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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Last updated December 2021




Please visit the Cambridge University Library's Electronic resources web page for a full list of available e-resources in our subject areas


Brill's Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Brill: Miras Maktoob e-book collection
consists of 249 volumes (189 works) originally published by the Written Heritage Research Institute (Miras Maktoob), a non-governmental organisation in Tehran. These e-books, which are exclusively available from Brill, include works in both Persian and Arabic on Islamic history and culture in the broadest sense.

Brill: Philosophy of the Islamic World Online : 8th - 10th centuries

Brill's Sezgin Online
A bio-bibliography for the Arabic literary tradition offers volumes 1-9 of Fuat Sezgin's renowned Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums (GAS), the largest bio-bibliography for the Arabic literary tradition, particularly for the history of science and technology in the Islamic world.

Brockelmann Online (Brill)
Brockelmann Online consists of both original volumes Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (GAL) by Carl Brockelmann (1868-1956), as well as the three supplement volumes, including the indexes. Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur offers bio-bibliographic information about works written in Arabic and their authors, with an emphasis on the classical period. This originally multivolume reference work is divided in chronologically organized sections, which are subdivided by literary genre. Individual entries typically consist of a biographical section and a list of the author’s works in manuscript and print, with references to secondary literature.

Early Western Korans Online
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login. 
The collection demonstrates the impact of the holy book of Islam in Europe. Long before printing with movable type became common practice in the Islamic world, Korans had been printed in Arabic type in several European cities. The collection includes Korans and Koran translations, printed between 1537 and 1857, and is of interest to book historians, theologians, philologists, and scholars of Islamic Studies alike.

Encyclop(a)edia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login.
Covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index.

Encyclopaedia Iranica
FREE online resource. It is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.  The academic reference work will eventually cover all aspects of Iranian history and culture as well as all Iranian languages and literatures, facilitating the whole range of Iranian studies research from archeology to political sciences.

Encyclopaedia of Islam
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login.

Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login. 

Provides access to a wide range of information from newspapers, news wires, websites, company reports and more (over 36,000 sources) from 200 countries and 28 languages. Continuously updated. Searchable in Arabic/Farsi by keyword via iDiscover. Alternatively, search Factiva itself by selecting the language.

Index Islamicus 
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login. 

International classified bibliography of publications in European languages on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world (monographs, articles and reviews). Printed version is published annually. Searchable by keywords etc.. Indispensable tool for libraries, graduates and undergraduates alike. The Index Islamicus Online provides the reader with an effective overview of what has been published on a given subject in the field of Islamic Studies in its broadest sense.

ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login.
Provides access to ca 5,000 arabic ebooks. The database is a compendium of early works of a variety of disciplines from important Arab writers, spanning fields from feminism and social theory, to classics of literature, history, and the sciences. Includes works by the Four Imams of the Sunni Sect, the Al Azhar Modern Sheikhs, various authors of the Modern Arab Enlightenment, and rare works by the former Egyptian royal family.

Noor Digital Library


Oxford Arabic Dictionary Online
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login. 

Fully searchable in both languages. Contains 330,000 words, phrases and translations. Gives 70,000 real-life example sentences.



Click HERE for transliteration tables to search catalogues. When typing into the search boxes ignore diacritics and hyphens, omit linking words and common words. Be aware that some classical authors retain the Latinised forms of their names - e.g. Avicenna, Averroes, Maimonides.

Arabic manuscripts online 
The Arabic manuscripts collection of the Wellcome Library (London) comprises around 1000 manuscript books and fragments relating to the history of medicine. For the first time this website enables a substantial proportion of this collection to be consulted online via high-quality digital images of entire manuscripts and associated rich metadata.

These manuscripts are part of the Wellcome Library's Asian Collection, which comprises some 12,000 manuscripts and 4,000 printed books in 43 different languages. The Islamic holdings include Arabic and Persian manuscripts and printed books, and a small collection of Ottoman manuscripts and Turkish books. The core of these collections relates to the great heritage of classical medicine, preserved, enlarged and commentated on throughout the Islamic world, stretching from Southern Spain to South and South-east Asia.

British Library Middle East Collections 
The collections comprise manuscripts, printed books, newspapers and journals from countries in today's Middle East as well as from Iran and Central Asia from the 5th century AD to the present day.

Union catalogue of the Cambridge University libraries' collections. Although this catalogue can be searched in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, we recommend searches for older publications in transliteration.

Fihrist: Islamic manuscripts catalogue online
The catalogue provides a searchable interface to basic manuscript descriptions from some of the major manuscript collections in the UK. With the continuing contribution of manuscript records from UK libraries, Fihrist aims to become a union catalogue for manuscripts in Arabic script. Fihrist was first developed by the OCIMCO project, with the aim of improving access to the valuable Islamic texts held in the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and Cambridge University Library.



