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Near East  

Covers North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, east from the Levant throught Iran, and Central Asia, the languages of those regions, and Islam.
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2015 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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What's in the Guide

Welcome to the Near East research guide.  It covers 1) Islam, 2) countries of the Near East:  Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, the Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Turkey and the Central Asian countries:  Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  It covers resources in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, Turkmen, Uighur, Kurdish, and the ancient languages:  Akkadian, Assyrian, Sumerian, ancient Egyptian, Coptic and Syriac.

  • Books - major databases for articles on the Near East and its languages
  • Articles - major databases for books and other resources
  • E-Journals - major e-journal packages relevant for the Near East, a list of pertinent e-journals and link to other places you would not otherwise think to look
  • Newspapers - databases for newspapers from the Near East and lists of specific electronic newspapers by region
  • Images - databases providing images of the Near East
  • Resources by Languages - more advanced materials on specific regions and how to do research in the languages of the Near East
  • Topics - a selection of bibliographies on frequently researched topics relevant to the Near East
  • Research Works - links to archived copies of publications by UW faculty
  • ALA-LC Romanization - Romanization tables used in U.S. Libraries
  • Call Numbers - a list of call number ranges where you will find books on the Near East.  For example, this will allow you to browse for books in Arabic.
Image: Mary St. Germain

    Vernacular and Digitization

    For materials published in the Middle East, generally the range of reference materials is much more limited than what exists for U.S. and European materials.  Education in the Middle East was traditionally based on memorization.  Arabic script did not lend itself to use on printing presses.  For example, for vernacular languages, products such as periodical indexes were not begun until late in the 20th century and still cover a relatively small portion of what has been published.

    The existence of databases in languages of the Middle East is also limited.  In the U.S. and Europe, databases could be developed because publishers had used electronic texts to drive printing presses for some time.  Such texts were not as available in the Middle East, and scanning and OCR of texts in Arabic script is extremely time consuming and not very accurate.  The databases that do exist can be a bit challenging to use.

    If you are having trouble locating resources, please contact Mary St. Germain for help.  There are options--it may just take a little more effort to get started.

    Near East Librarian

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    Mary St. Germain
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    Room 133, Suzzallo Library
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