Digitised manuscripts

Below are listed digitised manuscript projects, some achieved via international cooperation, some done by individual institutions and / or countries.  The list is in alphabetical order of countries of institutions.

Cross boundaries Lebanon
Bulgaria Malaysia
Czech Republic & Slovakia Mauritania
France Morocco
Germany Palestine
Iran Saudi Arabia
Ireland Slovakia & Czech Republic
Israel Turkey
Italy United Kingdom
Japan United States

Cross boundaries

World digital library permet des recherches sur les critères “Manuscripts” dans le domaine “Proche-Orient et Afrique du Nord” et/ou “Asie centrale et méridionale” et apporte des images de manuscrits numérisés conservés dans une quarantaine de bibliothèques du monde entier.e-corpus : Bibliothèque numérique collective et patrimoniale diffusant plusieurs types de documents dont un grand nombre de manuscrits de l’espace euro-méditerranéen. Gérée par le Centre de conservation du livre à Arles. Partenaires en Irak, Palestine, Algérie, Liban, Egypte, Syrie, Inde, nombreux pays d’Europe, collections publiques et privées.

The Islamic scientific manuscript initiative (ISMI) represents a collaborative effort between the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, Germany. At the IIS, ISMI researchers, and their colleagues at the related Post-classical Islamic Philosophy Database Initiative (PIPDI), have collected over 600,000 images from some 4,000 codices that have been the subject of in-depth examination. For their part, the MPIWG has developed an innovative, object-relational database (OpenMind) in which the data collected is stored and retrieved for analysis.


St. Cyril and Methodius National Library : The Digital Library is structured in several collections according to the type of the included documents. The different collections are subdivided in separate sections, among them Arabic, Turkish and Persian manuscripts, Defters and Sijills.

Czech Republic & Slovakia

Manuscriptorium : Virtual Collection of Arabic manuscripts held in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague and University Library in Bratislava, Slovakia (Basagic’s collection)


Bulac (Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations) : Les collections patrimoniales numérisées de la Bulac rassemblent des imprimés anciens, manuscrits, estampes, périodiques… dont 27 manuscrits arabes, surtout scientifiques, et trois manuscrits turcs (été 2014).

Gallica : Environ 150 manuscrits arabes, 120 manuscrits persans, 130 manuscrits turcs conservés à la BNF sont disponibles pour le moment. Possibilité de recherche par mot de la description après avoir sélectionné l’onglet ‘Manuscrits’.e-Mediathèque :  Bibliothèque numérique multilingue (arabe, berbère, français…), valorise et diffuse le patrimoine scientifique et documentaire (archives, iconographie, imprimés et manuscrits…) en sciences humaines et sociales sur la Méditerranée. Ce site présente des images et un catalogue du fonds Arsène Roux (manuscrits arabes et berbères) à la Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, Aix-en-Provence.


Bayerische Staatsbibliothek : 145 manuscrits arabes, 26 persans, 20 turcs numérisés en novembre 2012. Manuscrits relatifs à l’histoire de la médecine arabe.Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz  : 297 manuscrits orientaux sont accessibles en ligne au 26/10/2012, d’autres sont ajoutés régulièrement. On peut visualiser l’ensemble en choisissant ‘Orientalische Handschriften’ sur la page des documents numérisés.See also Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative (Below under United States)Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig : Catalogue et images numérisées de manuscrits arabes (74), turcs (3) et persans (8) acquis depuis 1995 par la Bibliothèque universitaire de Leipzig, fruit d’une coopération entre la bibliothèque et l’Institut oriental.


The Open Treasury for Islamic Manuscript where search is possible both in Farsi and in Arabic


The Chester Beatty Library : Over 6,000 individual items, mainly manuscripts and single-page paintings and calligraphies, make up the Islamic Collections. This gallery contains around 100 images of single pages of these manuscripts.


The National Library of Israel : Digitised manuscripts of the Islamic collections gradually added to the site as well as a large collection of Ketubbot (marriage contracts) from various countries including Middle East and North Africa.  The English interface requires further knowledge of Hebrew.


Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze has digitised its entire collection of  Arabic manuscripts (137 mss, 34 000 images).  The earliest surviving Shahname manuscript held by the library may also be seen on-line. You can access to it through the following post published in the Library Manuscript Department blog and clicking the green button “Copia digitalizzata”.


