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Near East Collections: Library of Congress, An Illustrated Guide
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A Note to Researchers

This eleventh-century manuscript on vellum of verses 73-78 of Surah 28 ("al-Qasas," or The narration) of the Koran is a striking example of Kufi script. The text reads: "Seek, with which God has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter. Nor forget thy portion in this World; but do thou good, as God has been good to thee. Seek not mischief in the land; for God loves not those who do mischief."

View of the African & Middle Eastern Reading Room.

With the African and the Hebraic Sections of the African and Middle Eastern Division, the Near East Section moved into magnificently renovated quarters in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building in the spring of 1997. As a result, the section now offers the researcher a calm refuge in which advanced studies may be accomplished and where an extensive collection of reference works dealing with the Arab world, Armenia and Georgia, the Iranian world, Turcica, Central Asia, and the Middle Eastern heritage within the United States can be consulted.

The section boasts specialists who are trained in the languages and cultures of each of these areas. A significant part of their duties is dedicated to active acquisition of research materials published in both the vernacular and other languages. Working hand in hand with the African and Middle Eastern Acquisitions Section of the Acquisitions Directorate, with book vendors, and especially with the Library of Congress Overseas Offices in Cairo, Karachi, and New Delhi, these specialists shape their respective custodial collections during their stewardship and direct the growth and preservation of the individual collections, while also opening access to them. The section has often benefited from the active participation of members of the communities it serves in the acquisition of materials vital to the health and maintenance of its vernacular collections, and it appreciates such involvement.

As skilled guides to these valuable research materials, the section's specialists provide reference and research guidance to Congress, to their representative communities, to the public, and to representatives of U.S., Near Eastern, and other governments. Active reference--in person or via letter, fax, e-mail, or telephone--is an integral part of their duties to the institution and to the nation. Through these specialists, the section has created and hosts ongoing professional seminars, annual lecture series, topical exhibits from items in its collections, and academic symposia. The section welcomes reference inquiries and offers of assistance with its acquisitions mandate. The relevant addresses are

Near East Section
African and Middle Eastern Division
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building, Room 220
Washington, D.C. 20540-4820
Phone: 202 707-5421
Fax: 202 252-3180
E-mail: [email protected]


   HOME  Foreword  Introduction  Note to Researchers  Countries, Areas, and Languages Covered Publications

   Middle East & Religion  Arab World  Armenia & Georgia  Central Asia  Iranian World  Turkey  Near East Heritage

The Library of Congress >> African & Middle Eastern Reading Room
( November 15, 2010 )
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