23rd September: National Day of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A brief about The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic written heritage
Among the 106 countries included in the “World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts” (the flagship project undertaken by Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation between the years 1989 – 1994) was The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic written heritage was surveyed in 1992, by ʿAbd Allāh ʿUsaylān.
This survey brought to light a wealth of information about the Country’s collections of Islamic manuscripts, by indicating: the cities and libraries that hold these manuscripts, the approximate number of manuscripts within each collection, the subjects and languages in which they are written, the conditions in which they are and whether they have been catalogued and studied, the particular significant manuscripts which they contain, etc.
According to this Survey, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has just over 91,000 manuscripts, held in 54 libraries (private and institutional). These libraries have mostly been established between 1800 – 1980, and their collections vary between 3 and 23,000 manuscripts.
This information was published in the following book:
“World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts” (English version), 1997-2002, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, London, UK, Vol. 3, pp. 1-50.
Please note that some of the images used in this online version might not be part of the published version of this article within the respective book.
The data figures, the names, and other details are overall reflecting those of the time when the Survey was conducted.
The Foundation is striving to update these details in progress; and, Your help in this regard would be much appreciated.
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