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New digital home for 1,000 years of Arabic scientific manuscripts


The Almagest is an Arabic version of the work of Ptolemy (AD c 90-c 168), thought to have been translated by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-‘Ibādī (AD c 809-873) [Credit: The British Library/Qatar Foundation]
The British Library/Qatar Foundation

Thanks to the Guardian for alerting us to the wonderful collection of Arabic scientific texts held at the Qatar Digital Library – a joint project between the British Library and the Qatar Foundation.

Arabic was the language of science from the 9th century, as scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy.

The library is a free resource with 25,000 pages of medieval Arabic manuscripts on all manner of subjects.

The internal workings of a water-clock aken from the Book of Archimedes on the Construction of Water-Clocks, compiled during the 9th century.
British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership

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Bill is head of publishing at The Royal Institution of Australia and former publisher of Cosmos.
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