Aga Khan Library
The Aga Khan Library holds over 52,000 volumes on a range of topics including philosophy, history, social sciences, art and architecture, religion, literature and education. The Library has an extensive collection of materials focused on Muslim civilisations, past and present, as well as Muslim diasporas around the world. An exceptional feature of the collection is its focus on the study of Muslim minorities, with particular emphasis on the Shia, in general, and the Ismaili, in particular.
The Library’s collection includes books not only in English but also several other European (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), Asian (Gujarati, Sindhi, Tajik, Urdu) and Middle Eastern (Arabic, Farsi, Ottoman Turkish, Turkish) languages. The Library has three dedicated subject librarians to provide expert guidance to help students and scholars with their research.
The Aga Khan Library holds approximately 1500 titles in its rare books and special collections. These items include out-of-print publications that have been acquired either through donations or purchases. There are 150 unique manuscripts from Egypt, India, Morocco and Iran on Sufism, literature, astronomy and history dating from the 18th century as well as 600 rare Ottoman Turkish books and 600 Arabic and Persian rare books.
The Library is continuously growing its funds both in print and electronic format; the electronic collection includes over 84,000 titles. To facilitate access to thousands of rare materials on its shelves, the Library developed the Aga Khan Library Digital Collections platform; an open access tool that includes digital copies of many of its manuscripts, artworks, out-of-print publications, photographs, and maps produced in different periods and areas of the Muslim world.
Beyond written texts, the Library has built up a collection of documentary and feature films covering a wide range of themes and regions of the Muslim world, including Afghanistan, Central Asia, Egypt, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as Muslim diaspora communities in Europe and North America. It also has a unique collection of audio recordings of Qawwali music from the Indian subcontinent, Sufi music from Iran and Turkey, and Gnawa music from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Library is a member of Jisc Library Hub Discover, a network of academic and research libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland; and through its partnership with OCLC, has made its holdings available in WorldCat, an international library catalogue.