May 4, 2005 George Saliba Named Senior Distinguished Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center

Saliba to Join Center in July

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 7078-1940
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named George Saliba, professor of Arabic and Islamic science in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, to be a Senior Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Kluge Center for a period of 10 months beginning in July.

At the Kluge Center, Saliba will use the Library’s collections to continue his research in the development of scientific ideas from late antiquity to early modern times. His special focus is on the various planetary theories that were developed within Islamic science and the impact these theories had on early European astronomy.

George Saliba has been a professor at Columbia since 1979. He received a master of science degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. During his career, he has received numerous awards, fellowships and honors, including the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science.

Among his publications are “Rethinking the Roots of Modern Science: The Role of Arabic Manuscripts in European Libraries” (1999); “The Origins and Development of Arabic Scientific Thought” [in Arabic] (1998); and “A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam”(1994).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize scholarly discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. The Kluge Center houses senior Kluge Chairs, other senior-level chairs, senior distinguished scholars and nearly 25 postdoctoral fellows. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at


PR 05-116
ISSN 0731-3527