The paper discusses the use of electronic publishing for the preservation and dissemination of rare manuscript material. It is based both upon the authors’ earlier work on multimedia integration and upon their experience of designing and developing “Treasures of Islam: Art and Design in Islamic Manuscripts”. This trilingual multimedia CD-ROM (with interfaces in English, French and Arabic) contains rare or unique art work, together with a number of complete texts, selected from a collection of Islamic manuscripts held in the Department of Rare Books at McGill University. It combines text, still images, video sequences, music and voices. The paper deals with the following issues: Content selection (selection criteria, authentication); Digitization; Authoring system; Interface design; Information-seeking approaches; Multimedia integration; Multilingualism; Copyright; and Production and marketing. The paper also discusses CD-ROM versus the Web as a publication medium for this type of material.