodgson's post at

University of Edinburgh Library, Heritage Collections

Manuscripts of the Islamicate World and South Asia

Descriptions and digital copies of manuscripts where available. "The collection consists of over 700 manuscripts pertaining to the Islamicate world and South Asia, dating from the 10th to 19th centuries C.E. (the majority being post-1500). Chiefly bound paper codices.... [texts] Mainly in Persian and Arabic, but also Turkish, Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindustani, Malay, Panjabi, Prakrit, Syriac and Urdu"  

"Top-level description originally compiled by Aline Brodin in April 2018. Description revised and expanded by Dr Eleanor Lucy Deacon in September 2022. Only the manuscripts donated by John Baillie, and a few others, are currently catalogued online. Item-level descriptions for manuscripts Or Ms 1 to Or Ms 146, as well as Or Ms: 384, 386, 387, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 397, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 407, 411, 412, 413, created by Dr Eleanor Lucy Deacon and Aline Brodin in 2022, using legacy data from Mohammed Hukk et al. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Arabic and Persian Manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library. Archivist's note To better represent its contents and move past the use of outdated terminology, the collection’s title was changed from 'Oriental Manuscripts Collection' to 'Manuscripts of the Islamicate World and South Asia' in September 2022. The Ethiopic/Amharic items formerly pertaining to the Oriental Collection can now be found under the 'Ethiopian Manuscripts Collection'."

North America

Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan (Special Collections Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)​

Search or browse the online catalogue to locate detailed records for all 1,103 volumes of the collection 

Islamic manuscripts held at Princeton University Library (Princeton, NJ)

To browse all the manuscript catalogue entries, try "Basic Search" with 

"Search by:"  = "Call Number (exact)"

"Search for:" = islamic manuscripts  [without quotes, not "islamic manuscripts"]

"Cataloging is now available online for the entire collection of the nearly 2200 manuscripts comprising the New Series of Islamic Manuscripts in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. The New Series constitutes the premier collection of predominantly Shi`ite manuscripts in the Western Hemisphere and among the finest in the world."

Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa: A Catalog of the Herskovitz Library Collection (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL)  

“The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University houses an important collection of Arabic script materials from West Africa. It contains over 5,000 items collected from Africa and donated to the library by several Northwestern professors. Original, hand-written manuscripts make up more than 60 percent of the content, which also includes ‘market’ editions (photocopies of handwritten works that are often sold in African marketplaces), printed editions, and photocopies. Most are in Arabic, though some are in ajami—African languages such as Hausa, Fulfulde, and Wolof written in the Arabic script.”

Caro Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic Manuscripts, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)

“The Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic manuscripts consists of works related to the studies of theologians and scholars in centers of learning in Iran from the 16th through the 19th centuries. The manuscripts, which include both bound collections and single works, chiefly date from the 14th to the 17th centuries, and shed light on the social, religious, and political history of Iran and Shī'īsm.

These records of works within the Minasian Collection, which is not yet fully cataloged, represent a collaboration between the UCLA Research Library (Department of Special Collections) and the Digital Library Program to provide online access to UCLA's extensive Near Eastern collections, which include many uncataloged works in Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Armenian.”

Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD)

فهرس مخطوطات الطب الاسلامي في المكتبة الوطنية لعلم الطب

“Welcome to Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine. Here you can learn about Islamic medicine and science during the Middle Ages and the important role it played in the history of Europe. This site, with its biographies, colorful images, and extensive historical accounts of medieval medicine and science is designed for students and everyone interested in the history of Islamic and European culture.

For students, the site includes an extensive glossary of medical, scientific, and book-production terminology linked to the text.

For advanced scholars, the site provides a catalogue raisonné (including images) from the 300 or so Persian and Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of Medicine. Most of these manuscripts deal with medieval medicine and science and were written for learned physicians and scientists. Some of the manuscripts are richly illuminated and illustrated.”

Manuscripts of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)

Roughly 54 volumes carrying Arabic texts and 15 volumes carrying Persian texts, all available through "Penn in Hand"

Manuscripts of the Muslim World (Columbia University, Free Library of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, et al)

Catalogue records also appear in the respective holding institutions online catalogues. 

"Manuscripts of the Muslim World will include digital editions of more than 500 manuscripts and 827 paintings from the Islamicate world broadly construed. Together these holdings 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 collection is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources."