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Middle East Studies

Scholarly and research related resources for the region stretching from North Africa to Iran

ME Digitzation Projects

  • Abdul Hamid II Collection (Library of Congress)
    This monumental collection portrays the Ottoman Empire during the reign of one of its last sultans, Abdul-Hamid II. The 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums date from about 1880 to 1893.
  • Afghanistan: The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
    History of the Collection: In 1974, the University Library received Arthur Paul's private collection of Afghanistan materials consisting of some one thousand items in Persian, Pashto and English languages. Mr. Paul [1898-1976] served as an economic advisor to the Royal Government of Afghanistan from 1960 to 1965.
  • Alexandria Bombardment of 1882 Photograph Album
    The Alexandria Bombardment of 1882 Photograph Album digital collection was originally compiled by Italian photographer Luigi Fiorillo. This unique resource documents the British naval attack on 'Urabi Pasha's nationalists, who revolted against Taufik Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, from 1879 to 1882. Fiorillo’s fifty page album records damage to Alexandria's neighborhoods, particularly the harbor and the fortress district. The images trace the development of episode from the arrival of the British fleet to the destruction of the emerging downtown district. Further, the photographs show the artillery and forts used by the resistance. The album also features portraits of the key players in the bombardment, including 'Urabi Pasha, Khedive Taufik, Admiral Seymour, and Sir Wolseley.
  • America University Of Beirut Jafet Library: Poster Collection
    Political posters collected between the 1960s and the 1980s.These posters were collected from their original sources or from the American University of Beirut campus where they were posted. This collection covers two main topics:

    The Palestinian Question
    Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War
  • Ancient Near East Photographs (University of Washington)
    This collection, created by Professor Scott Noegel, documents artifacts and archaeological sites of the ancient Near East. While the majority of the collection depicts structures and sites dating from 3000 BCE to 200 CE, the collection also has images of more recent sites, such as the al-Azhar Mosque and the modern creation, Lake Nasser. (From Website)
  • Arabic and Middle Eastern Electronic Library
    A web-based portal for the study of the Middle East, including its history, culture, development, and contemporary face, and within this portal, will integrate existing scholarly digital content to make such material easier to find and use efficiently and freely. (From website)
  • Arabic Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper
    The Arabic Papyrus, Parchment & Paper Collection at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah is the largest of its kind in the United States. It contains 770 Arabic documents on papyrus and more than 1300 Arabic documents on paper, as well as several pieces on parchment. The bulk of the collection originated in Egypt, in addition to a small group of fragments from the University of Chicago. A large number of pieces date to the period between 700 and 850 CE. The collection includes a significant number of documents from the pre-Ottoman period and thus offers unique source material on the political, economic, religious and intellectual life of Egypt during the first two centuries of Islamic rule and the period up to Ottoman domination. (From website)
  • Arabic Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper (University of Utah)
    The bulk of the collection originated in Egypt, in addition to a small group of fragments from the University of Chicago. A large number of pieces date to the period between 700 and 850 CE. The collection includes a significant number of documents from the pre-Ottoman period and thus offers unique source material on the political, economic, religious and intellectual life of Egypt during the first two centuries of Islamic rule and the period up to Ottoman domination. (From Website)
  • Arts of the Islamic World (Freer and Sackler Galleries)
    The Freer and Sackler galleries have one of the finest collections of Islamic art in the United States, with particular strengths in ceramics and illustrated manuscripts.
  • Asnad
    An image database of Persian historical documents from Iran and Central Asia up to the 20th Century.
  • Azerbaijan History Portal
    Contains electronic versions of books, documents and other sources about the history of Azerbaijan.
  • Cambridge Digital Library: Islamic Manuscripts
    The Foundations of Faith Collection will include important works from many religious traditions, particularly Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. They include some of the earliest Qur'anic fragments on parchment, the first known Qur'anic commentary written in Persian, an important selection of devotional works and mystical treatises and an outstanding collection of theological works including the unique extant copy of the Kitāb al-Tawhīd by al-Māturīdī. (From website).
  • Champollion and Rosellini Egyptian Expeditions (Oxford Library)
    The works of the Champollion and Rosellini expeditions are invaluable and irreplaceable because they contain information and illustrations of Egyptian monuments made early in the exploration and exploitation of that country. They are two of the oldest and most important publications to include accurate copies of reliefs and inscriptions and are still regularly consulted for many of them. (From Website)
  • Digitized Arabic Manuscripts/Texts in Royal Dutch Library
  • E.W. Blatchford Collection of Nineteenth Century Photographs (American University of Beirut)
  • Egyptian Lantern Slide Collection Set 2 (Brooklyn Museum)
  • Egyptian Lantern Slides Set 1 (Brooklyn Museum)
  • Fihrist: Oxford and Cambridge Islamic Manuscripts Catalogue Online
    Contains over 3,000 digitized manuscripts from the Oxford and Cambridge collection of manuscripts. Both libraries have been collecting Islamic manuscripts since the 17th century and still continue to acquire manuscripts by donation or through purchase.

