Monday, April 21, 2008

Dar al-Kutub (Egyptian National Library)

This was a message, I received some time ago from the Deputy Head of Projects at the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the Director of the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation - Dar al-Kutub Manuscript Conservation Project.

The goal of this long-term project is the cataloguing, conservation, and digitization of Dar al-Kutub's important manuscript collection.

As someone who works almost daily with the collection I can tell you that as far as manuscripts go, readers can consult microfilms in the manuscript division on the fourth floor of Dar al-Kutub's Corniche premises in the Bulaq neighborhood (next to the Conrad Hotel and not too far from Tahrir Square), but access to the original manuscripts is not permitted: the manuscripts are being prepared for relocation to Dar al-Kutub's newly renovated (and currently closed to the public) premises in the Bab al-Khalq neighborhood.

The head of the Corniche branch of Dar al-Kutub is Prof. Dr. Sharif Shaheen. If you wish to obtain CDs of a manuscript in the collection you can write to him directly with your request.

I cannot advise on the use of the archives or modern library divisions.

Good luck with your work.

Yours sincerely,
Davidson MacLaren
Deputy Head of Projects
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation
c/o Tradigital-Cairo
21 Misr Helwan Al-Ziraa'i St.
Al-Ma'adi, Cairo

Tel.: +20-(0)2-2380-1764
Fax: +20-(0)2-2380-2171

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