Books in European Languages
The Heritage Collection contains a large number of books written in foreign languages, mainly in English, but also in European and other languages, including early books in Latin. Most of these works were published between the end of 15th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Some of these books, especially those on Arab-Islamic sciences written in Latin, were printed only a few years after the introduction of letter printing in Central Europe by Johannes Gutenberg in 1448. These earliest printed items belong still to the 15th century and are considered as incunabula.
Moreover, the section includes writings by European travelers and explorers who visited the Arabian Gulf region, and the rest of the Arab world, as well other surrounding regions (Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and India) over the centuries. Other well established fields are the early European reception of Islamic and Arab sciences, early European Qur’ān translations and editions, as well as early works of famous European scholars from many countries on history, language, art and architecture, and religion of the Islamic world - establishing what has been later known as Oriental studies.