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African, Jewish, and Middle Eastern Studies: Digital Resources at the Library of Congress

This research guide provides a compilation of primary and secondary source materials, reference works, free and subscription databases, recorded programs and more, selected by curators in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.


Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Reading Room
Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Reading Room.

The Library of Congress holds an extensive collection of research materials about and from Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Among these materials is a corps of digital resources that are valuable to researchers. Curated by the African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED), this guide presents a compilation of selected online and digital resources pertinent to Africana, Hebraica/Judaica, and the Middle East. These resources include digitized primary source materials, select reference works, freely available and subscription-based databases, recordings of past public programs, as well as useful external resources.

About the African and Middle Eastern Division

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.

As a major world resource center for Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, AMED has the custody of more than one million physical collection materials in the non-Roman-alphabet languages of the region such as Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, 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.

References Services

The Library of Congress has more than 20 centers that provide research space and guidance for users to interact with collection items based on subject or format. AMED's three sections - African, Hebraic and Near East - offer reference assistance, provide research briefings on a wide range of subjects relating to the languages and cultures of the region, produce research guides to the Library's vast resources, and cooperate in developing and preserving the Division's unparalleled collections. The African and Middle Eastern Reading Room provides readers with access to materials from the AMED Collections and helps point researchers to relevant items in other reading rooms. For reference assistance using the Library’s resources, use the Ask a Librarian service to contact a reference librarian.

AMED offers group briefings and research orientations onsite and online. We request that appointments be made at least 3 weeks in advance. Please contact AMED via Ask a Librarian.

Contact Information

AMED Reading Room
Room LJ 229
Thomas Jefferson Building
Tel: (202) 707-4188
Fax: (202) 252-3180
View a map showing location

Metro Stops:
Capitol South (Blue/Orange Line)
Union Station (Red Line)

Public Service Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturday, Sunday & Federal Holidays

Contact Information
Dr. Lanisa Kitchiner, Ph.D., Chief

African Section
Hebraic Section
Near East Section

Mailing Address
African and Middle Eastern Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4820