Muslim civilization stretched from Spain to China. From the 7th century onwards, the region contributed breakthrough scientific and cultural achievements on topics such as medicine, mathematics, astronomy and more, fostering a vibrant scientific temper within the Islamic world, and left an indelible mark on the rest of the world. Some of the most influential texts from the period are now available at the Qatar Digital Library.
The library, a joint project of the British Library and the Qatar Foundation, offers free access to 25,000 pages of medieval Islamic manuscripts. Among some of the most significant texts:
The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206 A.D.), which was inspired by an earlier, 9th-century translation of Archimedes’ writings on water clocks. Devices such as the “Elephant Clock” (pictured below) were the most accurate time-keeping pieces before the first pendulum clocks were built in the 17th century by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens.