This short help suggests different ways to use our new online catalogue AlKindi 4, starting with practical exemples.

Please, note that the names of the authors are not systematically romanised, but only those of whom the library holds works in the Latin alphabet. If you cannot find an author, please launch a new search in Arabic script. IDEO has its own romanisation system, based on DIN 31635. If you cannot find the Library of Congress forms “Ibn al-Sarrāj” or “Ibn Khaldūn”, try the IDEO forms “Ibn al-Sarrāǧ” and “Ibn Ḫaldūn”.

IDEO's system: ʾ ā b t ṯ ǧ ḥ ḫ d ḏ r z s š ṣ ḍ ṭ ẓ ʿ ġ f q k l m n h w/ū y/ī

Congress' system: ʼ ā b t th j ḥ kh d dh r z s sh ṣ ḍ ṭ ẓ ʻ ġ f q k l m n h w/ū y/ī

Click here to download our full romanisation system

The search on “All the catalog” is primarily intended for monographs, not for periodical articles nor conference papers. If you cannot find the document you are looking for, maybe it is an article. Try another search method.

I am looking for a book by Ibn al-Sarrāǧ which title I forgot

I launch a search on the author’s name (Simple search on “People and organisations” with the word “السراج”, or “al-Sarrāj”, or “al-Sarrāǧ”). I see that there are a few authors named “ابن السراج / Ibn al-Sarrāǧ”. I recognise the one I am looking for by his death date: 928/316. By clicking on his name I open his record. On the right side of the screen, under “Production”, I see that he authored 4 works. By cliking on this link I see the four titles, including the one I am looking for: الأصول في النحو.

I am looking for English translations of books by Avicenna

I launch a search on the author’s name (Simple search on “People and organisations” with the word “ابن سينا”, or “Avicenna”, or “Ibn Sīnā”). By clicking on his Publications by I open the list of all the records where he is the author. I can refine my search by using the filters and select to display only the records which language is English.

I am looking for a book on medicine by Avicenna

The search is a bit vague. Here are five possible search methods…

  1. A Simple search by “People and organisations” on the author Ibn Sīnā (or Avicenna) will bring more than 200 works attributed to Avicenna in the catalogue…
  2. I can launch a Simple search on “All the catalog” with the words “Avicenna medicine”. I will get 4 results: the documents in the catalogue which full record contains both the words “Avicenna” and “medicine”. All the results will be in English, either books by Avicenna or books about him, and the word “medicine” will appear somewhere in the record. However, results in other languages will not appear, neither will the records that contain the word “medical” instead of “medicine”. (A simple search on “All the catalog” with the words “Avicenna medical” brings 3 more results.)
  3. It would be wiser to launch a Simple search on “Title” with the word “medicine” (in order to search books in English) or with the word “الطب” (for books in Arabic) and then to use the filters in order to limit the creators to the only “Avicenna” (or “ابن سينا”).
  4. An Advanced search with two criteria will be similarly efficient: I chose as first criterium “Peoples and organisations” the word “Avicenna”, and I check only the boxes “People” and “Creators”; and I chose “Subject” as second criterium, with the word “medicine”, and I check the box “English”. I get 433 results…
  5. Lastly, I can browse the classification by following the link on the home page. I will find section 9-609, devoted to Avicenna, and section 9-764/5, devoted to pharmacy and medicine. Other sections can be of some interest, as indicated by an Advanced search done on the single criterium of “Subject”, with the word “medicine” (en English). I discover two other potentially interesting sections: 9-768/G and 9-764/6.

I am looking for the editions of Averroes’ Tahāfut al-tahāfut

I launch a Simple search on “All the catalog” with the words “تهافت التهافت رشد”. I find the monograph which call number is 9-611/41-9, thanks to its icon. The other results with the same title are articles or conference papers. At the right side of the screen, I see that the library holds 5 different editions and 2 translations of this work. In order to see the details, I click on the arrows at the right side: a panel opens, containing the editorial history of this work.

I can then clik on the title of the work, at the top of the panel that just opened. The record of the work opens with, on the right side, the editions and translations, and below, the relationships between this work and other works: I check that it is a critique of al-Ġazālī’s تهافت الفلاسفة.

I am looking for the commentaries of Ibn Ḫaldūn’s Muqaddima

I launch a Simple search on “People and organisations” with the words “Ibn Khaldun” (or “Ibn Ḫaldūn”). He his the author of 24 works, including المقدمة. At the right bottom of the record of this work, I see that there are 42 relationships with other works, including 2 commentaries, 3 descriptions, 2 evaluations, and 3 partial commentaries. In addition to these, the library holds 13 studies (“analyses”) on this work.

I am looking for scholars called al-Harawī who died after 700/1300

I launch a Simple search on “Onomastic” with the words “الهروي” and I specify the timespan 1300‒2000. The system brings 10 results.

How to display special characters?

Some notices have words in special scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Coptic, South Arabian, Linear B; and you could meet some difficulties in the display.

In general, if the display is not correct, you may need to add a special font to your system. We advise you to download the fonts offered by Google Noto Fonts. (No need to install all the fonts: Choose only those which are missing!)

However, your browser may have difficulties to display some scripts, even if the needed fonts are all present on your system.

  • Firefox will display all scripts without difficulty if you have downloaded and installed the fonts before.
  • Microsoft Edge will not display Linear B.
  • Google Chrome will not display Linear B.

For all other scripts, you should have no particular difficulty with any of these browsers.

To test your system, you can consult the following records:


This online catalog gives you access to IDEO’s whole collection. It contains approximately 200,000 manifestation records and 90,000 authority records.


The data transfer from the former AlKindi 3 model to the new FRBR model implemented in AlKindi 4 led to some management decisions which have temporary consequences on the data. These consequences are minor and did not justify any delay in the release of AlKindi 4. Here are a few considerations you may want to keep in mind while doing your research.

Work duplications

Despite our best efforts, the data transfer from the version 3 to the version 4 of AlKindi created some duplications among titles at the work level. A systematic identification and elimination of the duplicates is currently under progress. There is still a lot to do. You will have to take this into account.

Authority duplications

You will also notice some duplicate authorities (author, editor, publishing house, donors…) We are also working on their identification and elimination.

Works and expressions’ dates

Assigning a date for works and expression is a cataloging innovation brought by FRBR. During the data transfer, we were obviously not able to check these dates. Work and expression dates have been assigned through an algorithm and the resulting dates are flagged by a question mark. Those approximations should disappear as cataloguing progresses.

Non-manifested works

In your search, you may come across works that do not have a manifestation. Their editorial status is labelled as “unknown”. This happens in two cases.

1) Transitional works: W1comments W* → comments W2. Work W* is not manifested. It is however useful to record it in order to explicit the relationship between W1 and W2.

2) Missing works: IDEO is currently hosting a research project called “Historic contextualisation of 200 Classical authors of the Islamic heritage”. For these 200 authors, you will find their complete bibliography, with a full list of works. Some of these works may be either lost, or not yet edited or the library does not hold a copy.