Skip to Main Content

Saudi Arabia: African and Middle Eastern Reading Room Country Guide

This guide provides curated Library of Congress resources for researching Saudi Arabia, including digitized primary source materials, books and periodicals, archival materials, online databases, and tips for searching.

Introduction

al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār, photographer. Zweite Ansicht der Stadt Mekka über die nordwestliche (rechts) und die südwestliche Seite (links) der Moschee hinaus. 1889. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Library of Congress holds thousands of collection materials about and from Saudi Arabia. Curated by the Near East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED), this guide is part of a series of country guides that provide quick references for countries and regions.

This country guide provides links to major research resources for Saudi Arabia studies from across the Library, including digitized rare books, free and subscription-based databases, books, serials, and special format materials such as maps, prints & photographs, audio visual recordings, etc.

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.

Saudi Arabia: Quick Facts

United States. Central Intelligence Agency. Saudi Arabia. 1991. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Official Name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Capital: Riyadh

Population: 34.2 million (July 2020 est.)

Area: 2.15 million sq km (slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US)

Official Language: Arabic (official)

Religion(s): Muslim (official; citizens are 85-90% Sunni and 10-15% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic)

[Information courtesy of CIA World Factbook]

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]oc.gov | 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