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Mohammed Bin Rashid Library displays rare collectibles at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Including rare items from the Treasures of The Library Exhibition and Special Collections

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As part of its participation in the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), to be held from 22 to 28 May 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the Mohammed bin Rashid Library (MBRL) will be showcasing 18 rare items from its Treasures of The Library Exhibition and the Special Collections, for the first time outside its premises.

“Being one of the most prominent regional and international book fairs and cultural events, ADIBF offers a dynamic platform for publishers, writers, and readers to engage and exchange ideas and information. The event plays a pivotal role in bridging the gaps and encouraging dialogues between cultures, as a testament of the UAE’s commitment to promoting reading and learning, while providing access to knowledge and supporting the publishing industry. The 18 rare items showcased by MBRL at ADIBF are a part of the ‘Treasures of the Library’ exhibition, which houses around 300 rare collectibles, reflecting our message in preserving humanity’s cultural heritage, and offer ADIBF visitors an unforgettable experience,” said Dr. Mohammed Salem Al Mazrooei, Board Member of the MBRL Foundation

“Our participation in ADIBF comes in line with MBRL’s vision and strategy, along with its strong belief in the importance of expanding cultural strategic partnerships through cooperation with publishers, writers, and authors. Additionally, we are aiming to keep up with the latest developments and publications across all fields and disciplines, to diversify our sources and content, and inform the public about the Library’s various titles covering over 70 languages. MBRL offers a community and a cultural centre that aims to enrich the mind and soul, and an ideal destination for the family, especially with its unique facilities, including the Languages Garden, theatres, halls, Treasures of The Library exhibition, powered by state-of-the-art AI technologies,” added Al Mazrooei.

Among the rarest collectibles displayed at MBRL’s booth is an early illustrated Latin edition of Ibn Sina’s al-Qanun fi’l-Tibb (Canon of Medicine, 1562), the most famous medical textbook ever written; as well as a large example of a Juz (Part of the Qur’an) from the Mamluk period; and the Civitates Orbis Terrarium (Atlas of Towns and Cities 1593-1594) by Braun and Hogenberg, a rare atlas of urban cartography with vast panoramas of cities across Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Moreover, the Library’s booth displays the first edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 1997’, the first book in the world-famous Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling; The ‘Alif Laila wa Laila’ (Book of a Thousand and One Nights 1839-1842), a rare and early complete Arabic Edition of the Arabian Nights published by Sir William Hay Macnaghten in Calcutta; Monuments arabes et moresques de Cordoue, Séville, et Grenade (Paris, 1836-1839) by Girault de Prangey; Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldun (Ibn Khaldun’s Prolegomena) (Paris, 1858), the first edition of the Arabic text, published by the French orientalist Étienne Marc Quatremère, and many other rare books and collectibles.

Located on the 7th floor, MBRL’s Treasures of The Library Exhibition hosts an amazing collection of ancient and rare books, atlases, and manuscripts -both regional and international- some of which date back to the 13th century, in addition to rare copies of the Holy Quran, early editions of classic prints, and Latin translations of scientific sources dating back to the Islamic Golden Age. The exhibition also houses the first original edition of Description de l’Egypte (Description of Egypt) series, printed between 1809-1828, the encyclopaedic register of Egyptian history and archaeology was created and collected during the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte.

MBRL’s participation in ADIBF 2023 is driven by its unique vision and strategy to expand strategic partnerships with intellectuals, writers, thinkers, and major Arab and international publishers, and to support its mission in preserving Arabic literature, culture, heritage, and language, further promoting knowledge and science among community members.

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