How a thousand years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate


The Guardian recently featured an article including examples of important manuscripts illustrating how, from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries, scholars and scribes used Arabic as a lingua franca to debate and develop scientific ideas. Arabic-speaking scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy. These scholars went far beyond translation and preservation and fostered a unique and vibrant scientific culture within the Arabic-speaking world.

The manuscripts featured are from the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership’s new online portal – the Qatar Digital Library. The archive provides free online access to 25,000 pages of fascinating medieval Arabic manuscripts.

Qatar Digital Library

Qatar Digital Library The Qatar Digital Library is available at: