SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Thematic Resource

  • Religious Art
    General
    Specific art
  • Image Resources
    • ARTStor via Senate House Library
      Searchable database of more than 300,000 artefacts images from different times, cultures and disciplines. Can view and analyse images through features such as zooming and panning. To access ARTStor, you need to join the Senate House Library. Off campus access is available.
    • Europeana
      This is an internet portal where you can search for millions of books, paintings, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. More than 2,000 institutions from well known names such as Rujksmuseum in Amsterdam and the British Museum to Local museums across Europe have contributed to Europeana.
    • Imago Mundi
      Imago Mundi is the art collection of works commissioned and collected by Luciano Benetton on his travels around the world.  The site has developed a map of contemporary art collections from 63 countries, with pictures of 6400+ artworks from 61 regions.
      The site provides a rare glimpse of North Korean artworks.
    • Islamic Painted Page
      This is a huge database of references for Persian paintings, Ottoman paintings, Arab paintings and Mughal paintings. This site will enable for you to locate printed reproductions, commentaries and weblinks for thousands of Islamic paintings, including illuminated "carpet" pages, decorated Quran pages, and book bindings from over 230 collections all over the world.
    • Paul Ruedi Mediterranean Images
      This is a large collection owned by the Tangier American Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM)  that is composed of medium-format glass plate negatives depicting various sites in the western Mediterranean, photographed between 1900 and 1930.  The majority of the images are of Tangier and other cities in Morocco.  The images provide important and rare visual documentation of the region between the First and Second World Wars.

    • MIT Visualizing Cultures
      Visualizing Cultures was launched at MIT in 2002 to explore the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning.Topical units focus on Japan in the modern world and early-modern China.The site includes topical essays, visual narratives, Image galleries and videos.

    • LACMA (The Los Gangeles County Museum of Art)
      The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has made 20,000 of their high-res TIF images available to download for free.
      Paintings, glass, jewelry, woodcuts and more are some of the types of artwork you can download. To download free images, just check the 'Show public domain images only' box next to the search box.
  • Arabic Manuscripts
    • Mandragore
      Digitised art collections held in the National Library of France. The site offers very rich collection of thousands of manuscripts. Each record contains data including the textual environment, and the conditions of production, place and date, artist name, if known.
    • Cambridge Digital Library: Islamic Manuscripts
      It is a project, based in Cambridge and developed by Prof Charles Melville, has stemmed from the gathering of all digitized copies of illuminated manuscripts of the Shāhnāmah available online. It is a marvellous resource for Persian manuscript illuminations including the unique extant copy of the Kitāb al-Tawhīd by al-Māturīdī.
    • Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts
      Digitised Islamic manuscripts held in rare books and special collections at The Princeton University Library. The manuscripts are chiefly in Arabic but also include Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and other languages of the Islamic world. They date from the early centuries of Islam through the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Most of the manuscripts originated in Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other main centers of Islamic civilization. You can browse by alphabetical order or subject genre. Peck Shahnama (Book of Kings) is the recent addition to the digital Library.
    • Digital Persian Archives
      Developed by the Iranian Studies Division at the Centre of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany), this is an image database of Persian Historical documents from Iran and Central Asia up to the 20th Century.
    • Fonds Roux : Manuscrits
      This collection of manuscripts Berber Roux. It is one of the largest in Europe, with the University of Leiden (Netherlands). One set by its number of manuscripts "Tachelhit". Arsène Roux has spent much of his career as a linguist and Arabist berbérisant to gather Berber texts written in Arabic characters. Manuscripts which he describes as "Arab-Berber" comes mainly from the Souss region and the Middle Atlas Morocco.
      The collection of manuscripts published here was digitized as part of the partnership between the Mediterranean Media House of Human Sciences, the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world (Iremam) and the Centre book Conservation Arles.
    • Islamic Manuscript Studies : Research Guide
      Useful study guide published by Evyn Kropf at University of Michigan offers resources for the study of the manuscripts and manuscript cultures of the Islamic world).
    • MELCom International
      Provided by the Middle East Libraries Committee, the site offers the list of Middle East collections in general (including manuscripts and printed matter and non book materials) in libraries in the world
  • Silk Road
    • Digital Silk Roads
      An online research project from the National Institute of Informatics, Japan, which aims to reproduce images, narrative and news related to the history of the Silk Road. Also includes a digital archive of books, including 53 rare books from the Toyo Bunko collection and cinema clips and interactive panoramic views of Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
    • International Dunhuang Project (IDP)
      The IDP aims to realise the potential of resources originating from Dunhuang and other Central Asian Silk Road sites. A unique 'Map Search' interface places each resource in its correct geographical position, so users can select a specific region of interest, rather than a topic. The search engine also allows traditional searching by subject, title and format. Images at this site take the form of digitised documents, photographs and other artifacts of historical interest.
    • Silk Road Seattle
      On-line art exhibition on the Silk Road, consisting more than 200 art objects (with descriptions), divided into the following categories: Cultures, Religions, Trade, and Intercultural Exchange. There are also more than 50 essays on various related cultural topics. Good introduction to the myriad cultures and issues that constitute the Silk Road. The Religion section includes Buddhism. Islam, Nestorianism, Zoroastrianism, and Manichaenism.
    • The UNESCO Silk Road Online Platform
      Developed by UNESCO, it is a unique platform for global exchange about cultural development, and the preservation as well as the promotion of cultural heritage along the Silk Road.
  • Ukiyo-e
    • Ukiyo-e. org database
      The Ukiyo-e.org database and image engine, created by John Resig currently contains over 213,000 prints from 24 institutions. The site provides an incredible resource of Japanese woodblock prints (Ukiyo-e). It is easy to navigate by simply taking a picture of an existing print AND the ability to see similar prints across multiple collections of prints.
    • Keio University Ukiyoe Collection
      Donated by the late academic and Ukiyo-e collector Seiichiro Takahashi,  Keio University Digital Gallery site offers many images of Ukiyo-e from major artists including Hokusai, Harunobu and Kunisada.
    • Ukiyoe: the Pictures of the Floating World
      Online exhibition, arranged by artists, categories, artists' signature, guide to the Ukiyoe sites of the internet.
    • Kunisada and Kabuki
      Online exhibitions created by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge
  • Online Exhibitions