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Research Center African and Middle Eastern Reading Room

Middle Eastern Studies

Near East Collections: An Illustrated Guide

For the study of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus at the Library of Congress, the Near East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division serves as a main access point. The Near East Section was established in 1945 following the end of World War II. It has in its custody materials in several formats: from exquisite manuscripts to early printed books; and from historic and contemporary newspapers, on microfilm and microfiche, to political and cultural ephemera-in over 40 languages of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as those of the countries and peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The Section's Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Turkic (Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kyrgyz etc.) & Iranic (Baluchi, Kurdish, Pashto etc.) language collections are renowned for their high scholarly quality, as are the Armenian, Georgian and Central Asian language materials which are growing rapidly and constitute major research collections.

The largest collection-the Arabic-is rich in manuscripts and early printed books, as well as in newspapers, serials and monographs in numerous fields including in literature, the social sciences, and the humanities, The Armenian collection is representative of the literary tradition, in manuscripts and printed works, accomplished both in Armenia and in its extensive, historical diaspora.

The Persian collection holds a number of splendidly illuminated manuscripts which are now digitized, as well as a unique collection of lithographs and early imprints which are currently being digitized. Its twentieth century collections of books and journals is very extensive as well.

The Turkish collection is strong in both modern works and Ottoman printed materials and includes both manuscripts as well as digitized materials such as the Abdul Hamid II gift books and album collections.

Efforts to collect works published in Georgia and in the post-Soviet States of the Caucasus and Central Asia have proved remarkably fruitful.

In its continuing efforts to make its collections accessible to researchers in the United States and beyond, the Section has continued to digitize and mount many of its vital collections.

The Section hosts a variety of special events, such as annual symposia, briefings, exhibits, lecture series and other programs to highlight its collections and to promote their use by scholars and researchers.

The Near East Section's specialists in the languages, countries and cultures of the Near East offer group and individual briefings both on site and on location. Queries from researchers and scholars are encouraged via Ask-A-Librarian, email, telephone, or in person.

Middle Eastern Studies: Countries and Area Specialists

Reference assistance is available from the Library of Congress for Middle Eastern studies. Each area specialist has reference and acquisitions responsibilities for a particular linguistic or geographic region and has developed expert knowledge of the collections for his or her area. In conjunction with other Library units. These area specialists develop the collections and compile bibliographic guides to bring Near East materials to the attention of librarians and scholars.

Each reference specialist below is listed with their contact information and the countries they specialize in. You can also use our Ask a Librarian service to contact a reference librarian.

Ms. Joan Weeks, Head and Area Specialist (Turkic World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: jwee@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-3657 | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries: Azerbaijan | Cyprus | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Turkey | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan
Languages: Azerbaijani | Kazakh | Kyrghyz | Turkish | Turkmen | Uighur | Uzbek

Dr. Muhannad Salhi, Area Specialist (Arab World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: msalhi@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-3778 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Ms. Huda Dayton, Reference Librarian (Arab World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: hudayton@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-0686 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Dr. Salhi and Ms. Dayton cover Arabic language sources and the following countries:
Algeria | Bahrain | Egypt | Iraq | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Mauritania | Morocco | Oman | Palestinian National Authority | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Sudan | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates

Mr. Hirad Dinavari, Area Specialist (Iranic World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: hdin@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-4518 | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries: Afghanistan | Iran | Tajikistan
Languages: Baluchi, Kurdish, Iranic languages, Persian, Pashto

Dr. Khachador Mouradian, Area Specialist (Armenia/Georgia), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: kmouradian@loc.gov | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries: Armenia | Georgia
Languages: Armenian | Georgian

Collection Management Staff

Ms. Christal Grant, Library Technician (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: cgrant@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-2933 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Mr. Kurosh Jafari, Library Technician (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: kjafari@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707- 9539

Ms. Emma Stevens, Library Technician (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: estev@loc.gov | Tel: (202) 707-9156 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Location

Library of Congress
10 First St., SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 229
Washington, DC 20540-4810
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Hours

Public Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays & Federal Holidays