Arabic Collections Online (ACO) is an online library specialized in providing Open Access to Arabic books and manuscripts in several scientific domains. ACO started its digitization project with the aim of providing free and global access to Arabic language content, which is currently not widely available. The project already offers access to over 16.000 volumes, however the goal of the project is to digitize 23.000 Arabic volumes. The topics range from philosophy and religion to political sciences and technology, and include both volumes from the classical Islamic period as well as more recent volumes.
Functionalities and use
The web pages are designed symmetrically, where the left side of the page is written in Latin script (i.e. English or transliteration) and the right side offers the same functionalities in Arabic. The search functions are likewise designed to facilitate queries on multiple levels (such as title, author, subject, place of publication, etc.) in English, Arabic transliteration and Arabic scripture. Under the header ‘search’, the website includes some search tips for the use of transliteration. The ACO project applies the Library of Congress transliteration system.
The ACO website is definitely a useful tool for researchers who are looking for specific Arabic source materials, as well as for students who want to gain a quick overview of the variety of digitized Arabic sources.
Questions about this database can be directed to the subject specialist Eastern Studies.