The UCSB Library collection includes thousands of books, journals, visual, and audio materials on the Middle East. The combined UC collection is even larger and is one of the best collections in the world.
The library actively collects materials in the area of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in support of an active academic program. The library acquires materials in a variety of languages, including the languages of the Middle East (particularly Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian).
One of the major problems in locating materials on Middle East-related topics is how to "spell" names and terms or whether they should be searched in English translation. Terms from Middle Eastern languages often have variant transliterations in English. For example, shari'ah or shari'a or sharia or shari'at; muslim or moslem; Ghaddafi, Kaddafi, Qazzafi, Qadhdhāfī.; and so on! Most often Middle Eastern names appear in a form which transliterates into the Roman alphabet (the one we use for English) the letters written in a non-roman alphabet (such as Arabic or Hebrew). Library catalogs in North America and Great Britain use a standardized scheme for transliteration. So when searching OPACS or WorldCat for names and terms from Middle Eastern languages you will need to refer to this scheme. However, databases do not follow a standard scheme. Each one determines its own, plus a variety of schemes will appear in those databases which index journals because the journals have their own schemes. In this case, to be comprehensive, search all the forms you are aware of because any of these forms could appear in a book title, article, or note. See the TRANSLITERATION tab for further information.
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If you find you need to get yourself focused, are working in a new area, or need to see topics and issues associated with particular areas, there are several good works which will help you get a good overview and gain some familiarity with the particular area.
Islamic History: a Framework for Inquiry / R. Stephen Humphreys. Rev. ed. Princeton: PUP, 1991. DS38.3.H856 1991 & REF DS38,3,H856 1991
In the Cambridge History series
The New Cambridge History of Islam / ed. by Michael Cook. Cambridge: CUP, 2010. 6 vols. DS35.6 .C3 2010
v. 1: The Formation of the Islamic World 6th to 11th Centuries -- v. 2: The Western Islamic World 11th-18th Centuries -- v. 3: The Eastern Islamic World 11th-18th Centuries -- v. 4: Islamic Cultures and Societies to the End of the Eighteenth Century -- v. 5: The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance -- v. 6: Muslims and Modernity
The Cambridge History of Islam / ed. by P.M. Holt, Ann K.S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis. Cambridge: CUP, 1970. 2 vols. DS35.6.C3
v. 1: The Central Islamic Lands -- v. 2. The Further Islamic Lands, Islamic Society and Civilization
The Cambridge History of Iran / ed. by W.B. Fisher ... [et al.]. Cambridge: CUP, 1968. 7 vols. DS272.C34
v. 1: The Land of Iran -- v. 2. The Median and Achaemenian Periods -- v. 3 (pts. 1&2): The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods -- v. 4: The
Period from the Arab Invasion to the Seljuqs -- v. 5: The Saljuqs and Mongol Periods -- v. 6: The Timurid and Safarid Periods -- v. 7: From
Nadir Shah to the Islamic Republic
The Cambridge History of Judaism / ed. by Louis W.D. Davies, Louis Finkelstein. Cambridge: CUP, 1984. 4 vols. BM155.2.C35 1984
v. 1: Introduction & the Persian Period -- v. 2: The Hellenistic Age -- v. 3: The Early Roman Period -- v. 4: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period
The Cambridge History of Christianity. v. 5: Eastern Christianity / ed. by Michael Angold. Cambridge: CUP, 2006 BX290.E27 2006
In the Oxford Handbook Series
The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies / ed. by Martin Goodman. Oxford: OUP, 2002 REF BM70.O95 2002
The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies / ed. by Susan Ashbrook Harvey & David G. Hunter. Oxford: OUP, 2008. BR121.3.O99 2008
In the Cambridge Companion Series (new titles are published regularly):
The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy / ed. by Peter Adamson. Cambridge: CUP, 2005 B741.C36 2005
The Cambridge Companion to the Qur'an / ed. by Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Cambridge: CUP, 2006 BP130.4.C36 2006
The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology / ed. by Tim Winter. Cambridge: CUP, 2008 BP166.1.C36 2008
In the Themes in Islamic History series
Islamic Historiography / Chase F. Robinson. Cambridge: CUP, 2003 BP49.R53 2003
The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800 / Jonathan P. Berkey. Cambridge: CUP, 2003 BP63.A35 B47 2003
Martyrdom in Islam / David Cook. Cambridge: CUP, 2007 BP190.5.M3 C66 2007
Charity in Islamic Societies / Amy Singer. Cambridge: CUP, 2008 BP170.25.S55 2008
In the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series
Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period / ed. by A.F.L. Beeston ... [et al.]. Cambridge: CUP, 1983 PJ7510.A8 1983
'Abbasid Belles-lettres / ed. by Julia Ashtiany ... [et al.]. Cambridge: CUP, 1990 PJ7530.A18 1990
Religion, Learning, and Science in the 'Abbasid Period / ed. by M.J.L. Young, J.D. Latham, & R.B. Serjeant. Cambridge: CUP, 1990 DS36.85.R45 1990
The Literature of Al-Andalus / ed. by Maria Rosa Menocal, Raymond P. Scheindlin, & Michael Sells. Cambridge: CUP, 2000 PJ8417.A5 A65 2000
Arabic Literature in the Post-classical Period / ed. by Roger Allen & D.S. Richards. Cambridge: CUP, 2006 PJ7558.A73 2006
Modern Arabic Literature / ed. by M.M. Badawi. Cambridge: CUP, 1992 PJ7538PJ7538.M38 1992
Introduction to the History of the Muslim East: a Bibliographical Guide. 2nd ed. REF Z7835 .M6 S3 1965
There will likely never be a newer edition of this work originally published in 1943 in French by Jean Sauvaget and translated and recast by Claude Cahen in 1965. Regardless, it is still considered an important and classic historiography reference work