The Islamic Lithographs Collection, acquired by the University of Chicago Library in 2004, consists of approximately 330 nineteenth- to twentieth-century Arabic lithograph printed books, mostly published in Iran and India, through Egypt, Turkey, and the Levant are also represented. These lithographs are rarely available in research libraries in Europe and the United States. Among other items, this unique collection includes the canonical texts of Shiʿism, texts that have been used in seminary schools in Iran and Iraq. Handwritten notes by earlier owners, who were prominent clerics, add to the value of these texts. In addition to the research value of their contents, these texts are also invaluable as significant artistic works for the study of printing press and page design and are furthermore important for their bridging role between manuscripts and typescripts.
The physical collection has been cataloged as a single collection at call number BP 42 .A5. The first 52 titles are located in the Mansueto Library; the balance is available upon request in the RR5 Reading Room of the Joseph Regenstein Library.