Arcadian Library Online - FAQ


What content is available in Arcadian Library Online?

Arcadian Library Online brings together a digital archive of the Arcadian Library’s collection of books, documents and manuscripts showcasing the shared cultural heritage between the Middle East and the West. The library’s holdings will be digitised in thematic collections – the first to be made available is History of Science and Medicine. Read more about the collection here or download a title list. Future content releases will include themed collections on Europe and the Ottoman World and Travel and Exploration.

How was the collection curated?

The collection was curated by the chairman of the Arcadian Library in consultation with researchers and subject matter experts.

Are translations of the collection items available?

The collection items are available as facsimile images in the original source language, without HTML full text or additional translations.

What time period is covered?

The library holdings span from the 8th to 20th centuries.

Will the resource be updated?

Individual collections will not be updated but we will be gradually adding new collections to the digital library as they are digitised. Each collection is available to purchase individually.

The new collection Europe and the Ottoman World: Diplomacy and International Relations will be available on the platform from September 2018. 

Who is the resource for?

Arcadian Library Online is an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers in World History; History of Ideas; History of Science and Medicine; History of Philosophy; Middle Eastern Studies; Turkish and Ottoman Studies; Literary and Cultural Studies; and Medieval and Renaissance Studies.


What search and browse options are available?

There are multiple ways of navigating the content:
  • The main Search box in the header
  • Advanced Search (available to users from institutions that have purchased access): search by keyword with date range and content type filter; search using combinations of author name, title, category, date range or identifier
  • Explore options: browse lists of people, places, periods, languages, topics and special features (text features including illustration and marginalia)
  • Search in English or Arabic: search by English or Arabic in either the English language or Arabic interface by using the dropdown keyboard in the main search box

How do I use the imager viewer?

There are a number of ways to view archive images:
  • Click on an image thumbnail on the volume page, a link from the table of contents or link to a chapter or page within search results to open the image viewer
  • Images from books are readable from left to right or right to left depending on the volume’s original orientation
  • Click through images by using the left and right arrows in the main viewer or in the thumbnail strip. Alternatively, select a thumbnail to view that image.
  • Use the image viewer controls on the right to zoom, rotate, return to default view, expand to full screen and move between single image and dual image views.
  • Where there are multiple images available, they are displayed by default as double page spreads (except for spine and binding images and fold-outs). To move to single page view select the single page icon at the foot of the icon set in the main image viewer (not available on mobile).
  • To navigate through a large set of images quickly, use the image scrollbar. The image scrollbar numbering displays the number of thumbnails not the number of original images.
  • Binding, spine and page edge images, where available, are displayed at the beginning (front cover) and end of the set of images (spine, page edges, back cover).

Can I save items for reading later?

Yes! It's quick and easy for any authenticated user to set up a personal account to save books, chapters or other items to view later, organise saved items into folders, email and export citations, save searches and set up search alerts.

Follow the link in the header to 'Sign in to your personal account': you then have the option to sign in using Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter, or to select 'Sign up now' and enter a few personal details (name, occupation, country, email address and password) to create a Personal Account.

Please note you can use the same Personal Account details to sign in on multiple Bloomsbury platforms, including Bloomsbury Popular Music, Drama Online, Churchill Archive and other forthcoming resources.

Can I print and download images and articles?

Yes, you can print and download individual commentary articles and archive images. All use of the site content is subject to our Terms and Conditions: printing and saving should be for personal use, and standard copyright restrictions apply regarding unauthorised copying and distribution.

How do I cite texts from Arcadian Library Online?

From the content page, click on the 'cite' icon to view formatted citations in APA, MLA and Chicago citation styles. You can also download a file in RIS format for importing into reference manager software.

What are special features

Special features help you navigate to pages with additional features including marginalia, illustration, fold-outs etc. You can browse titles with special features through 'Explore Library' by Special Feature. If a volume includes special features, you can expand the listing at the foot of its volume record and navigate directly to the pages listed.