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Research Center African and Middle Eastern Reading Room

About this Reading Room

The African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) was created in 1978 as part of a general Library of Congress reorganization. AMED currently consists of three sections - African, Hebraic and Near East - and covers more than 77 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. Each section plays a vital role in the Library's acquisitions program; offers expert reference and bibliographic services to the Congress and researchers in this country and abroad; develops projects, special events and publications; and cooperates with other institutions and scholarly and professional associations in the US and abroad.

Africana Collections: An Illustrated Guide
Hebraic Collections: An Illustrated Guide
Near East Collections: An Illustrated Guide

As a major world resource center for Africa, the Middle East, Israel, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, AMED has the custody of more than one million physical collection materials in the languages of the region such as Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Chechen, Coptic, Ge’ez, Georgian, Hebrew, Kazakh, Kiswahili, Kurdish, Ladino, Oromo, Ossetian, Pashto, Persian, Somali, Syriac, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Uzbek, and Yiddish. Included in these collections are books, periodicals, newspapers, microforms, grey literature, and rarities such as cuneiform tablets, manuscripts, incunabula (works printed before 1501), and other early African and Middle Eastern publications. Among the most prized items are also several sizable pamphlet collections on African Studies.

Explore our online resources.


Library of Congress
10 First St., SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 229
Washington, DC 20540-4810
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Public Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays & Federal Holidays