Finding Aids for Manuscripts in Arabic Script in the Columbia Libraries

NB – The finding aids are listed in chronological order.

“Oriental Manuscripts and Books Presented by Alexander I. Cotheal, Esq.” Columbia College Library, May 1890: 12-17.  The bare title list without call numbers documents the first donation of Islamic books to Columbia University by the merchant, gentleman scholar and bibliophile A. Cotheal (1804-1894).

Card catalog of X MSS, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Internal shelf list that covers all cataloged manuscripts in Arabic script, from 1890 to present.

Yohannan, Abraham. Gift of Books. November 1913. RBML X892.01 Y95, typescript.  The inventory of 60 books in Arabic script, comprising manuscripts and printed books, was compiled by their donor, the Iranian-American Columbia lecturer A. Yohannan (1853-1925), and does not provide call numbers.

Martinovitch, Nicholas N. “Arabic, Persian and Turkish Manuscripts in the Columbia University Library.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 49 (1929): 219-233.  Handlist of 47 manuscripts in Arabic script.

Martinovitch, Nicholas N. “Crusius or Orosius.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 51 (1931): 171-172.  The note corrects the wrong identification of MS arab. X893.712 H.

ʿAwwād, Georges. “Al-Makhṭūṭāt al-ʿarabiyya fī dūr al-kutub al-amrīkiyya.” Sumer  7 (1951): 237-277.  For 23 RBML manuscripts in Arabic script, 8 of which are also listed on Martinovitch’s handlist, see pp. 261-264, but 4 manuscripts have now different call numbers.

Card catalog of the Smith/Plimpton MSS oriental, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Compiled by the Turkish historian of science A. Süheyl Ünver (1898-1986) between 1958 and 1959.  Covers 440 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman.  From 1967 onwards, later acquisitions have been added to this card file, with the call numbers Smith or. 441-471.

Card catalog of the Arthur Jeffrey MSS, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Compiled by Yvonne Khalil, an Egyptian student in Columbia’s Library School, in 1962.  Covers 49 Arabic manuscripts.

Krek, Miroslav. “Islamic Manuscripts in North American Libraries: Part 5 – Union Theological Seminary Library.” MELA Notes, no. 36 (Fall 1985): 4-9.  The handlist covers 18 manuscripts and includes some Christian material, but discretion is advised; the call numbers are not those used since 2005 for the 31 manuscripts in Arabic script held by Burke Library.

Dagmar A. Riedel

First published, 15 April 2013

Last updated, 24 June 2013

2 thoughts on “Finding Aids for Manuscripts in Arabic Script in the Columbia Libraries

  1. Abraham Yohannan (d. 1925) was an Assyrian from Urmia and if you want to be accurate, please list him as American-Iranian of Assyrian origins.

  2. Pingback: The Muslim World Manuscript Project | Global Studies Blog

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