A few weeks ago, I discussed the ancient Islamic libraries and how grand they were. I was reading an article that said that many of the scribes who copied the books and library clerks were women. One of these women was Fatima of Cordoba, who was an extremely prominent librarian during the 10th century.

Fatima’s job was to oversee over 70 public libraries! Each of these libraries had about 400,000 volumes. Also as part of her position, she would travel from Cordoba, Spain to Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and Samakand and look for rare books. She had a large expense account that she would use to purchase the books and have them shipped back to Cordoba.


That is literally all I was able to found out about her but just that small amount of information makes me so excited. Imagine how awesome it would have been to have that job in the 10th century and oversee all those amazing libraries! Not to mention get to travel and look for rare books. This is also another example of how much value they placed on knowledge. Of all the women I have talked about so far, Fatima’s career is one I would love to go back in time and have.


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  1. Zofia Klar Says: October 19, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Hello! I am so glad that I found something about Fatima of Cordoba because you see, I am doing a school project about her.
    There are two types of “Fatima of Cordoba” though. There is the amazing libriarian who oversaw 70 public libraries… and there is a spiritual leader who got married and has a long name (Nunah Fatima bint ibn al-Muthanna ) like in this website:

    Could you please help me to tell me if they are the same woman or different people?

    Thank you!

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