ArabicorpusInternational Corpus of Arabic
These are large corpora of texts which can be searched to check contemporary word and phrase usage.

Ectaco English-Arabic Online Dictionary

English-Farsi Dictionary from

English-Persian (Farsi) Online Dictionary (from Lingvosoft)

Lane, (Edward William) Arabic-English Lexicon (dictionary)
Regarded as the best Arabic-English lexicon is available free. Including OCR, making the English word-searchable (NB: not 100% accurate). Contents: all 8 volumes. One large word-searchable file for each volume. Arrangement by root, exhaustive meanings including derivatives, comments on grammar, examples of usage in Al Quran/Koran & other sources.

Lisān al-ʿArab by Ibn Manẓūr
Free digital copy of this well-known, comprehensive Arabic dictionary. It follows the Ṣiḥāḥin the arrangement of the roots: The headwords are not arranged by the alphabetical order of the radicals as usually done today in the study of Semitic languages, but according to the last radical - which makes finding rhyming endings significantly easier. Furthermore, the Lisan al-Arab notes its direct sources, but not or seldom their sources, making it hard to trace the linguistic history of certain words.

Semitic Roots Index
Contains definition and etymology.

Steingass' Persian-English dictionary, Francis Joseph
Francis Joseph Steingass' comprehensive Persian-English dictionary, including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in Persian literature. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1892.


Al-Bab's Online Newspaper Links 
Large newspaper directory web site. Provides links to over 8000 daily online newspaper and magazines published across the Arab world in Arabic, French, Hebrew or English.

Islamic website. Searchable in Arabic by keywords or full sentences. Provides ebooks on different Islamic topics, such as the Qu'an, the Hadith, Arabic linguistics, literature, religion, classical dictionaries etcIt has an Audio Library which can be listened to online.

Al Jazeera OnlineArabic versionEnglish version
AL Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar and headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages.
Free, non-profit website providing access to the largest online collection of Qur’anic Commentary (tafsir or tafseer), translation, recitation and essential resources in the world. In addition to presenting the standard Classical and Modern Commentaries on the Holy Qur’an (tafsir or tafseer) texts of all eight schools of jurisprudence, the site also contains works of various mystical, philosophical, linguistic and theological currents. Moreover, the first time in one place, comparative studies between the Shafi‘i, Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali, Ja‘fari, Zaydi, Ibadi and Thahiri schools can be carried out complete with multi-screen displays and search programs. 

High quality, scholarly full text database. The use of some parts of the database is free but registration is required . Its digital library contains ebooks, Qur'anic texts, biographies, classical literature, language, philosophy and religion, dictionaries and much more.

Arabic Collections Online
Arabic Collections Online (ACO) is a publicly available digital library of public domain Arabic language content. ACO currently provides digital access to 10,042 volumes across 6,265 subjects drawn from rich Arabic collections of distinguished research libraries. Established with support from NYU Abu Dhabi, and currently supported by major grants from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, this mass digitization project aims to feature up to 23,000 volumes from the library collections of NYU and partner institutions. 

Arabic resources -
Contains online resources on Arabic language: dictionaries, alphabet and writing, pronunciation, grammar, basic words and phrases (standard and colloquial), free e-books with audio-visual material, links to news channels).

Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (GAL)

Easy Languages YouTube channel: 'Arabic from the Streets' playlist. Good for listening to short conversations from a varied population (recommended by our students).

EThOS Digital Islam
Contains 971 Ph.D. Islamic Studies theses online from UK universities. Available for downloading.

Iraqi Academic Scientific journals
Full-text database of all scholarly journals published by the Iraqi universities and research institutions are. All journals in IASJ are peer-reviewed. At the moment IASJ is launched in a Beta version with only 249 journals published by 48 institutions in Iraq. The service is being further developed. The database can be also browsed.

A chronology of nineteenth century periodicals in Arabic (1800-1900). Open access research tool. 

Lughatuna: from Classical to Modern Arabic. Includes Egyptian and other dialects. (Recommended by our students.)

Miscellanees d'ancient arabe
from the 'Digital Collections' of the University Libraries - The Catholic University of America.
It contains the digitised version of 'Miscellanees d'ancient arabe' from vol. V.I - V.XXI on pre-Islamic Arabia.

Middle East Virtual Library (MENALIB)
An information portal for Middle East and Islamic Studies. It provides access to online information and to digital records of printed and other offline media and thus supports the concept of a hybrid library for Middle East and Islamic Studies.

Parstimes Guide to the Middle East

Parstimes Iran Index





Jewish date converter

Iranian date converter

Islamic date converter