Middle East & Jewish Studies


A. Purpose and Program Description

The Libraries seek to support research in all aspects of Middle East history and culture, with the exceptions of modern law, science, and agriculture. We also support research in all aspects of Jewish history and culture and Judaism, with the exception that we do not collect most Rabbinical works. The collections support the needs of undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, and research staff members.

We have large collections on Islamic and Jewish law, housed in Butler Library.

During the first half of the 1990’s, the user population has remained stable, although there has been a slight decrease in the number of faculty.

New courses recently introduced include an interest in the Central Asian and Caucasus regions.

B. General Selection Guidelines (see classed analysis for detailed statement)

Overall, the Libraries’ existing collection, its current acquisitions commitment, based upon available resources, and its collecting goal for Middle East and Jewish Studies are all at the research level.

C. Specific Delimitations

  1. Formats collected: We collect monographs, reference tools and scholarly series extensively and annuals, maps, CD-Roms and other electronic tools, periodicals, and newspapers selectively. We do not presently collect dissertations or textbooks relating to the Middle East. Audio-visual materials have been mostly excluded because of a lack of facilities, not because of lack of need (although we have started purchasing some films for the Humanities Media Center and the Butler Media Collection). Dissertations are normally excluded except in the field of Armenian Studies where they have been specifically requested. Textbooks are excluded except for teaching the languages of the Middle East.
  2. Imprint Dates Collected: We collect current and twentieth-century materials extensively. Nineteenth-century materials and older materials are not being actively collected. The budget does not permit the addition of older materials except in specials cases where there is outside funding such as in Armenian Studies, cooperative agreements, etc.
  3. Chronological Focus: We collect materials on the Middle East and Jewish Studies in all periods, although the modern period is best covered.
  4. Languages Collected: We collect English, Russian, German, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian language materials extensively and Italian, Spanish, Armenian, Kurdish, and Yiddish materials selectively. East Asian language materials are excluded. One qualification that we make is that books in vernacular languages must have some relation to the subject (e.g. we would not acquire a book in Turkish on Greek philosophy.)
  5. Place of Publication: We collect books published in the United States, Britain, Germany, France, and Russia extensively. However, we try to selectively collect anything scholarly no matter where it is published. For books published in the area, our largest holdings are from Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran. However every country in the area is represented.