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Current Events Guide to Political and Social Change in the Arab World : Library Resources

Library of Congress Subject Headings on Arab Countries

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) the following are links to resources about Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  The headings are listed by country name in alphabetical order (A-Z) and encompass historically focused resources in the University of Illinois Library collections that pertain to democracy, history, politics and government, and fictional works for each country listed.

Library users can combine a number of subject headings to return different results! Try combining words, or topics of interest with country names to perform searches on the Library catalog. 


This section includes films related to the social, economic, and political conditions within various countries of the Arab world.  They are arranged by date, most recent to oldest.


Abstracts and Indexes

Historical Abstracts Indexes historical articles on historical topics from 1450 to the present. In addition to including the key historical journals from virtually every major country, Historical Abstracts includes a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities that are of special interest to researchers and students of history.

Index to Jewish Periodicals A comprehensive guide to articles, book reviews, feature stories, and other content in more than 200 periodicals devoted to Jewish affairs. 

Middle East: Abstracts and Index Coverage from 1978 to 2009. Located in teh Main Library and Oak Street Facility. Call Number: 016.95605.

RAMBI: Index of articles on Jewish studies Indexes scholarly articles coverign Jewish studies and Israel. The writings may be in Hebrew, Yiddish, and European languages and mostly reflect the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.

Social Sciences Citation Index Information from 3,000 of the world's leading social science journals, covering 50 disciplines including anthropology, business and communication, criminology, library and information sciences, law, urban studies, etc.


ALTA Religion Database Major index to journal articles, book reviews, and essay collections in the field of religion.

Statistical Insight (ProQuest) - Provides government statistics, business, trade, and research information, and private and international statistical information. U.S. government statistics go back to 1973 and private and state sources go back to 1980.


Index Islamicus Indexes periodicals and articles in teh field of Islam. Other jouranls are indexed only for articles on Islamic subjects. 

Online Reference Tools

Encyclopaedia of Islam Enclyclopaedia of Islam has long been the definitive publication covering the whole scope of Islamic religion, life, and culture. 

Europa World Plus The Europa World Plus page on the Middle East and North Africa includes resources such as a map, calendar of political events from Oct. 2011 to Sept. 2012, and links to regional organizations and countries. Books on the Middle East & Books on North Africa

Project MUSE  Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals, from leading university presses and scholarly societies, are fully integrated for search and discovery.MUSE currently includes 267,032 articles and 464,809 chapters by 197 publishers.



Oxford Islamic Studies Online Oxford Islamic Studies Online brings together the best current scholarship in the field to foster a more accurate and informed understanding of teh Islamic world. Encompassing over 5,000 A-Z reference entries, chapters from scholarly and introductory works, Qur'anic materials, primary sources, images, maps, and timelines.

Relevant UIUC library libguides

Libguides from other university libraries

Brown University Library - The Arab Spring 2011-present

Colorado State University Libraries - POLS449-Middle East Politics

Columbia College Stafford Library - History and Democracy of the Modern Middle East 

Cornell University Library Guides - Arab Spring: A Research & Study Guide الربيع العربي

Duke University Libraries - Middle East and Islamic Studies 

Georgetown Day School Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library - Democracy in teh Middle East Project

Naval Postgraduate School - Middle East Research Guide

Universities at Shady Grove Shannon and Michael Priddy Library - POLI 409: Transition to Democracy in the Middle East

University of Pittsburgh pitt.libguides - Middle East Studies and Research @ Pitt

Books of Interest on Arab Spring

Arab Spring Subject Headings and Search Terms


Arab Spring
The Arab Spring is a term refers to the democratic uprisings in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen that began in December 2010 and continued through 2011. 

Subject Heading Searches on the UIUC catalog

Locate audio-visual resources, books, databases, jouranls and more on the UIUC library catalog. Below are examples of effective Library of Congress subject headings and search terms used for locating resources on library catalogs about the Arab Spring movements.

Subject Headings:

Arab Spring

Arab countries - Democracy - 21st century

Democratization - Middle East - History - 21st century

Protest movements - Arab countries -21st century

Resistance - Arab countries - 21st century

Revolutions - Arab countries

Revolutions - Arab countries - 21st century

Search Terms:

Arab Spring

Arab Revolution

Middle East uprising

Middle East democracy

Middle East unrest

Pro democracy movements in the Arab world