18 rare pieces embody the world’s greatest intellectual works over the centuries
Mohammed Bin Rashid Library’s participation in Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
Once inside the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) venue, visitors will be overwhelmed by the great diversity of pavilions, booths, and publishing houses, most notably the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library (MBRL) pavilion, housing around 18 rare pieces, which are displayed for the first time outside the Library's premises.
MBRL’s participation in the 32nd ADIBF, to be held from 22 to 28 May 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), comes in line with the Library's constant desire to keep track of the latest developments across all fields and disciplines, while supporting its plans to inform the public and the visitors about the knowledge treasures in the Treasures of the Library Exhibition, including its rare pieces, manuscripts and atlases that embody the world's finest intellectual works over the centuries.
Explore the 18 Rare Pieces at Display in MBRL’s pavilion:
MBRL displays 18 rare pieces from the Treasures of The Library Exhibition collection, which houses around 300 collectibles, including ancient and rare books, atlases, and manuscripts, some of which date back to the 13th century, in addition to rare early copies of the Holy Quran, early editions of classic prints, and Latin translations of scientific sources dating back to the Islamic Golden Age.
1- Ibn Khaldun
Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldun (Ibn Khaldun's Prolegomena)
First Edition of the Arabic text, published by the French orientalist Étienne Marc Quatremère
2- Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
Liber canonis. De medicinis cordialibus
Venice, 1562, and early illustrated Latin edition of Ibn Sina’s al-Qanun fi’l-Tibb (Canon of Medicine)
3- Holy Qur’an
Section of a Qur’an
Egypt or Syria, 8th Century AH / 14th Century CE
A large example of a Juz (Part of the Qur’an) written during the Mamluk period
4- Braun and Hogenberg
Civitates Orbis Terrarium (Atlas of Towns and Cities)
A gem of urban cartography with plates that offer vast panoramas of cities across Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America
5- J. K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
First Edition of the first book in the infamous Harry Potter series
6- Walt Disney
The Adventures of Mickey Mouse
First Edition of the first Mickey Mouse Book
7- Ghessin Saito and Hasgawa Settan
Edo meisho zue (Famous sites in and about Tokyo)
One of Japan’s greatest illustrated books which highlights the country’s famous landmarks.
8- Arabian Nights
The Alif Laila or Book of a Thousand and One Nights
Rare and Early complete Arabic Edition of the Arabian Nights published by Sir William Hay Macnaghten in Calcutta
9- Leo Tolstoy
Voyna i Mir (War and Peace)
This first edition of War and Peace absorbs the quality of a novel, poem and a historical chronicle all at once.
10- Abu-l Qasim Firdawsi
Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) Lucknow, 1874
Large lithographic edition of this beautifully illustrated edition of the Shahnameh, the great Persian epic
11- Girault de Prangey
Monuments arabes et moresques de Cordoue, Séville, et Grenade
An impressive hand-coloured publication on the Arabian Antiquities in Spain
12- Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote de la Mancha
The famous Ibarra Edition known for its fine illustrations which were produced by Spain’s foremost artists at the time.
13- Robert Melville Grindlay
Scenery, Costumes and Architecture Chiefly on the Western Side of India
First Edition of one of the most beautiful color plate books on India
14- Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari
Egypt, 8th Century AH / 14th Century CE
A section of the most authentic collection of Hadith written during the Mamluk period
15- Du Fu
Du Gongbu shi ji (Anthology of Du Fu's poems)
Songling, Qing Dynasty, 9th year of Kangxi (1670)
First edition of Zhu Heling’s commentary on the poems of Du Fu; considered the greatest Chinese poet of all time.
16- Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn ʻArabshah
Kitab ʻAjaib al-maqdur fi akhbar Timur (The History of Tamerlane)
First Arabic edition of this important eyewitness account of the life of Tamerlane (Timur), the Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire
17- Johann Bayer
Uranometria (Celestial Atlas)
First Edition. The first work to cover the entirety of the celestial sphere.
18- Shaker Solomon
As-Salwa ‘The Entertainer’
An issue from an Arab Diaspora Magazine published in the United States
The Treasures of The Library Exhibition... a unique journey inspiring the human love for knowledge.
The Treasures of The Library Exhibition displays a unique collection of knowledge treasures, including ancient and rare books, atlases and manuscripts, and lifesaving medical treatises, some of which date back to the 13th century. Each piece represents a rich human experience that invites us to broaden our minds and learn from others. Among the pieces on display is the first edition of Atlas Maior, the celebrated achievement of the 17th century Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu. Published in 1662 in 11 volumes, the atlas includes around 600 individual maps. Experts believe that the Atlas Maior is the richest atlas ever, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful atlases of all time.
The exhibition also includes the first edition of Napoleon's Description de l'Égypte, an 18-century encyclopaedic register of Egyptian history and archaeology. Published in 34 volumes, the register was co-produced by a team consisting of hundreds of artists, scholars, critics, and other specialists during Napoleon Bonaparte's military campaign in Egypt 1798-1801. Thus, this masterpiece remains a highly-significant milestone across the history of French publication, as well as a valuable record of 18th-century Egypt.
The Treasures of The Library exhibition also features first editions of Arab and international cultures, rare Arab periodicals from the Arab world and beyond, in addition to an impressive collection of signatures of international figures, as well as traditional tools for calligraphy and bookbinding, etc.