Author Archives: Peter Magierski

New Database Trial: Early Arabic Printed Books From the British Library

Library has arranged trial access to Early Arabic Printed Books From the British Library.

The trial runs through March 14, 2016 :

From publisher’s description:
“Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library represents the digitization of one of the world’s most important Arabic collections, based on A.G. Ellis’ catalog from 1894. The full collection includes books on a variety of subjects, printed from the fifteenth to nineteenth century in Arabic script, as well as translations into European and Asian languages. Together, these works demonstrate Europe’s fascination with and assimilation of thinking from the Arabic-speaking world. This is the first major text-searchable online archive of pre-20th century Arabic printed books. Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library is part of Gale’s Arabic program which aims to provide Arabic primary resources for teaching and research. Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library: Religion and Law features numerous editions of the Qur’an with commentaries, traditions (Hadith), works of the religious life and much more”
More at:

Trial access is available to current faculty, staff and students of Columbia University.
Please send comments and evaluation remarks to

New Resource: Christian-Muslim Relations II


Library added the database Christian-Muslim Relations II to the list of electronic resources available to Columbia community.
Christian-Muslim Relations : Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the two faiths as this is represented in works written by Christians and Muslims about the other and against the other. The recently acquired part II covers all parts of the world in the period 1500-1900.

Cambridge Archive Editions Online – Trial available


Cambridge Archive Editions Online

Cambridge Archive Editions Online offers collections of key British archival documents from the 18th – 20th centuries. It makes available hundreds of thousands of digitized pages of historically authentic facsimile documents, as well as numerous maps, on the national heritage and political development of many countries. The material is rich for the study of boundary formation, claims and disputes, allowing users to easily find unique insight in maps, government documents, and more.  This digitized collection previously issued in print now offers full text searching of some of the titles.
Please forward comments and evaluation remarks to Peter Magierski (

The trial will run through November 5, 2015.

Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies

CaptureButler Library is hosting international conference on April 24-25, 2015

Friday April 24 and Saturday, April 25
Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies
Time: See schedule here
Location: Butler Library, Room 203

Sponsored by the Middle East Institute, the Middle East, South Asian and African Studies Department (MESAAS), Butler Library, and al-Shaybani Foundation.
Conference Co-Organizers:
Muhsin al-Musawi, Columbia University
Yasmeen Hanoosh, Portland State

Arabic Collections Online (ACO)


Arabic Collections Online (ACO) is a collaborative project by libraries at Columbia, NYU, Cornell and American University in Beirut to digitize and make freely available Arabic books online. The project now includes over 400 books on Arabic language, literature and Islamic history and culture. The goal is to digitize ca. 15,000 titles from partnering libraries, including 4,000 from Columbia University Libraries.

See:  List of 203 recently digitized Arabic books from Columbia University collection.

Trial access to MultiData Online database – Index to Arabic periodicals

Columbia University Libraries is considering subscription to an index to Arabic periodicals called MultiData Online. We have arranged a trial which runs through March 31, 2014.
MultiData Online database provides full text access and bibliographic citations indexes with a focus on political and socio-economic affairs in the Middle East. It includes news sources, periodical articles, bibliographic citations, and book reviews from Arabic newspapers and magazines. Selected newspapers and periodicals are available primarily in Arabic with some content available in English and French.

The database is divided into five components which can be searched together or separately :

  •     Full text of 40 daily and weekly newspapers (1994- ) ;
  •     Bibliographic citations for articles from over 250 Arabic periodicals published since 1920;
  •     Full text book reviews from more than 250 newspapers and magazines in the Arab world from 1998;
  •     Access to Index Arabicus* which includes citations from 42 Arabic periodicals published between 1870 and 1969;
  •     Index to theses submitted to 21 Lebanese institutions.

English and Arabic interfaces are available.  The database is available at:
(Access to this resource is available only to current faculty, staff and students of Columbia University)

Please send comments and evaluation remarks to

* Index Arabicus is a bibliography of Arabic articles modeled on Index Islamicus. It was compiled on cards in the 70's and converted into online database by the University of Imam al-Ouzai in Beirut.

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here – Exhibit in Butler Library July 16 – Sept. 21st, 2013

The exhibition is part of an international project by book artists to respond to the tragic bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad on March 5, 2007. The Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibition is a tribute to those killed and wounded that day and reflects on the intellectual freedom, human rights and violence in a time of war. It will be held in five New York City cultural venues from mid-June until late September 2013. Information about other exhibition sites can be found on the exhibition page.

Al-Mutanabbi Street is the centuries-old center of book selling in Baghdad, known for bookstores, cafes and outdoor book vendors. It was named after a 10th century classical Arab poet and has long been the historic heart of the Baghdad intellectual community.

The exhibition was created by Beau Beausoleil, the Founder of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition, and Sara Bodman and features book arts created by international artists from 26 countries. It was organized in NYC by the Center for Book Arts. A complete set of all the books on display in NYC has recently been donated to the Iraq National Library in Baghdad.

The exhibit was facilitated by the Global Studies Division, The Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Public Program: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here – conversation with the artists. Opening remarks by Muhsin al-Musawi, Professor of Arabic Literature, Columbia University.
Sept. 17, 2013, 6-8 pm, Butler Library.

The event starts at 6:00 pm on the 3rd Floor of Butler Library and will be followed by reception and conversation with the artists: Holly Anderson, Oded Halahmy and Ellen Wallenstein in room 523 in Butler Library.

Trial of Encyclopaedia Islamica Online

We have arranged for trial access to Encyclopaedia Islamica Online from Brill.

"Encyclopaedia Islamica Online is based on the abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. A unique feature of the encyclopaedia Islamica Online lies in the attention given to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, Encyclopaedia Islamica Online offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition."

The trial will run through April 28, 2013.
Please send comments to Peter Magierski (