Dar al-Kutub: Numismatic Collection of the Egyptian National Library
Our catalog of 6,500 numismatic pieces – coins, glass weights, dies, medals, etc. - is the third major catalog of Islamic numismatic material held in the Egyptian National Library, formerly the Khedivial Library, Egypt’s most important library. Our catalog differs from its predecessors in a number of ways. First, it is a new catalog in that we had to read the inscriptions from the digital images which were taken under difficult and rushed conditions and not from the actual objects for reasons which are explained in the section entitled Introduction. Second, we included in this electronic catalog inscriptions in Arabic as Dr. Sherif Anwar read them, which was never possible in the previous studies because of costs. Inscriptions in European languages and references are the work of Dr. Norman D. Nicol from the 1982 catalog of the collection.
Third, images of every piece are part of this catalog, which was financially impossible when the earlier catalogues were published. Fourth, the images are in color which modern technology permits at no additional cost. On the other hand the Egyptian National Library required that all images used on this webpage carry a watermark. Images without watermarks of specific items can be acquired by contacting the Egyptian National Library citing the 1982 catalog number, which is the last number in the title listing for each item. Fifth, whenever a mint was named and could be located, an accompanying map is included on the webpage. Finally, as far as possible, all the data and search tools are available in both Arabic and English for the first time in a catalog. Electronic searches in Arabic and English can by undertaken by going to the category “browse” and then using the various lists to narrow the search. In order to find a specific piece based upon its 1982 catalog number go to the heading “search” and under “keyword” go to “recordId” and type in the appropriate number.
This project is a result of the cooperation of the Egyptian National Library and Archives and the American Numismatic Society with funding from USAID through the American Research Center in Egypt. This electronic catalog is made available under the Open Database License. It is powered by Numishare and numismatic concepts defined on Nomisma.org.