Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts of the National Library of the Czech Republic

The collection of Arabic manuscripts held in the National Library of the Czech Republic contains 200 entries. It is a component of the Oriental manuscripts collection, especially Persian, Turkish, and Indian.

© National Library of the Czech Republic
The map of the world as imagined by Ibn-al-Wardi

The whole collection of Oriental manuscripts 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 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 took place only towards the end of the 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. 

The present catalogue produced on CD-ROM by Albertina icome Praha constitutes their first list ever published. This catalogue and digitisation of old Arabic manuscripts could hardly be done without the support of Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka.

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