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Middle East Studies: Home

Guide to Middle East Studies: ancient, medieval & modern.
Middle East Studies Collection Newsletter

MESC Newsletter

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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, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, Kurdish and so on).

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.

Electronic Resources

Dar Al-Mandumah

Almandumah is a comprehensive online full-text database for Arabic scholarly output. It is a full-text database of close to 1.2 million Arabic items, including 65,000 items mainly in English and other languages. Dissertations and theses include full-text and abstracts for about 150,000 titles from 170 schools across the Arab world. The database covers the Arabic scholarly output from 1922 until the present.
Almandumah database consists of 6 specialized databases: 
AraBase for language and literature, IslamicInfo for Islamic studies and Islamic law, HumanIndex for humanities, EcoLink for economic and management studies, EduSearch for education, Dissertations, and Thesis.


Noormags is the largest full-text database for Persian journals. It contains over 1,300 journals in 54,300 issues published from the 1900s to the present, as well as over one million articles on various subjects. This database covers materials from 1900 to the present.

Materials Indexed: Book Chapters, Book Reviews, Books, Essays, Journal Articles, Magazine Articles
Database Type: Electronic Book Collection, Electronic Journal Collection, Full-Text Collection, Magazine Archive


Noor Library is a digital library containing over 8,000 titles (about 15,000 volumes), mainly in Persian and Arabic, in the fields of Islamic studies, political science, social science, literature, culture, geography, and history.

Materials Indexed: Book Chapters, Book Reviews, Books, Essays, Journal Articles, Magazine Articles
Database Type: Electronic Book Collection, Electronic Journal Collection, Full Text Collection, Magazine Archive
Subject: Global & International Studies, History (World), Islamic Studies, Language, Literature, Middle Eastern Studies, Religious StudiesBroad Category: Area Studies, Arts, Ethnic & Gender Studies, Humanities, Languages & Literatures, Multidisciplinary, Social Sciences

Arabic Collections Online

Arabic Collections Online (ACO) aims to digitize, preserve, and provide free open access to a wide variety of Arabic language books in subjects such as literature, philosophy, law, religion, and more. All materials (over 10,000 so far) are out-of-copyright, taken from major libraries around the world.

Materials Indexed: Books
Database Type: Full-Text Collection
Interface Language: English, Arabic
Materials Language: Arabic
Subject: Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies
Broad Category: Area Studies, Humanities

New Electronic Books

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