Dubai: A generous grant from His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the first phase to turn one of the most prestigious and rich historical libraries in the Islamic world into a full fledged e-library.

“Congratulations for the new electronic library in Istanbul – an excellent project supporting Islamic culture and research”, wrote Shaikh Mohammad on Twitter.

The Istanbul-based Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), which is affiliated with the Organistaion of Islamic Conference (OIC), has one of the most valuable references on the Islamic civilisation. This includes 65,000 rare reference books and 200,000 historic documents and images on the Islamic civilisation dating back to many centuries.

 The project which was launched in 2008, aims to digitise all of the library’s contents, making its valuable resources available to the public through a multi-lingual portal.