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Middle East & Islamic Studies Databases for Research: Middle East Studies Databases

Listing major online databases, full-text or indexes to full-text sources, for the study of the Middle East and Islam.

Subscription Databases * Middle East (Cornell access)

  • FBIS: Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports (1941-1996) The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was a United States government operation which translated the text of daily broadcasts, government statements, and select news stories from non-English sources. Succeeded by World News Connection after 1996; scope of coverage may be significantly different.

  • Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies  MECAS is a systematic and non-evaluative bibliographic index of research, policy and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. This database contains more than 332,790 records and coverage spans from 1900 and earlier to present. Over 12,000 records of recently published and grey literature are added annually. Subject coverage includes: political affairs & law, international relations, economic affairs - business & industry, cultural heritage, arts & humanities, society & social welfare, ethnic diversity & anthropology, significant religious events & movements and recent history (1900 - present) & archaeology. MECAS includes the following: Middle East Bibliography (1946 - 2001), Middle East Book Bibliographies, Theses & Dissertations, MECAS Citations Database and School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) Library Catalogue (1900 - present).--About the Database page.

  • The Middle East 1916-2001 : A Documentary Record Part of the Avalon Project of the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library presenting a digital library of documents relating to law, history and diplomacy.

  • U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009 Since 1945, the U.S. intelligence community has had to cover a half dozen major wars and several dozen smaller but equally bloody armed conflicts in the Middle East, as well as innumerable civil wars, border clashes, armed insurgencies, and terrorist attacks. This comprehensive document set sheds light on the U.S. intelligence community's spying and analytic efforts in the Arab world, including the Middle East, the Near East, and North Africa. It covers the time period from the end of World War II to the present day, up until the 2002-2003 Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) assessments, the Global War on Terror, the Iraq War, and Iran's nuclear program.

  • World News Connection (1995-2013) Offers translated and English language news and information compiled from non-United States media sources. Coverage includes political, environmental, scientific, technical, and socioeconomic issues and events. Coverage: 1995-2013. Continued "Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports," published in print from approx.1944-1996.

Special by Topics

Arabic Literature of Africa Online - Brill Reference  Arabic Literature of Africa Online / [by J.O.Hunwick and R.S. O'Fahey] Leiden ; Boston : Brill Academic Publishers, 2015. . Arabic Literature of Africa Online (ALA) is a bio-bibliography on the Arabic manuscript tradition in the African continent, which continued well into the 20th century CE. It offers authoritative information about African authors, the texts they wrote in Arabic, the manuscripts in which these texts are found, and the locations of these manuscripts, together with bibliographical references to the literature. Arabic Literature of Africa Online complements Brockelmann's Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (GAL) and is an indispensable reference work for students of Islamic cultures in Africa and of Islamic manuscripts in general.

Research in Middle East economics c1996-  Papers have been presented at the meetings of the Middle East Economic Association.

The Israel Antiquities Authority scientific archive, 1919-1948 The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Scientific Archive includes tens of thousands of extraordinary (and extraordinarily fragile) documents from the British Mandate (1919-1948). The IAA unveiled the first stage of their digitization project, making over 36,000 scanned hand and typewritten texts, photographs, maps and plans available on the web. Preserved for generations to come, the fragile documents offer a unique insight into archaeology and urban life in British Palestine in the first half of the 20th century.

Cultural Imaginings: The Making of the Arab World in the Western Mind About 2,500 monographic volumes and a number of bound manuscripts from the Middle East and North Africa will eventually be part of this database.

Travelers in the Middle East Archive* A digital archive that focuses on Western interactions with the Middle East, particularly travels to Egypt during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 Topics on Modern Muslim Women Database Compiled by: Rubina Ramji, Lucy MacDonald and Alyssa MacDougall. This research database offers articles and media dealing with topics on Muslim women. [Religion and Diversity Project, hosted at the University of Ottawa,]

ISAM (İslam Araştırmaları Merkezi)- Center for Islamic Studies   Salnames / Ottoman articles  / Ottoman treatises "The ISAM library was established in 1984 with the purpose of collecting the publications necessary to prepare the TDV Encyclopedia of Islam under one roof  ...  (İslam Araştırmaları Merkezi) is the best research library in Turkey for Ottoman and Islamic studies."

French Colonial Archives in Aix en Provence Curated by the French government, these archives offer curated exhibits that highlight aspects of colonial rule and governance.

World Politics Review Continuously updated. Articles provide analysis of trends and events in international affairs. Published online, WPR's original articles are written by a network of analysts, journalists, and scholars. Nonpartisan articles cover diplomacy, military affairs, energy, economics and related subjects.

Open-Access Databases

World Digital Library: Middle East & North Africa  Collection of print and visual resources. Use limiters in left column to focus search on specific geography, date range, topic or type of resource.

  • The Middle East 1916-2001 : A Documentary Record Part of the Avalon Project of the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library presenting a digital library of documents relating to law, history and diplomacy. Lillian Goldman Law Library].

  • Middle East Political Sites Project (Stanford University Library) "The project intends to capture and archive the web sites by and about some of the more important political organizations and related NGOs from the countries of the Middle East.

