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Arabic & Persian Manuscripts

This digitized collection of selected volumes of medical books and manuscripts, dating from 1300 to 1921, is drawn from the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.  This collection reflects the Arabic and Persian intellectual efforts that translated, augmented, and transmitted Greek and Roman medical knowledge to Western societies during the Renaissance.  It includes iconic works by authors such as Avicenna and al-Razi.

This project was conceived to build on the earlier success of past Middle Eastern digitization efforts at Yale University Library and a past collaboration between YUL and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which digitized a small selection of Arabic and Persian manuscripts which are available at the Arabic and Middle Eastern Electronic Library (AMEEL).  The project added another level beyond the Arabic/Persian collection, as early Latin, French, and English translations of Arabic medical works were selected to be part of the grant.  The transmission and translation of Arabic and Persian medicine into Europe has been a source of scholarly interest, as Arabic and Persian societies were vital in the retention and augmentation of ancient medical knowledge.