The Arabic Collection at Penn
The Library's Arabic collection is the largest and most important aspect of the Middle East Studies Collection. With the establishment of the first Arabic professorship in 1782, the collection has grown to more than 70,000 catalogued volumes. From primary reference resources to smaller, obscure publications with scholarly value, the collection has strong holdings in Arabic language and literature, Islamic law, medieval and modern history, in addition to socio-economic studies reflecting the intellectual output of the Arab world.
While the majority of Arabic book publishing today takes place in cities like Cairo and Beirut, the library collects Arabic books from all over, including North Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, India, Pakistan and Iran. Publications from Europe and the United States are also acquired selectively.