It is a truism that the advent of the internet has made life much easier, and this is no less true for academics than other people. One particular way in which the internet could be of use to, inter alia, historians is by making the building of huge corpora of texts much simpler. Moreover, such corpora would not only be much user-friendlier, but also only a click away from us, no matter where in the world we are. The following are several online corpora of mediaeval Arabic books that could be of use to Islamicists. The works included on these websites range from qur’anic exegesis and qur’anic sciences to ḥadīth, history, adab, and fiqh.
Al-Maktaba al-Shāmila is perhaps the greatest and most widely used online library of Arabic books. Books can be searched and read online. Pagination of each book follows that of the published edition used for reproducing the text.
Al-Warāq. It is possible to run searches through both the whole corpus and individual texts on this website.
Kitābkhāna-yi Madrasa-yi Faqāhat contains over 5,000 fully searchable digitised books.
Noor Digital Library. Home to over 8,000 titles in Arabic and Persian, it is possible to run searches through the whole corpus or individual volumes. It is also possible to download a scanned version of the published texts in the members-only area of the website (needs subscription).
Al-Maktaba al-Shīʿiyya does not seem to be maintained regularly anymore, but its
contents are still accessible.
If you know of other websites and corpora that are not listed here, please kindly post the link to them in the comments section below.