William Montgomery Watt (1909-2006)

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Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Educated at the Universities of Edinburgh, Jena, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he held the post of Assistant Lecturer in Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh from 1934 to 1938, Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy 1946-1947, and successively Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in Arabic 1947-1964. In 1964 he accepted the Chair from which he retired in 1979.

He gifted to the Library part of his notable collection printed books on Islam. This added adds some 1,400 titles to the stock of Edinburgh University Library and contributes significantly to its already good and growing holdings in the field of Arabic and Islamic studies. It is strong in several areas, notably Islam, and particularly in Quranic commentary. Other subjects covered include mysticism and Islamic law, Islam and medieval philosophy, the relationship between Islam and Christianity, the history of the Arab world, and Arabic literature. The collections is accessible in Special Collections, where it is shelved beside the library of Robert Bertram Serjeant (1915-1993). The books are listed in the Library's online catalogue.

All or some of the text on this page originally appeared in the Gallery of Benefactors