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Reusable Boxes: African and Middle Eastern Division

Near East Section

Near East Section

Middle East Book Binding. 18th century. From "Near East Collections: An Illustrated Guide." African and Middle Eastern Division Near East Section.
An elaborate display of brightly enameled flowers highlights this lush eighteenth- century Islamic book binding from the Kirkor Minassian collection.

The Near East Section was established in 1945 following the end of World War II. It has in its custody materials in several formats: from exquisite manuscripts to early printed books; and from historic and contemporary newspapers, on microfilm and microfiche, to political and cultural ephemera-in over 40 languages of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as those of the countries and peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The Section's Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Turkic & Iranic language collections are renowned for their high scholarly quality, as are the Armenian, Georgian and Central Asian language materials which are growing rapidly and constitute major research collections.

The largest collection-the Arabic-is rich in manuscripts and early printed books, as well as in newspapers, serials and monographs in numerous fields including in literature, the social sciences, and the humanities, The Armenian collection is representative of the literary tradition, in manuscripts and printed works, accomplished both in Armenia and in its extensive, historical diaspora.

The Persian collection holds a number of splendidly illuminated manuscripts which are now digitized, as well as a unique collection of lithographs and early imprints which are currently being digitized. Its twentieth century collections of books and journals is very extensive as well.

The Turkish collection is strong in both modern works and Ottoman printed materials and includes both manuscripts as well as digitized materials such as the Abdul Hamid II gift books and album collections.

Efforts to collect works published in Georgia and in the post-Soviet States of the Caucasus and Central Asia have proved remarkably fruitful.

In its continuing efforts to make its collections accessible to researchers in the United States and beyond, the Section has continued to digitize and mount many of its vital collections.

The Section hosts a variety of special events, such as annual symposia, briefings, exhibits, lecture series and other programs to highlight its collections and to promote their use by scholars and researchers.

The Near East Section's specialists in the languages, countries and cultures of the Near East offer group and individual briefings both on site and on location. Queries from researchers and scholars are encouraged via Ask-A-Librarian, email, telephone, or in person.

Source: Near East Collections: An Illustrated Guide.

Pro Tips: Foreign Language Script Searching in the Online Catalog

Pro Tips for Foreign Language Script Searching in the Online Catalog

You may search in foreign language script in any of the search boxes.  Many of the titles and author names have foreign language script in the catalog records and will be retrieved in searches on those fields. For example:

Raʼs al-māl al-fikrī al-ʻArabī : naḥwa ruʼyah istiratījīyah jadīdah lil-istithmār wa-al-taṭwīr.

رأس المال الفكري العربي : نحو رؤية استراتيجية جديدة للاستثمار والتطوير

You may also use the Language limit and select Arabic.  Your search terms will retrieve materials that are written in the Arabic language. Please see this example here.

Middle Eastern Studies: Countries and Area Specialists

Reference assistance is available from the Library of Congress for Middle Eastern studies. Each area specialist has reference and acquisitions responsibilities for a particular linguistic or geographic region and has developed expert knowledge of the collections for his or her area. In conjunction with other Library units. These area specialists develop the collections and compile bibliographic guides to bring Near East materials to the attention of librarians and scholars.

Each reference specialist below is listed with their contact information and the countries they specialize in. You can also use our Ask a Librarian service to contact a reference librarian.


Dr. Lanisa Kitchiner, Chief, African and Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-7937 | Fax: (202) 252-3180


Ms. Joan Weeks, Head and Area Specialist (Turkic World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707--3657 | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries:


Ms. Huda Dayton, Area Specialist (Arab World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-0686 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Dr. Muhannad Salhi, Area Specialist (Arab World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-3778 | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries:


Mr. Hirad Dinavari, Area Specialist (Iranian World), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-4518 | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries:


Dr. Khachador Mouradian, Area Specialist (Armenia/Georgia), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Fax: (202) 252-3180
Countries:


Collection Management Staff:

Mr. Abdulahi Ahmed, Collection Development Librarian (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-4176 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Ms. Christal Grant, Library Technician (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-2933 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Ms. Emma Stevens, Library Technician (Near East Collection), Near East Section, African & Middle Eastern Division
Contact information: [email protected] | Tel: (202) 707-9156 | Fax: (202) 252-3180

Vardanants Day Lecture Series

The Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture series was created soon after Mrs. Dadian's bequest (1991) to the Library for the health and maintenance of the Armenian collections and the subsequent employment of a new Armenian area specialist in 1993. The Near East Section planned the series to highlight all aspects of Armenian life and culture and the role of the Library of Congress' collections in the study of all things Armenian.

The series itself is named after the Armenian holiday that commemorates the battle of Avarayr (AD 451) which was waged by the Armenian commander- in- chief Vardan Mamikonian and his compatriots against Persian troops, which had been sent by the King of Kings in an attempt to reimpose Zoroastrianism on the Christian state. Although primarily a religious holiday, it also celebrates as well Armenia's success in its millennia-long struggles against various forces of assimilation.

Persian Book Lecture Series

In conjunction with the 2014 exhibition: “A Thousand Years of the Persian Book” at the Library of Congress, the African and Middle Eastern Division teamed up with Roshan Persian Studies Institute at University of Maryland to co-host thirteen lectures and a symposium on various aspects of the Persian language, and the book making traditions. The majority of these lectures took place at the Library and the others were held at the University of Maryland. Most of these lectures were filmed and are available to view online.