Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library is a collection of titles cataloged in A. G. Ellis’s Early Arabic Printed Books in the British Museum, London, 1898-1901 (3 vols), with additional material from the India Office Library. Included are works printed in Alexandria, Baghdad, Beirut, Bulak, Cairo, Constantinople, London, Lucknow, Paris, St Petersburg, Tunis, Vienna among others. The majority of works are in Arabic text, though some content is bilingual or in other languages.
Gale represents that the collection will represent the entirety of unique titles and editions in the Ellis bibliography. Gale projects that the collection will encompass 7,000 titles (in 12,000 volumes), and will include approximately 2.5 million pages.
Early Arabic Printed Books: from the British Library will be published in three parts.
Module 1: Islamic literature, Christian literature and Islamic Law (December 2015)
The Quran, traditions (Hadith), tafsir, theology, prayers and sermons, traditions -interpretation, biographies of traditionalists; bibles, commentaries, Christian teaching and practice, liturgies, prayer books; law, fiqhand statutes, fatwas and rulings
Module 2: Sciences, History, Geography and Periodicals (March 2016)
Natural history, medicine, physiology, other science, classical sciences, philosophy, logic, politics, ethics, mathematics, arithmetic, geometry, mechanics, astrology, chemistry; history, early caliphs and conquests, modern history, genealogy, biographies; geography and travel, regional geography, topography, and periodicals
Module 3: Literature, Grammar, Language, Catalogues and General Works(December 2016)
Folktales, pre-Islamic literature (Antar, BaniHilal, Imru'lqays), Islamic poetry and prose (al-Burdah), poetry and prose (maqamat), Kalilahwa-dimnah, Luqman, proverbs and sayings, Thousand and one nights, later literature, poetry and prose, general literature; language and lexicography, dictionaries, grammar, syntax, rhetoric, 'ilmal-bayan, catalogues, manuscript catalogues, etc
Gale has expressed interest in working with other libraries to identify additional Arabic primary sources and are planning future releases.