Penn Libraries News Center

Early Arabic printed books from the British Library, online

The Penn Libraries have acquired the first major fulltext-searchable online archive of pre-20th century Arabic printed books.

Early Arabic Printed Books From the British Library, 1475-1900, produced by Gale Cengage, presents Arabic printed texts and European translations of Arabic texts, approximately 7,000 volumes with 2.3 million pages, in three modules:

Interesting works appearing in EAPBBL include:

The interface includes a full Arabic-language user interface with an Arabic virtual keyboard and it provides searchable fulltext in Arabic and Western languages, with tagging for Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac, and other languages. High-resolution page images may be downloaded in PDF format. Bibliographic metadata include Arabic-script and Library of Congress romanized name and title forms. The titles represented in EAPBBL appear as individual records in Franklin Catalog.

This new online collection is a welcome complement to the Penn Libraries collection of Fez lithographs, 138 titles printed in Fez, Morocco between 1865 and 1936. The collection includes the first five books printed at Fez.