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L’Institut du Monde Arabe Bibliothèque Numérique

As a continuation of its endeavour to preserve heritage for future generations in digital form, and in partnership with L’Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) digitized IMA’s collection of 1,600 rare books, periodicals and magazines dating as back as 1728 covering different fields such as Art, History and Geography, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Applied Science, Medicine, and Technology.

IMA is an institution which aims at bridging the gap between the Arabic and European culture, through encouraging the cooperation between France and the Arab world, particularly in the areas of science and technology. It also aims at disseminating information about the Arab world, its language, culture and development.

The collection was digitized at the BA, using state-of-the-art technologies and is made publicly available in full text on: The online portal offers many browsing and search facilities for users’ convenience. Users may browse the collection through several channels; by Subjects, Authors, Year of Publication, Language and Publishers, thus ensuring ease of access to the full collection in no time.

The collection is managed and integrated with the Digital Assets Repository (DAR), which is a system developed in-house by the ICT sector at the BA to create and maintain the Library’s digital collections. The book viewer provides a variety of interactive and customizing functionalities including different viewing options, information about the book at hand and a list of suggested and related books.

Users may have free registration to the book collection, in order to enjoy several additional interactive functionalities such as the retrievable annotation tools which allow highlighting, underlining or adding sticky notes with personal comments as they read along. Moreover, “Add to basket” feature allows choosing certain pages of out-of-copyright books to download and save. The system also provides the feasibility to share books over social media, creating personal “bookshelves” for organizing books, rating and submitting comments. The search facility within the system supports full text morphological search within the collection’s titles and content, where the results are highlighted throughout the book.

Check out this valuable collection at


Last updated on 29 Aug 2013