Prophets, Poets and Scholars

Exploring the Collections of the Middle Eastern Library of Leiden University

Editor: Arnoud Vrolijk, Kasper van Ommen, Karin Scheper & Tijmen Baarda

LUP Prophets omslag website LUP

About this book

This book is scheduled to be released in September 2024 and is now available to pre-order.

The year 2024 marks the opening of the new Middle Eastern Library of Leiden University, a purpose-built facility to serve the needs of all those who engage in the study of the Middle East and North Africa from the dawn of history to the present day. To celebrate the occasion, more than 40 authors from Leiden and beyond have contributed to this special volume on the library’s rich and multifaceted Oriental holdings.

Topics range from the Ancient Near East to the material and conservational aspects of Oriental manuscripts, and the classical heritage of the Islamicate Middle East in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Persian. Other subjects include Berber languages, Jewish writerly culture in Hebrew and Aramaic, Eastern Christianity, the fascinating but often controversial world of Western Orientalism and the role of modernity in the twentieth-century Middle East. The essays and highlights are enhanced with more than 300 full-colour illustrations.


Dr Arnoud Vrolijk is Interpres Legati Warneriani and curator of Oriental manuscripts and rare books at Leiden University Libraries. He has published extensively on the Leiden Oriental collections and the history of Arabic scholarship in the Netherlands.

Dr Kasper van Ommen is curator of early printed and rare books and coordinator of the Scaliger Institute at Leiden University Libraries. In 2020 he defended his doctoral thesis on Joseph Justus Scaliger’s Oriental bequest in the Leiden University Library.

Dr Karin Scheper heads the conservation workshop in the Leiden University Library, where for many years she has focused on the study of the materiality of the Oriental collections. She received a PhD (2014) and has published a book and a range of articles on the subject.

Dr Tijmen Baarda defended his PhD dissertation in 2020 about the use of Arabic, Syriac and other languages among the Christians of Iraq at the beginning of the twentieth century. Until 2022 he was subject librarian for Middle Eastern studies at Leiden University Libraries.


Format: Hardback

Pages: 416

Illustrated: Colour

ISBN Print: 9789087284077

ISBN ePDF: 9789400604520

Published: 12 September 2024

Language: English

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