Leiden University Libraries and Brill digitize 110,000 Pages of Middle Eastern Manuscripts


Brill and Leiden University Libraries are proud to present the publication of 110,000 pages of Arabic manuscripts under the title Pioneer Orientalists: The Manuscript Collections of Scaliger, Raphelengius and Golius from Leiden University Libraries.

Leiden University Libraries has a world-famous collection of Middle Eastern Manuscripts. Its core collection consists of volumes brought together by the Leiden Orientalists Joseph Justus Scaliger (d. 1609), and Jacobus Golius (d. 1667). These include extremely rare, sometimes unique, manuscripts. The Golius collection in particular is well-known for its texts on mathematics and other Islamic sciences.

Brill and Leiden University Libraries have joined forces to scan and publish these manuscripts. This not only makes these valuable texts available to a larger community of scholars, it also helps to preserve these manuscripts, 30 of which were restored as part of the project. In total the collection consists of 267 manuscripts in 303 volumes, counting 109,517 pages. Most texts are in Arabic, with secondary texts in Ottoman Turkish and Persian.


Dr. Arnoud Vrolijk, Curator of Oriental Manuscripts and Rare Books at Leiden University Libraries, editor of the Brill book series Islamic Manuscripts and Books, and editor of the Bibliography of Arabic Books Online.

More information: Maurits van den Boogert, email: boogert@brill.nl, phone: + 31 71 5353500, brill.nl/memo

About BRILL (brill.nl)

Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill is a leading international academic publisher in the fields of Medieval and Modern History; Biblical and Religious Studies, Ancient Near East and Egypt; Middle East and Islamic Studies; Asian Studies (incl. Hotei and Global Oriental imprints); Classical Studies; Social Sciences; Biology; Human Rights and Public International Law (Nijhoff imprint). In addition, Brill is a major provider of primary source materials online and on microform for researchers in the humanities and social sciences through its imprint IDC Publishers. Brill is a publicly traded company and listed on Euronext Amsterdam NV.

About Leiden University Libraries (www.library.leiden.edu)

Leiden University Libraries, the oldest in the Netherlands, is a partner in knowledge, supporting research and teaching. The Libraries’ world famous Special Collections – which include major holdings in Western and Oriental manuscripts, archives and letters, early printed books, photographs, prints, drawings, maps and atlases – are integrated in teaching and research at Leiden University and draw researchers from all over the world. Historically, the Middle Eastern collections form the nucleus of the entire range of Oriental collections of Leiden University Libraries. Early scholars like Josephus Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) left Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts and printed books to the library. Today the Middle Eastern collections comprise c. 6,000 manuscripts, and they continue to grow through purchase and donation.