I am grateful to Dagmar Riedel and Maxim Romanov for several of the suggestions on this page, which is a work in progressIf you have suggested resources to add, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Textual Databases

Al-WarraqA searchable database of several hundred classical Arabic texts.

Al-Maktaba al-Shamela: Homepage for this downloadable library, comprising thousands of Arabic texts.

Digital Persian Archive: A database of Persian historical documents from Iran and Central Asia up to the 20th century.

Al-Maktaba al-Waqfiyya: Scanned PDFs of Arabic texts.

Multaqa Ahl al-Hadith: Scanned PDFs of Arabic texts. Searchable database of dozens of classical and modern Arabic exegetical texts.

Qur’anic Arabic Corpus: An annotated linguistic resource which shows the Arabic grammar, syntax and morphology for each word in the Holy Quran. The corpus provides three levels of analysis: morphological annotation, a syntactic treebank and a semantic ontology.

Al-Mishkat: Searchable database of classical Arabic texts.

Al-Mostafa: Database of downloadable PDFs of Arabic texts, modern and classical.

Noor Library: A collection of digital texts in Persian and Arabic.

Onomasticon Arabicum: A long-living database project, this new online-version informs on more than 15000 scholars and celebrities from the first Muslim millenary. Its entries in Arabic are compiled from ancient biographical dictionaries, a veritable treasure of Islamic culture. Crossed search allows separate interrogation on any of the different elements of the Arabo-Muslim names, dates and places, reconstructing the identity of a person, trace ways of knowledge transmission and frame historical contexts.

Corpus of Arabic Legal Documents: This online presentation is the first ever collection of scattered editions of legal documents from the 2nd/8th to the 9th/15th century, often with improved readings compared to earlier print versions. Documents are presented with the Arabic text in modern spelling and with full bibliographical data.

AlKindi — A searchable index for Islamic heritage works and authorities by Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies in Cairo. The index complies with FRBR (Functional requirements for Bibliographic Records) model that is recommended by the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA).

Manuscript & Image Databases and Catalogues

Collaboration in Cataloging: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan, Michigan University Libraries, 2009-2012.  Crowd-sourced cataloging project. For a project description, see: Evyn Kropf and Jonathan Rodgers, “Collaboration in Cataloguing: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan,” MELA Notes 82 (2009): 17-29.

Thesaurus d’épigraphie islamique: A project of the Max van Berchem Foundation, this large database contains records and photographs of inscriptions produced across the Islamic world until the year 1000 AH.

Die Damaszener Familienbibliothek Refaiya, Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig, 2008-2012.  The website provides access to digitized manuscripts as well as catalogs and research.

Fihrist: Islamic Manuscript Catalogue Online: British union catalogue for manuscripts in Arabic script.  The project originated with the Oxford and Cambridge Islamic Manuscript Catalogue Online (OCIMCO), 2009-2011.

Islamic Seals Database, Chester Beatty Library Dublin.  Crowd-sourced cataloguing project.

Database for Ottoman Inscriptions: A searchable digital database comprising information about, as well as transliterations and pictures of, all the Turkish, Arabic and Persian architectural inscriptions created in the Ottoman lands during Ottoman times.

Al-Furqan Digital Library Portal: A searchable catalogue of printed materials and manuscripts related to the Islamic world.

MENAdoc – Digital Collections provides open access digital documents related to the MENA-region and to Islamic studies, including many early printed books and other out-of-print texts.

Arabic Collections Online (ACO) is a publicly available digital library of public domain Arabic language content. ACO currently provides digital access to 5008 volumes across 3452 subjects drawn from rich Arabic collections of distinguished research libraries.

Tools and Tutorials

Bamboo DiRT is a tool, service, and collection registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. Developed by Project Bamboo, Bamboo DiRT is an evolution of Lisa Spiro’s DiRT wiki and makes it easy for digital humanists and others conducting digital research to find and compare resources ranging from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software.

Conversion of Islamic and Christian Dates, website created by J. Thomann for the Institute of Oriental Studies at Zurich University, 1996-2010.  Conversion tools for the Coptic, Persian (Era of Yazdigird), Islamic lunar (AH), and Ottoman māliyyah calendars are available.

GeoTemCo: comparative visualization of temporal data by Stefan Jänicke.

GeoNames: a searchable directory of coordinates for locations around the world (just make sure that if you are looking for Medina, it is not Medina, OH)

iTouchMap: convenient for reverse geocoding, or getting the precise coordinates of what you can see on the map. has a tool to convert coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds into decimal values.

EditPad Pro / EditPad Lite: a great text-editor that easily handles long texts in Unicode and supports regular expressions;

Python tutorial: Online tutorial for this powerful dynamic programming language.

Regular Expressions: a tool for complex manipulations with patterned text.


Lane’s Arabic Lexicon: Available in the following locations: Alpheios (a part of reading tools for Mozilla Firefox; URL LookUp); Perseus Project (text/XML, browsable and searchable); Tyndale House (images, browsable by letters and roots).

Wehr-Lane-Hava Triptych: Search all three of these standard Arabic-English dictionaries on one page.

Steingass’s Persian-English DictionarySearch the authoritative dictionary for classical Persian.

Resource Pages, Blogs, and Bibliographies

Open Access Digital Resources by Dagmar Riedel (Columbia University)

A List of Resource Websites by Dagmar Riedel (Columbia University) Maxim Romanov’s blog

Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies (COMSt), a research network program of the European Science Foundation (ESF), 2009-2014.

Archnet: Archnet is a globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world. Archnet’s mission is to provide ready access to unique visual and textual material to facilitate teaching, scholarship, and professional work of high quality. Officially launched in 2002 as a partnership between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet has since evolved into the largest open, online architectural library with a focus on Muslim cultures. Its digital archives form a comprehensive resource on architecture, urban design, landscape, development, and related issues. Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam.

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