[ISLAMIC AND ARABIC BOOKS -- THE ARCHER M. HUNTINGTON COLLECTION]. The extensive collection of Islamic and Arabic books formed by Archer M. Huntington, approximately 420 volumes comprising 320 volumes in Arabic, 30 in French, 10 in English, 35 in German and 25 in Latin. Various 8o and 4o sizes. The majority uniformly bound in late 19th- or early 20th century red quarter morocco, some in full red morocco, approximately 15 in contemporary Islamic wallet bindings.
THE ARCHER M. HUNTINGTON COLLECTION OF BOOKS ON ARABIC AND THE ISLAMIC WORLD: A DETAILED AND EXTENSIVE LIBRARY.
The present collection from the Hispanic Society of America gathers many prominent 19th century works on the Arab and Islamic world. It includes pioneering works about the linguistics and history of the Arab language: amongst them are the Chrestomatie Arabe by Silvestre de Sacy (3 vol., Paris, 1826) and his Anthologie Grammaticale Arabe (Paris, 1829), and the Litteraturgeschichte der Araber by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (Vienna, 1850). Several books in this collection are amongst the first translations into European languages of some masterworks of Arabic literature such as The Chronology of Ancient Nations of Al-Biruni translated by Edward Sachau (London, 1879).
The classics of Arabic literature in their Arabic editions, printed in Cairo and Beirut after the 1850, constitute the vast majority of this collection. Amongst others, it includes the works of Masudi, Al Hariri, Ibn al Arabi, Al Mutanabbi and Ibn Khaldun edited in their original language. The profusion of these printed works illustrates the extent of al Nahda, the "awakening" of the Arab world in the late 19th century. A notable example of this movement is the Encyclopedie Arabe of Butrus Bustani (Beirut, 1876), which was the first "modern" Arab encyclopedia.
Archer M. Huntington's interest in Islamic and Arabic material peaked in 1891: "Arabic came to be the chief interest and the long hours I spent upon it well repaid me later. From Professor Haupt of Baltimore I got the assistance of Albert J. Leon (Suleyman) and day and night, early and late, we worked. I was driven by the approach of the hour when I would get to Spain and must have every edge ground as fine as possible. It was a feverish year, and later when I continued work on Arabic alone and went to Egypt it was all to the good. I did not study Arabic with any desire to use it as a major help in the future but for a better understanding of Spanish and the Spaniard one has to have it. And many doors it opened and how much time it saved me" (Huntington in his diaries, courtesy of the Hispanic Society).