A descriptive catalogue of more than 400 Arabic works published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Lithography in the Islamic world is a bridge between the manuscript age and typography. The Arabic book printed by lithography is essentially a facsimile of the exemplar produced originally by hand and as such exhibits all the characteristic features proper to manuscripts. Despite the considerable number of Arabic lithographed books and their importance to scholarship, this form of printed literature has received little attention. This is the first catalogue of its kind.
Adam Gacek describes the collection of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Arabic lithographed books preserved in the Islamic Studies Library at McGill University, which consists of 264 volumes (410 individual works) printed in North Africa, the Middle East, and India and spans the traditional Islamic disciplines.
Many of the books in this collection are beautiful examples of calligraphy and decoration, with exquisite title pages, elegant headpieces of floral and vegetal design, decorative medallions, and notes and glosses arranged in various shapes and forms. Arabic Lithographed Books includes ninety illustrations.