The library became one of the richest Ottoman archives in the world in 1931 when it acquired millions of Ottoman documents from Turkey. Today, the library’s Oriental Department contains more than 160 sijills, 1000 registers, 1,000,000 individual documents, and thousands of manuscripts, from all the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The library is truly a hidden gem for scholars of the Middle East and the Balkans.
The John Rylands Library in Manchester is one of the best libraries in the United Kingdom, and holds more than one million manuscripts and documents, including important collections of material in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and other Near Eastern languages.
The Bosniak Institute in Sarajevo was a foundation established to promote the development and preservation of the cultural wealth, history and identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Institute offers a large, multi-themed library, a manuscript and rare books collection, an archive and various special collections such as those of postcards and audio records.
The Chester Beatty Library contains Oriental and Western books and manuscripts bequeathed by the private collector Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). Located on the grounds of Dublin Castle, the library houses one of the finest manuscript collections of Islamic and East Asian material in Europe and is especially well known for its illustrated manuscripts.
The Institute for Oriental Studies in Sarajevo (Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu) is a public research institution dedicated to the study of the Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages and literatures, both in general and, more specifically, for Bosnia’s Ottoman past. It was formerly one of the most important institutions for conducting research on the Ottoman heritage of the former Yugoslavia, although today, regrettably, it is better known for its most tragic fate: it was burnt down to the ground in 1992. Despite this, it still contains a modest collection of manuscripts and documents in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, and Bosnian, all of which have been digitized, and two collections of reference literature.
Gazi Husrev-Begova Biblioteka is the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts and documents in the Balkans. Located on the premises of the mosque complex of the same name in Sarajevo, the well-catalogued collection and brand new library is one of the premier locations for the study of the Ottoman Empire in general and the Balkans in particular. At the beginning of 2014, the library will officially open a state-of-the-art building to researchers and the general public.
The rich Oriental collections of the Leiden University contain some 6,000 Middle Eastern manuscripts, about 120,000 rare books printed before 1950, and photographs of interest to the scholars of the region. The collection is located at the Special Collections section of the main library of the university at Leiden, the Netherlands.