About 5 years ago the Culture House of European Muslims (KUDEM) launched a magnificent project: the development of the most extensive and multilingual special library for Islamic theology within Europe, aiming 100.000 books. Today, KUDEM is pleased to announce that an important milestone has been achieved, by cataloging 25.000 books. The team consisted of engaged and passionate members from KUDEM and the IFIS&IZ (Institute for Islamic Studies and Intercultural Cooperation). Early in the beginning of the project the concept of the library has been developed jointly with experts of each discipline. The facilities for the library have been designed according to latest standards to provide an ideal working atmosphere for scientific research.
Accompanied by Prof. Dr. Hüseyin İlker Çınar the selection of the books was a process of exhaustive investigations and intensive deliberations, resulting into a number of exclusive booklists. The collection of the books was conducted by a delegation, specially sent by KUDEM & IFIS&IZ. Numerous trips to Beirut, Cairo and Istanbul have been made. The acquisition was challenging due to the local circumstances in the purchasing region inter alia difficulties in logistics and coordination with domestic partners. By road, sea and air the collected books were brought to KUDEM.
After the successful collection of the books and the actual challenge the focus has been set on the electronic recording and cataloging of each unit. Significantly involved in this success was a group of 20 academic volunteers from KUDEM, who have been instructed in library work by experts from Istanbul providing special seminars and further education. In the final phase the books had to be classified into subjects following the labeling of each books with the corresponding signature.
The special library disposes a comprehensive collection of about 25.000 volumes in six languages (Arabic, Turkish, Persian, German, English and French). Islamic- theological themes, such as Quranic exegesis, science of hadith, Islamic law, systematic theology biography of prophets, Islamic history, Islamic mysticism, Islamic philosophy and Islamic ethics/moral teaching (ahlaq) are covered. Furthermore there are also smaller holdings on themes that relate to Islamic theology, like religious education, medicine- and bioethics, Arabic and Turkish linguistic and literary studies etc. A gradually extension of the holdings to 100.000 works will be continued with determination.
Despite the difficulties and challenges IFIS&IZ has followed the project with enthusiasm and engagement. Herewith, the IFIS&IZ congratulates and expresses sincere thanks to KUDEM to provide this valuable and magnificent service to the academic world and humankind.
Further the IFIS&IZ would like to announce that the planned lecture series and international conferences will be started very soon. May this project and all our further initiatives lead to the benefit of humankind and give reason to gain Allah’s pleasure.