Basic Reference Tools
Guide to Research in Islamic Art and Architecture
This research guide is divided into two sections. One section presents online and printed bibliographies, indexes, and other reference works and surveys organized according to subject or artistic medium (e.g. Architecture; Arts of the Book; Ceramics; Metalwork; Museums and Collections, etc.). A separate section presents research tools organized according to geographic or cultural region (e.g. works on the art and architecture of Central Asia; South Asia; Iran; Egypt; Islamic Spain, etc.).
Many of the reference works listed here are in the Fine Arts Library,shelved in the reading room [RFA call nos.] or in the stacks [FAL-LC, FA, and Fogg call nos.]. Other resources are available online or at other Harvard libraries, such as Widener, Loeb Design, or Tozzer. Some important reference works in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies can also be found in the Gibb Islamic Seminar Library (Widener, 3rd fl., Room Q), and in the Islamic Legal Studies reference collection of the Harvard Law School Library.
The Islamic Heritage Project of the Harvard Library's Open Collections Program provides online access to digital copies of over 280 manuscripts, 275 printed texts, and 50 maps, totaling over 156,000 pages. Users can search or browse online materials dating from medieval times to the present and representing many regions, languages, and subjects.
The Aga Khan Program at MIT also supports a Documentation Center for research in Islamic architecture at MIT's Rotch Library of Architecture & Planning. Harvard and MIT affiliates have reciprocal access to library collections at both institutions.
ArchNet, an online community for architects and scholars with a special focus onthe Islamic world, based at MIT, features a virtual library of digitized books, journals, reference tools, as well as thousands of images of architecture in the Islamic world.
For general guidance on art historical research at Harvard, see also the Guide to Research in History of Art & Architecture. For additional resources on Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, check out the Islamic Studies pages maintained by Dr. Alan Godlas (University of Georgia) and the University of Michigan Library's guide to Middle East Studies Library Resources.
Before searching the library catalog for materials in Middle Eastern languages, first take a look at the Library of Congress/ALA romanization tables for