Mss from the Bibliothèque Orientale, Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed to get reproductions of a few pages from some manuscripts which Georg Graf in Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur mentions.  These were in Beirut; i.e. at the Université Saint-Joseph, in the Bibliothèque Orientale.  So I emailed them on bo@usj.edu.lb in English, apologised for my inability to write French and asked.

I got emails back very promptly from Dr May Semaan Seigneurie, the director of the library, first in French (which www.freetranslation.com could easily read) then in perfect English.  The pages were available in PDF form if you want it (I did!).  You had to pay in US dollars, either by bank-to-bank transfer (they supply a SWIFT code and an account number) or by a cheque that can be cashed in Lebanon. 

I chose the former.  I found that HSBC bank (who have branches in Lebanon) were particularly good for this transfer (although they charged me $42 for the privilege!)  The money went through in 6 days, and I got an email telling me the CDROM will be in the post — sent by DHL, in fact.

I may draw up a list of manuscripts that I want and do a further order.  It really is not too difficult to do, and the service is first-rate.  Recommended.

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