Thomas Jefferson’s Quran at the World Expo in Dubai

October 5, 2021 by Neely Tucker

Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran, one of the treasures of the Library, is making its first-ever appearance in the Middle East this month, debuting at the glittering World Expo in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The Jefferson Koran, enclosed in a large plexglass case, in front of wall displays of a painting of Jefferson and blown-up copies of the Koran's title pages
Yasmeen Khan (center), head of the Library’s Paper Conservation Section, helps install Jefferson’s copy of the Koran in the U.S. exhibit in Dubai, UAE, as USA Pavilion photographer Ibrahim Rahma films. Photo: Steve Hersch.

Jefferson’s English translation of the Islamic holy book is one of the stars of the Expo’s U.S. Pavilion, themed “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Future,” a riff on Jefferson’s famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence. Library staff installed the two-volume, 1764 copy of the Quran in a secured case as the first object on display after guests emerge from a sound and light experience that showcases the U.S. founding principles, particularly its innovations.

“Thomas Jefferson was widely interested in and curious about a variety of religious perspectives,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Our nation’s history is a rich and beautiful reflection of the diverse ideas, cultures, and religions of its citizens. 

From the Library of Congress blog

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