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Reusable Boxes: African and Middle Eastern Division

The purpose of the "template" guide is to house boxes of boilerplate content that will be reused in many AMED LibGuides.



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.

Please note: Materials in Roman-alphabet languages about this country are available in the General Collections available via the Library of Congress Main Reading Room.

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

Introduction - Databases

Searchable online databases provide full-text access to both current and historical content. Some databases are freely available and others require a subscription. The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Introduction - Event Videos

The African and Middle Eastern Division sponsors a regular series of talks given by experts in various fields. Since 2001, these talks have been recorded and most of these past events can be viewed online in the Library's Event Videos collection.

Learn more about upcoming events:

Introduction - Guides & Country Studies

One of the best ways to begin your research is by using tools prepared by librarians and subjects specialists. This section of the guide includes a mix of books titles, bibliographies, finding aids, and other topical guides.

Introduction - Digital Collections & Exhibitions

This section of the guide links to unique digitized primary and secondary collection materials from the Library of Congress. In addition, online exhibitions provide curated presentations of collection materials from the Library of Congress and other institutions. The Library of Congress also has a robust Web-archiving program that capture ephemeral and often considered at-risk born-digital content, making them available to researchers today and in the future.

Introduction - Social Media

The Library's 4 Corners of the World blog and International Collections Facebook page are the primary sources for posts created by expert curators in the four area studies reading rooms—African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European and Hispanic. This section of the guide features social media posts on related topics published by reference staff in the African and Middle Eastern Division.

This collection comprises thousands of books, including monographs, multivolume sets, and pamphlets in various languages, which are accessible in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room. Please note that English-language books are considered part of the General Collections are available through the Library's Main Reading Room.

This collection comprises many newspapers and other periodical publications, including magazines, journals, and reports in various languages, which are accessible in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room. Please note that English-language newspapers and periodicals are available through the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room.