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.

How an Olympic champion became a missionary

The BBC Scotland programme Eric Liddell: A Champion’s Life http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lb63b  on BBC2 tonight (Monday 23rd July) at 10pm features items from University of Edinburgh Collections.

RUNNING THE RACE: Eric Liddell Olympic Champion and Missionary. John W. Keddie.

New College Library recently received a donation of a biography of  former Olympic Champion Eric Liddell, by John W. Keddie.  Immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire, Liddell won gold in the 400 metres at the Olympic games in Paris 1924, but famously refused to compete in his best event, the 100 metres, because it was held on a Sunday. He went on to study at the Scottish Congregational College and in 1925 went to China as a missionary with the London Missionary Society.

New College Library holds a  letter (30 June 1940) from Liddell to Mary and George Cameron, Heriot, Midlothian describing his movements during his last trip with his family. After two years in a wartime  internment camp with other members of the China Inland mission, he died on 21 February 1945, five months before liberation.

Liddell’s Olympic medals were donated to Edinburgh University by his daughter Mrs. Patricia Russell. A new Sports Scholarship at Edinburgh University, the Eric Liddell High Performance Sports Scholarship, was launched recently in his memory.

New College Library Stacks now open

New College Library’s Stack I is now open.

Apologies to all who have been inconvenienced by the closure of Stack I during the last five weeks. The New College Library Helpdesk had more than 500 books requested during the closure period, so there is obviously no such thing as a” quiet time” in the Library any more.

The stack room is now freshly painted for the first time in sixty years!!

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.

New College Library is open throughout the Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival time is coming, and the Assembly Hall on the Mound will once again be a Festival venue.   As well as the Assembly Hall, the Rainy Hall and various other rooms at New College will be used during this year’s Festival Fringe from Thursday 19th July to Friday 31st August.

New College Library remains open throughout the festival season. Between 17 and 27 July there will be set up activities in New College and the Quad which may cause noise and disruption – although the Library itself is not involved. You may wish to allow a little extra time for travelling to the Library as there may be crowds and queues. Please also remember, as always, to bring your University smart card for entrance and identification.

If you are visiting Edinburgh, you are welcome to register for visitor reference access to New College Library.

Please bring two forms of identity with you. We require photographic proof of identity, confirmation of current address, and a passport size/style colour photograph to register for a reference card.