  • The Arabic Papyrology Database "The Arabic Papyrology Database is a tool enabling you to access the editions of Arabic documents written on different material such as papyrus, parchment or paper. Those productive editions are an often unraised treasure for almost every aspect of Islamic history up to the 16th c. A.D. "

  • World Digital Library: Middle East & North Africa  Collection of print and visual resources. Use limiters in left column to focus search on specific geography, date range, topic or type of resource.
  • Islamic Heritage Project Through the Islamic Heritage Project (IHP), Harvard University has cataloged, conserved, and digitized hundreds of Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts from Harvard’s renowned library and museum collections. These rare—and frequently unique—materials are now freely available to Internet users worldwide." (web site description)
  • Middle Eastern Studies Resources Wiki Links to multiple, open-access resources.
  • IRCICA: Farabi Digital Library  Includes digital Salname's: Ottoman Yearbooks, Collection of Official Ottoman State  Yearbooks (Salname) Registration required to access some features. 
  • Islamic Studies, Islam, Arabic, and Religion  Website of Professor Alan Godlas of the University of Georgia: updated regularly. 
  • OAIster Mellon-funded project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Services. Its goal is to create a wide-ranging collection of free, useful, previously difficult-to-access digital resources that are easily searchable by anyone. 
  • World Digital Library: Middle East and North Africa The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
  • TS Corpus: The Turkish Corpus TS Corpus is a Turkish Corpus project. TS Corpus is a general-purpose corpus containing 491 million POSTagged tokens (491,360,398 million). TS Corpus is a tagged corpus. TS Corpus aims to combine former Turkish computational linguistics studies and other corpus linguistics studies from world and form a "usable" and "accesable" Turkish Corpus as an end-user product. 
  • Arabic Corpora From the University of Leeds. Last updated in 2010. 
  • Vajehyab  Includes entries from Moein and Dekhoda, among others
  • Al-Hakawati: Arab Cultural Trust 
  • Bibliotheca Religiosa Intratext 
  • Islamic Philosophy Online 
  • المكتبة الشاملة al-Maktabah al-Shamilah
  • Qatar Digital Library  Qatar Digital Library is free to use and reuse.This growing archive covers modern history and culture of the Gulf and wider region, available online for the first time. The QDL provides access to Archival files, Letters, Maps, Manuscripts, Photographs. 
  • Arabic Collections Online (ACO)  Arabic Collections Online (ACO) is a publicly available digital library of public domain Arabic language content. Funded by New York University Abu Dhabi, this mass digitization project aims to expose up to 15,000 volumes from NYU and partner institutions over a period of five years. 
  • A Digital Corpus for Graeco-Arabic Studie The Digital Corpus assembles a wide range Greek texts and their Arabic counterparts. It also includes a number of Arabic commentaries and important secondary sources. The texts in the corpus can be consulted individually or side by side with their translation. The majority of texts can also be downloaded for further analysis. 
  • The Palestinian Poster Project Archives | Online archive of some 5,000 Palestinian posters.ارشيف ملصق فلسطين
  • Iran Data Portal  English and Persian language resource for social science data on Iran
  • Europeana 
  • Internet Archive 
  • DLIR: Digital Library for International Research Building on the established libraries and research collections of its twenty-three constituent centers, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) in 1999 launched the American Overseas Digital Library (AODL). The AODL is as a cost-effective, efficient, centralized, Internet-based mechanism for the standardization and electronic delivery of important bibliographic and full-text primary and secondary source information from all CAORC member centers, covering both print collections and research collections in other media. The initial resources for the AODL program were located in overseas centers in Europe, the Near and Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and West Africa. The program now includes bibliographic materials from Inner Asia and the New World, as well as from other collections in countries that host centers. To reflect this new level of participation and coverage, in November 2004 the program's name was changed to Digital Library for International Research.
  • Egyptian Press Archive of CEDEJ  Presented online by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina 

    "The CEDEJ and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina are pleased to present, through the digitization of more than 800,000 articles in Arabic, English and French, 40 years of Egyptian political, cultural and economic life - from the mid-1970s until 2010... Since the year 1976, the CEDEJ formed a documentary collection of 800,000 articles from the principal organs of the Egyptian press and classified according to 15 thematic areas, which are divided into themes and sub-themes. The CEDEJ catalogued and indexed the archives, preparing the material for online dissemination. The BA, as a leader in the digitization of Arabic text, designed and implemented a proficient workflow for digitizing this valuable collection using state-of-the-art technology, while applying digitization best practices in the production of a user friendly website encompassing the whole collection. Moreover, the BA has implemented convenient browsing facilities and search functionalities to allow easy access to the material available.  This work was carried out from 24 Egyptian and Arabic newspapers - daily and weekly - including 13 print and 11 digital media. Through these scanned articles, we can follow the evolution of swathes of contemporary Egyptian society'"

Topical Collections


"Who is She in Egypt" is a database of distinguished Egyptian women experts.  It provides Arabic and English profiles on outstanding Egyptian Women in their particular field. The database aims at raising awareness among the society that there are expert and competent Egyptian Women in all fields of life. It is designed to be a reference to organizations, researchers, activists, media practitioners and all the users who want to find an Egyptian woman expert in a particular field..."

"The Who Is She in Lebanon is an online database with profiles of prominent contemporary Lebanese women. This project started in 2008 following a bilateral partnership between the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and KVINFO, the Danish Centre for Information on Women and Gender, a grant-maintained self-governing institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture in Denmark... "