    There are many early and rare items with broad subject coverage including:
    * Literature * Religion * Philosophy
    * Poetry * Mathematics * Astronomy
    * Medicine
  • Golha Project
    A searchable encyclopaedia of Persian poetry and music with audio recordings of all of the Golha radio programs. The programs known generally as Golha, ‘Flowers [of Persian Poetry and Song],' were a series of weekly radio programs aired on Iranian radio between 1956 and 1979.
  • Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine (Brown University)
    The Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine project seeks to collect and make accessible over the Web all of the previously published inscriptions (and their English translations) of Israel/Palestine from the Persian period through the Islamic conquest (ca. 500 BCE - 640 CE). (From Website)
  • Iranian Oral History Project (Harvard University)
    The collection consists of the personal accounts of 134 individuals who played major roles in or were eyewitnesses to important political events in Iran from the 1920s to the 1980s. (From Website)
  • Islamic Heritage Project (Harvard University)
    Through the Islamic Heritage Project (IHP), Harvard University has cataloged, conserved, and digitized hundreds of Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts from Harvard’s renowned library and museum collections. (From Website)
  • Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan
    This site is part of an ongoing project to fully catalogue the Islamic Manuscripts Collection at the University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Library of Alexandria Digital Assets Repository
    A system developed at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Library of Alexandria, to create and maintain library's digital collections. (From website)
  • Mamluk Bibliography Online
    The Chicago Online Bibliography of Mamluk Studies is an on-going project of the Middle East Documentation Center at the University of Chicago, the aim of which is to compile comprehensive bibliographies of all primary sources relating to the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and Syria, as well as all research and discussion--scholarly and popular--germane to the subject. (From Website)
  • Memory of Modern Egypt
    In Arabic.
  • Middle East 1916-2001 : A Documentary Record from the Avalon Project (Yale University)
  • Middle East Water Collection (OSU Library)
    The Middle East Water Collection provides access to roughly 9000 items on political, socio-economic, demographic, and legal issues of water in the Middle East. Materials include data, books, journal and newspaper articles, and documents published in the Middle East, Europe, and North America originating from a variety of publishers and national and multinational agencies and organizations. (From website)
  • Moroccan National Library Digitization Projects
    In Arabic and French
  • Muslim Philanthropy Digital Library
    Makes widely available a repository of the world’s knowledge on all forms of philanthropy as expressed through original documents, reports, graphics, and registrations, as well as scholarly analysis in Muslim majority countries and communities worldwide. (From website)
  • Near Eastern Manuscripts: Caro Minasian Collection Digitization Project
  • Photographs and Prints of Egypt and Syria (New York Public Library)
  • President Gamal Abdel Naser Collection
    In English, Arabic, and French.
  • Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts
  • Reading with Atatürk
    In Turkish. Tour the IU Library of Rare Works where users can download and choose books to read from among 175 works read by Atatürk.
  • Saudi Aramco World Digital Archive
  • ShahreFarang
    ShahreFarang is the Iranian version of peep boxes, a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen. Shahre Farang were made of metal in the shape of an oriental castle with several holes. ShahreFarang.com is hoping to bring you visual treats. It is the brain child of two Iranian designers & culture vultures, Mehrdad Aref-Adib and Surena Parham. (From website)
  • Tehran Propaganda Murals (Harvard University)
    This selection of over 130 propaganda murals photographed in the capital city during the summer of 2006 is among the first “born digital” special collections to come to the library and represents one of the first efforts to systematically document such public murals. (From Website)
  • The Middle East in Early Prints and Photographs
    A collection of materials from the New York Public Library. The collection contains classics of illustrated travel and regional archaeology, as well as the Library's earliest works of photography in the Middle East region.
  • The Minassian Collection of Qur’anic Manuscripts
    This database catalogues the holdings of over 200 Qur’anic manuscript folios dating from the 9th to the 16th centuries housed within the special collections of the Brown University libraries.
  • The Palestine Poster Project
    Contains posters from the 1970's-present.
  • The Suez Crisis (Oxford Digital Library)
    This special online exhibition has been developed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Crisis. The exhibition draws from the Bodleian's rich holdings of modern political papers to provide an 'insider's viewpoint' of Suez from politicians, diplomats, civil servants and leading public figures. (From Website)
  • The Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA)
    A digital archive that focuses on Western interactions with the Middle East, particularly travels to Egypt during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (From website)
  • Underwood & Underwood Egypt Stereoviews
    101 images of Egypt commissioned by the Underwood & Underwood publishing company in the 1890s. The photographs, originally sold as a boxed sets, document 19th century Egyptian culture and the history of travel in the Middle East. The wide geographic scope of its subjects spanning along the Nile River, the Suez Canal towns and the Egyptian deserts render a thorough introductory visual representation of Egypt as opposed to the contemporaneous amateur and subjectively compiled albums of its time. Of particular interest are the brief descriptions and the six language translated captions on the back of each card which, content wise, often contain inaccuracies that may be interpreted as colonial approaches on the part of the publishing company. (From website)
  • UNESCO Digital Library Majaliss
    In Arabic. The project Majaliss aims at ensuring the availability of classical works of Arabic literature to a large public in an easily accessible digital format and addresses the short-term needs for reading, editing and printing Arabic texts.
  • Universitaets-und Landesbibliothek of Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle, Germany
  • WIliams Afghan Media Project WAMP
     Three photo collections that document in image and sound Afghan history and society from the late 19th century through the Soviet occupation represent the heart of the WAMP website
  • Walters Collection Digitized  complete sets of high-resolution archival images of entire manuscripts from the collection of the Walters Art Museum, along with detailed catalog descriptions.
  • World Digital Library
    Makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. (From website)
  • Waguih Ghali Unpublished Papers: Diaries (1964-1968) and Manuscript Fragments
    Waguih Ghali was a Coptic, Anglophone Egyptian writer, best known for his novel Beer in the Snooker Club (1964). Fearing political persecution, Ghali spent his adult years living in exile in Europe. Waguih Ghali writes critically and compellingly about what has come to be known as the post-colonial condition. His writings reflect a distinctly cosmopolitan vision. (From website)

Noteworthy Citations and Links