The Arabic Program

In March 2015, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, announced plans for a digitization program of Arabic primary sources and reference materials for research and teaching, the first of its kind in scale and focus.

Gale’s ambition is to bring to light millions of pages of the world’s most rare and precious Arabic-language collections sourced from libraries and archives – both in the Middle East and the West – with detailed metadata and online tools designed for the twenty-first-century scholar. Now Gale is pleased to announce the availability of the first module of the first collection in this program: Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library.

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library

Based on A.G. Ellis' catalog of the British Library's collection, Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library is the first major text-searchable online archive of pre-twentieth century Arabic printed books available anywhere. The full-text searchable collection covers content from the fifteenth through the nineteenth century and will allow scholars to explore the interaction between East and West through Arabic texts and Early European translations of Arabic texts.

Scholars can search items in Arabic, English, French, German, Latin, Italian, Dutch and Spanish, as well as discover content in Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac and 17 other languages. Interfaces in Arabic and European languages, right-to-left-read navigation of Arabic texts, an embedded Arabic keyboard, and full-text searching across the Arabic language materials created with newly developed optical character recognition software (OCR) for early Arabic printed script have been introduced to ensure scholars in Arabic-speaking countries and those across the world can equally cross-search and research the range of texts.

Publication Schedule:

Religion and Law

December 2015

Sciences, History, and Geography

March 2016

Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogs, and Periodicals


December 2016


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