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Treasures of the Library

Our Treasures of the Library permanent exhibition on the Seventh Floor, displays a fascinating collection of rare and old books, atlases, and manuscripts dating back to the 13th century. The collection includes unique copies of the Holy Quran, early print editions of literary classics and Latin translations of scholarly works from the Islamic Golden Age.

Among the rare exhibits is the first edition of Blaeu's Atlas Maior the crowning achievement of the famous 17th century Dutch cartographer Johannes Blaeu. Containing approximately 600 individual maps, the atlas was published in 1662 in eleven volumes. Experts regard the Atlas Maior as the most lavish atlas ever produced and it is certainly one of the most beautiful.

The Treasures of the Library also holds a first edition of Napoleon's Description de l'Égypte, an encyclopedic record of Egypt's antiquities, natural history and 18th century nation state. The publication's 34 volumes were produced by a team of hundreds of artists, scholars, engravers and other specialists during Napoleon Bonaparte's 1798-1801 military campaign in Egypt. The Description de l'Égypte is considered one of the greatest achievements of French publishing and a valuable historical record of 18th century Egypt.

The Treasures of the library exhibitions also includes first editions of the Arab and world cultures, scarce Arabic periodicals from the Arab world and the diaspora, and a find collection of autographs by world personalities.

The Treasures of the library exhibition also includes traditional tools for calligraphy, bookbinding, inkwells, etc.

Temporary Exhibitions

Our Seventh Floor exhibitions area also provides a large space for temporary exhibitions and events. Check our event calendar for updates.

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