Dr. Mohamed Taher
Abstract Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Abstract: The subject of the area of study, called Islamic librarianship, has a lot of literature, both in print and online. However, many issues are yet to be discussed, probed and clarified. Hence this bibliography.
For instance, the available literature refers to a twin title, scholar-cum-librarian. This position is called sometimes as book-keepers, scribe, and sometimes as Warraqeen, singular warraq / librarian. Whatever the name, this person played a distinct role in the evolution of these libraries. It is not clear which role of the above twain dominated, was it scholarly or librarian's hat. And, another question is: Whether this person, had a) role of information provider, and b) displayed neutrality (meaning, secular) in collection development as well dissemination or was influenced by the predominant (main stream or sectarian) religious ideology. Again, was the librarian working as: a) disseminator of the religion (as in dawah / calling / inviting towards the religious' best practices) or b) served as a religious missionary (Minister in Christian terminology). And, whatever was the role type, did theology play any part in this role playing. In other words, does Islam views theological librarianship as a calling or not.**** An answer to this is yet to be ascertained.
In order to facilitate the above purpose, a brief bibliography relating to the theory and practice of Islamic libraries and Islamic Librarianship, as it has evolved is listed below. It covers English language material appearing in a variety of formats (print, online, etc.). While this is a first attempt to create an exclusive online version, I do have a bibliography with my article: The Book In The Islamic Civilization and in my book: Islamic Librarianship (Studies in Librarianship series, Delhi, Anmol Publications, 1997).** Whereas, an analytical bibliography, that is comprehensive and up-to-date, requires special funding and universal approach. I am looking for such a funding & / or collaborators.
The purpose of this survey is, then, to identify two types of sources, viz., primary and secondary. Primary sources, here, are those that deal with theory, ideas, concepts, etc. These sources deal specifically with the foundations as interpreted based on Islamic theology, philosophy, society, culture, etc. Secondary sources, here are, surveys, reports, reviews and narratives of historical and current trends in library world that specializes in Islamic / Muslim resources. Note: This survey makes no attempt to list or index libraries of Islamic / Muslim literature.
Acknowledgement: This bibliography has grown with the support of friends, such as, Dr. Alireza Noruzi, Donald G. Davis, Jr., Dr. M. Makki Sibai, Dr. Roderic Vassie, and many others. Those whom I am indebted, also include academies and research centers that helped me gather data about Mosque libraries, Madrasah Libraries, Qanqah Libraries, so on and so forth.
Ekere, F.C. "The contribution of Islam to the spread of literacy and development of libraries during the rise of Islam in the Middle East, North Africa and the West African Sudan," Library Scientist 10 (1983) 101-19
Inayatullah, Shaikh "Bibliophilism in Medieval Islam", Islamic Culture, 12:2, 1938, 154-69.
Jamil, Muhammad Faris. Islamic Wiraqah stationary during the early middle ages. Ph.D Thesis, Michigan State University, 1985.
Khan, H A., "Islamic bases for the Theory of Librarianship and Information Services", COMLIS, Malaysia, 1986.
Mahmud, Khalil (1971), "Influence of the Holy Quran in the development of libraries", Nigerian Journal of Islam 1, pp. 11-22.
Oli Mohamed Abdul hamid, "Islam, Knowledge and Librarianship", COMLIS, Malaysia, 1986.
Rizvi, S. Mohammed Hussain, "Islamic Bases for the Theory of Librarianship", COMLIS, Malaysia, 1986.
Sardar, Ziauddin. 'The Civilization of the book', in Ilm and the revival of knowledge. (1999) (also in SARDAR, ZIAUDDIN (ED.): How We Know: Ilm And The Revival Of Knowledge. Grey Seal, London, 1991) (see also additional reference)
Information and the Muslim world: a strategy for the twenty first century.
London: Mansell, 1988.
Mohamed Sibai. An historical investigation of mosque libraries in Islamic
life and culture. Ph.D. Thesis. Indiana
Smith, W.C., "Islamic Near East: Intellectual role of Librarianship", Library Quarterly 35 1965, 283-294.
Mohamed, “Islamic view of education and training of library manpower: Trends
and prospects,” in Islamic Librarianship (Studies in Librarianship series:
Adams, Roldah. Historical development of Islamic libraries internationally and in South Africa : a case study of the Islamic Library in Gatesville. 2003. [A minithesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Magister Bibliothecologiae, in the Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Western Cape]. (M. Bibl. minithesis, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Western Cape) Read the fulltext
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At the moment I am gathering papers and articles and have not had a chance to read through them all yet. I am using keywords or subject headings of theological librarianship to locate them in my searches. From what I have read, it seems there are mixed views of the Christian view of theological librarianship. Some people say that working in a theological institution as the librarian is no different to working in any other institution as the librarian, others say that it is a ministry to be working in a theological institution, especially if you share the same faith as that institution. It is a ministry in that some feel they have been called by God to work there in the librarian role, that it is part of their calling to help further the gospel to be the librarian and assist with the training of others to spread the word of the gospel. I hope I am making myself clear “ it is a little difficult to explain. As far as the Islamic view of theological librarianship goes, I am after papers/articles etc that discuss whether or not Islam views theological librarianship as a calling or not. I am not familiar enough with Islam to know if calling is the right word to use but I hope you understand what I am trying to locate]
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How to cite this article:
Taher, Mohamed (2006), "Islamic Librarianship: A Bibliographic Survey,"
[Available at http://taher.freeservers.com/IslamicLibrariesBibl.htm ]