Daiber Collection Database 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.This searching system is released for using the original catalogue attached and the digitized images of Daiber collection at the same time.


American University in Beyrouth : Propose un choix de 27 manuscrits arabes, parmi les 1400, principalement arabes, que conserve la bibliothèque. Seules les cinq premières et les cinq dernières pages sont accessibles en ligne.


Manuscrits de la fin du XVe s. au début du XXe s. Des manuscrits en écriture jawi (transcription du malais en caractères arabes) via le portail officiel de la Bibliothèque nationale de Malaisie.


OMAR (Oriental Manuscript Resource) :  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 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.


Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc : Une centaine de manuscrits numérisés, à feuilleter. Possibilité de zoom.


Alquds manuscripts : développée par le Centre de Conservation du Livre (CCL- Arles, France) dans le cadre du projet Manumed, « La bibliothèque Numérique des Manuscrits Arabes de Jérusalem » a pour objectif de valoriser le patrimoine manuscrit de la ville de Jérusalem et de rendre ce patrimoine accessible à tous par le seul biais d’une connexion internet. Bibliothèques partenaires: la bibliothèque Khalidi, la bibliothèque Budeiri, la bibliothèque et musée islamique Al-Aqsa, la bibliothèque Al Ansari et le Centre de Conservation du Waqf.

Saudi Arabia

King Saud University has 11 000 manuscripts digitised with descriptive records : in English  or in Arabic.

Slovakia & Czech Republic

Manuscriptorium : Virtual Collection of Arabic manuscripts held in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague and University Library in Bratislava, Slovakia (Basagic’s collection)


Osmanlica kelâm : Bible translations in Turkish produced during the Ottoman period (both manuscripts and printed books).  Images of the original pages of the Old and New Testaments are presented with a transcription.  One has to first select a volume on the left hand column, then a book on the middle column and finally a chapter on the last column.

United Kingdom

Cambridge Digital Library – Islamic manuscripts : Une sélection d’une vingtaine de manuscrits : feuillets coraniques anciens, copies uniques, ouvrages scientifiques, littérature persane.Oxford, Bodleian Library – Masterpieces of the non-Western book : Illustrated and illuminated manuscripts from the Hebrew, Islamic, and South Asian collections acquired by the Bodleian Librry, through the activities of collectors in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.Wellcome Arabic manuscripts online : manuscrits relatifs à l’histoire de la médecine arabe.

United States

Freer-Sackler – The Smithsonian’s museums of Asian Art – Arts of the Islamic World
Digitized images of a collection of 9th–19th-century Korans (intact volumes and detached folios) from Iran, the Arab world, and Turkey, and a collection of illustrated and illuminated manuscripts from Iran and the Arab world, including the Divan (Collected poems) of Sultan Ahmad Jalayir, ca. 1400; Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones) by Jami, dated 1556–66; and the largest number of illustrations from the 14th-century Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings).Caro Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic Manuscripts
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 chiefly date from the 14th to the 17th centuries. 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.The Islamic Heritage Project collection includes over 280 manuscripts, selected from Houghton Library and the Harvard Art Museum/Arthur M. Sackler Museum.Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan ; Catalogue des manuscrits de MLibrary, University of Michigan. Les descriptions renvoient aux images, auxquelles on peut accéder aussi par la page et il est fait appel à des commentaires pour le catalogage des manuscrits insuffisamment décrits.Islamic manuscripts from Mali features 32 manuscripts from the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library and the Library of Cheick Zayni Baye of Boujbeha, both in Timbuktu, Mali. The manuscripts are displayed in their entirety and are an exemplary grouping that showcase the wide variety of subjects covered by the written traditions of Timbuktu, Mali, and West Africa. Digital images of the manuscripts were donated by Abdel Kader Haidara, owner and director of the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library. The Library of Congress will include additional manuscripts in the future as new digital images are received.The Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative presents access to manuscripts from three private libraries in Sanaa, Yemen, and virtually conjoins them to additional Yemeni manuscripts held by the Princeton University Library and Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. The texts in this archive were composed, copied, studied, and preserved by Zaydi scholars from the tenth century to the present.