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Saudi Arabia: African and Middle Eastern Reading Room Country Guide

Digital Collections

The Library of Congress has over 20 centers that provide research space and guidance for users to interact with collection items based on subject or format. The African and Middle Eastern Division curates materials from 77 countries from Morocco to Southern Africa to the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union and a variety of vernacular scripts, such as Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Yiddish. The division's three sections—African, Hebraic, and Near East—offer in-depth reference assistance, provide substantive briefings on a wide range of subjects relating to these languages and cultures, produce 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 staff provides access to materials from the General Collections and helps point researchers to relevant items in other reading rooms. Selected digitized primary source materials from the Library’s collections are highlighted below along with links for further exploration.

Manuscript Materials

The Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division contains manuscripts in the Arabic language in the fields of Islamic studies, religion, astronomy, linguistics, medicine, science, mathematics, and others. Some of these manuscripts have been digitized and can be accessed online, but most of these manuscripts are available for onsite research only. The collections relate to the country of Saudi Arabia as the cradle of Islam, and the basis of Islamic civilization that has spread throughout the world. The gallery below highlights some of these digitized manuscript treasures.

Featured Digital Primary Sources

The following materials represent selected digitized primary source materials and web archives relating to Saudi Arabia as a place of revelation for the Islamic faith from the Near East collections along with links for further exploration.

The Library's Manuscript Reading Room provides access to archival materials on and about Saudi Arabia, including first-hand accounts and writings from cultural figures, authors, politicians, ambassadors, and foreign dignitaries, to name a few.

Featured Web Archives

The Library of Congress Web Archive manages, preserves, and provides access to archived web content selected by subject experts from across the Library, so that it will be available for researchers today and in the future. The Library of Congress web archives are organized in thematic and event-based collections, and contain websites documenting a variety of U.S. and international organizations representing a broad range of subjects and topic areas. Relevant web archives are described and linked below.