Freedom to read, freedom to believe #BannedBooksWeek

A guest post by Eleanor Rideout, IS Helpdesk Assistant

Banned Books Week, held the week of September 24th in 2017, is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. New College Library holds many texts that have been banned at different points in history, and by different nations and cultures. This week you can see some of these banned books on display in New College Library. Continue reading

Christian-Muslim Encounters in Texts

This week, the School of Divinity hosts the first conference of the Global Network for Christian-Muslim Studies,  Reframing Christian-Muslim Encounter : Theological and Philosophical Perspectives.

In a new display in New College Library, we can see some Christian-Muslim encounters in texts from New College Library’s collections.  These texts record Christian reactions to the Muslim encounters Turkish military campaigns brought close to home, and the preparations of Christian missionaries to venture into Muslim territories. 

Robert, of Chester, active 1143, Peter, the Venerable, approximately 1092-1156, Bibliander, Theodorus (1504-1564), Luther, Martin (1483-1586) Melanchthon, Philipp (1497-1560), Machumetis Saracenorum principis, eius’ que successorum vitae, doctrina, ac ipse Alcoran.
(Basel, 1550) MH.163

At the same time as Martin Luther was challenging the authority of the papacy using scripture, the military campaigns of the Turks were approaching closer into Europe. Luther approached this encounter with Islam by inquiring into Islamic texts, which culminated in his involvement in this publication in Latin of the Qur’ān. Continue reading

New books at New College Library in March 2017

A selection of some new books at New College Library, with an Islamic theme.

Muslim Christian encounters, by Professor Mona Siddiqui from the School of Divinity is now available, with four volumes  at BP172 Mus.


Also available, تفسير القرآن الحكيم : المشهور بتفسير المنار Tafsīr al-Qurʾān alḥakīm : al-mashhūr bi-Tafsīr al-manār by   مّد رشيد رضا.; Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā  in a twelve volume set at BP130.4 Muh.




Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi : Islamic reform and Arab revival by Itzchak Weismann. Available at BP80.K38 Wei.

Understanding the Qu’ran by Mostafa Mahmoud, available at BP130.4 Mah











New College Library has a regular display of new books at the far end of the Library Hall, close to the door to the stacks. Details of all new books are available via DiscoverEd.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

Divinity Approaches to Research – Library Resources for Islam

View of pages from the Qur'an of Tipu Sultan. Shows text in the centre, surrounded by gold and blue illumination. Tipu Sultan was the Muslim ruler of Southern India's Mysore province (now part of Karnataka) during the late eighteenth century. Edinburgh University Library Or.Ms 148
View of pages from the Qur’an of Tipu Sultan. Shows text in the centre, surrounded by gold and blue illumination. Tipu Sultan was the Muslim ruler of Southern India’s Mysore province (now part of Karnataka) during the late eighteenth century. Edinburgh University Library Or.Ms 148

New College Library holds book collections to support the current courses and research by the School of Divinity in the area of Islam. A wide range of online resources is also available, such as Early Western Korans Online, the Encyclopaedia of Islam and Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
For a full introduction to the range to Library Resources for Islam at the University of Edinburgh, please see the Subject Guide for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at:

Today’s question for Divinity postgraduate students on the Divinity Approaches to Research course is :

“At what shelfmark would you find the principal collection of books on Islamic Law at New College Library? Use DiscoverEd to help you find the answer, or come into New College Library to explore”

[Example : BJ is the shelfmark for Ethics]

Tweet me your answer at NewCollegeLibrarian@cloverodgers or email me on

Questions are also posted on the Learn course for Approaches to Research.

A winner will be drawn on Friday 2 Oct from all correct answers received and they will receive a mystery prize!

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

New books at New College Library – March

The lovelorn ghostThe Good MuslimNew College Library has a regular display of new books at the far end of the Library Hall, close to the door to the stacks.

Currently in the display is The good Muslim : reflections on classical Islamic law and theology by Mona Siddiqui. Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the School of Divinity, will deliver her Inaugural Lecture ‘Love and Law in Christianity and Islam‘ today,  Monday 4 March 2013 at St Cecilia’s Hall.

Also new is The lovelorn ghost and the magical monk : practicing Buddhism in modern Thailand  by Daniel McJustin.  These titles were purchased for Religious Studies at the School of Divinity, Edinburgh University.

You can see an regularly updated list of new books for New College Library on the Library Catalogue – choose the New Books Search and limit your search to New College Library. Here’s a quick link to new books arriving in the last few weeks. A word of caution – some of the books listed here may still be in transit between the Main Library (where they are catalogued) and New College Library, so not on the shelf just yet.

A nineteenth century view of Islam at New College Library

In this month of Ramadan, I thought I would feature this recently catalogued item from New College Library’s Z-Collection that gives a nineteenth century Western view of Islam.

An history of Muhammedanism : comprising the life and character of the Arabian prophet, and succinct accounts of the empires founded by the Muhammedan arms : an inquiry into the theology, morality, laws, literature, and usage of the Muselmans, and a view of the present state and extent of the Muhammedan religion / by Charles Mills. London : 1818. New College Library, Z.1180

The item is inscribed Ex Libris Bibliothecae Theologicae Edinensis, indicating that it came from the Edinburgh University Theological Library. This library was absorbed into New College Library when New College merged with the University in the early 1960s.

Islamic Collections at New College Library

Muslims all over the world join together this week for Ramadan, the greatest religious observance in Islam.  Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.

New College Library’s collections in Islamic Studies reflect the current teaching and research activities within the School of Divinity’s Religious Studies programmes.  These collections complement the rich collections held at the University of Edinburgh’s Main Library and Islamic Studies Library. Students and staff have access to the online resources for Islamic and Middle-Eastern Studies, including the Encyclopaedia of the Qu’rān.

Recent acquisitions to New College Library’s collections include Women under Islam : gender, justice and the politics of Islamic Law by Christina Jones-Pauly. Another recent addition to the shelves is Jesus and Muhammad : parallel tracks, parallel lives by Francis E. Peters.