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Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa: A Catalog of the Herskovits Library Collection: Access

Our collection of Arabic script materials from West Africa contains over 5,000 items collected from Africa and donated to the library by several Northwestern professors.

Search Our Arabic Manuscript Collection

Search our Arabic manuscripts in either English or Arabic (although not all fields contain information in both languages). To search in Arabic, you must enable the Arabic characters on your computer. For more search tips, see Cataloging Conventions

Accessing the Collections

The Arabic materials described in this catalog are located in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, 5th floor, East Tower of the Main Library on Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus.

Visit Northwestern University Libraries.

The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies maintains and provides access to the Arabic manuscript collection. We welcome use of these resources by faculty, students and staff of Northwestern University and by visiting researchers regardless of affiliation. These resources are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. through 4:45 p.m. Advance appointments, especially for those not affiliated with Northwestern University and traveling to Evanston to carry out research, are strongly encouraged.

To inquire about the collection or to make an appointment to visit it, please contact the Herskovits Library by sending an e-mail to:

General information about the Herskovits Library can be obtained by writing to: