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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Transformation of the Middle East, 1566-1914 (HIST 335): Basic References for Research & Reading (Prof. Cuno)

A LibGuide for Professor Cuno's HIST 335 course on the Ottoman Empire and Middle East.

1. Bibliographic Searching

Getting started with on line bibliographies:

            A number of on line search engines are available through the University Library’s Gateway Under “Online research resources” click on “Article indexes & abstracts list.” The indexes and abstracts are shown in alphabetical order. To go to a letter other than A click on the button labeled “New Search” and an alphabet will appear. To find Index Islamicus, for example, you would then click on “I.”

            The most important on line indexes and abstracts:

            *Index Islamicus. ed. J.D. Pearson: scholarly articles in all European languages on Islam and the Middle East, from 1906 – nearly the present. Monographs from 1976 onward are also listed. You can access it through the Library Gateway and it is also available in hard copy in the Reserve section of the library [016.915In2]. In hard copy there is also a volume listing printed books and articles from the 17th century to 1906, though this is not on line.

            JSTOR (Journal Storage). Full text articles from numerous scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines.

            Periodical Abstracts, OCLC First Search. Includes popular periodicals as well as journals.

            Wilson indexes, humanities & social science.

            Historical Abstracts.

Other on line bibliographic sources:

            Project Muse. Scholarly journals online.

            Columbia University Middle East Resouces

            University of Texas Middle East Network Information Center

2. Basic Reference Works

Converting Islamic dates to Christian/common era dates:

There is an online Gregorian-Hijri Dates Converter.  This converter uses a mathematical formula. Predicted dates have to be understood as approximate. It is not clear whether historical dates have been checked against their actual occurrence, hence Freeman-Grenville is to be preferred when converting dates in the past: The Muslim and Christian Calendars, by G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville. For exact conversion of past Islamic dates to Gregorian Christian/common-era dates, and vice-versa [529.327F87M1977].


*A Middle East Studies Handbook, by Jere L. Bachrach.  Contains sections on transliteration and the Islamic calendar; lists of major dynasties and rulers; tables of Sufi spiritual genealogies and Arab tribal genealogies; a historical chronology; historical maps; a gazeteer; and a glossary [Q. 956 B12M1984].

Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East.  A Documentary Record (1956), ed. J.C. Hurewitz.  Vol. 1, 1535-1914.  Vol. 2, 1914-1956.  Texts of diplomatic documents with commentary [956 H932D].

The Arab-Israeli Conflict (1974), ed. John N. Moore.  Vols. 1 & 2, Readings.  Vol. 3, Documents.  Vol. 4 (in 2 parts), The Difficult Search for Peace (1975-1988) (1991).  A legal approach; documents and articles with commentary.

3. Historical surveys, encyclopedias and dictionaries (a sample):

*The Cambridge History of Egypt, vol. 1, Islamic Egypt 640-1517, and vol. 2, Modern Egypt from 1517 to the End of the Twentieth Century (1998) [962 C144].

*The Cambridge History of Islam (1970-80) [915.6C144].

*The Cambridge History of Iran (1968-91) [955 C144].

The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World (1996) [non-circulating reference 909.097671 R562C & circulating 909 C144 1998].

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Middle East and North Africa (1988) [956 C144].

The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (1996) [Q. 956.003 EN19].

*The Encyclopaedia of Islam (1st ed., 1908-42) and Supplement.  [297 EN191954].  Most entries are in alphabetical order under the relevant term in Arabic written in French transliteration; use the index to the new edition to look up your subject in English.  Beware of outdated scholarship; when possible compare with the new edition.

*The Encyclopaedia of Islam New Edition and Supplement (1954- ). Available in CD ROM. Most entries are in alphabetical order under the relevant term in Arabic written in French transliteration; use the index to look up your subject in English. Due to the slowness in producing this work beware of outdated scholarship in this new edition as well. [297 EN191954].

*The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (1995) [Q.909.097671003OX2].

The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam (1989) [297.03 G464C].

World Christian Encyclopedia:  a comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000 by David Barrett (1982) [Q. 270 W89] & (2001) [Q. 270 W892001/BR157 .W67 2001].

Encyclopedia of Jewish History:  events and eras of the Jewish people by Joseph Alpher (1986) [Q. 909.0492403 EN19].

The Middle East Political Dictionary (2d ed., 1992), by Lawrence Ziring [956.003 Z68M1992].

Political Dictionary of the Arab World (1987) by Yaacov Shimoni [320.95603 SH6P1987].

Political Dictionary of the State of Israel (1993) by Susan H. Rolef [320.9569403 P7591993].

Historical Dictionary of Egypt (1995) by Arthur Goldschmidt [non-circulating 962.003 G572H].

For political and historical dictionaries of other countries, using the online catalog select TITLE and enter "(country name) dictionary."

Country Studies.  For quick reference the Country Studies/Area Handbook series is produced by the Library of Congress' Federal Research Division.  Each book contains summaries of a country's history, geography, society, economy, government and politics, which are updated every few years.  Since they all have titles such as Egypt, a Country Study you can locate them in the online catalog by choosing TITLE and entering:  "(country name) country study."

4. Atlases (a partial list)

On the internet: University of Texas Middle East Network Information Center:, “Maps and Travel.”

Atlas of the Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith (Facts on File, 1990) [Q. 911 R455A].

Atlas of the Islamic World since 1500 by Francis Robinson (Facts on File, 1982) [Q. 911.17671 R562A].

Atlas of the Arab World:  Geopolitics and Society by Rafic Boustani and Philippe Fargues (Facts on File, 1991) [Q. 912.1974927 B669A:E].

Atlas of the Jewish World by Nicholas De Lang (Facts on File, 1984) [Q. 909.0494 D34A].

Atlas of the Christian Church  by Gillian Evans (1987) [Q. 270 At65].

Atlas of the Middle East (United States CIA, 1993) [912.56 At6522008].

Historical Atlas of the Middle East by G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville (1993) [Q. 911.58 F877H].

The Cambridge Atlas of the Middle East and North Africa (1987) [Q.912.56 C144].

5. Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals (a partial list not including N. Africa). N.B.: a growing number of journals are now available on line, at least the more recent volumes, and some complete runs are accessible through JSTOR (accessible through the Library Gateway). To access hard copies, the call numbers below indicate the location of current unbound numbers, while bound issues may be in the main stacks.

Annales Islamologiques [HIX 297.05AN].

Arab Law Quarterly [LAX K1.R238].

Arab Studies Quarterly [HIX 909.0974927AR12].

*Asian and African Studies [ASX 915.05ASI] 1965-1993.

*British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies [STX 956.005BUL1], continues BRISMES Bulletin [STX 956.005BUL].

Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies [ASX 490L84B].

Der Islam: Zeitschrift fur geschichte und kulture des islamischen Orients [STX 297.05ISLA].

*International Journal of Middle East Studies [HIX & MAX 956.05IN].

International Journal of Turkish Studies [HIX 909.0975943In8].

Iranian Studies [STX 505IRAS].

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations [HIX 297.197205].

*Islamic Law and Society [HIX 340.5905IS].

Israel Studies [HIX 956.94005].

The Jerusalem Quarterly [STX 956.94005JE] 1976-1990.

Journal of African History [EDX 960.05JO].

Journal of the American Oriental Society [ASX 490.6AM]

Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt [STX Q.913.6205AM].

Journal of Arabic Literature [ASX 892.705JO].

Journal of Asian History [950.05 JOA].

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient [HIX 305JOUE].

Journal of Islamic Studies [HIX 297J826].

Journal of Israeli History [STX 956.94Z6751B], continues Studies in Zionism (formerly Zionism) [STX 956.94Z6751A].

*Journal of Palestine Studies [HIX 915.69405JO].

Journal of South Asian and Middle East Studies [ASX 915.05JOS].

Journal of Turkish Studies [HIX 956.1005JO].

Journal of World History [HIX 905JOW].

Mediterranean Quarterly [EDX 327.05MEQ].

*MESA Bulletin (Middle East Studies Assn. of N. America) [HIX 956.0072M584].

*The Middle East Journal [EDX 905MIDE].

*Middle East Report (MERIP) [EDX 320.95605ME1A].

*Middle Eastern Studies [EDX 956.05MIE].

The Muslim World (Hartford, CN) [STX 297.05MO].

The Muslim World Book Review [HIX 297.05MUW].

New Perspectives on Turkey [HIX 956.1005NE].

Peuples Mediterranees [STX 909.09822P462].

Princeton Papers in Near Eastern Studies [HIX 956P935].

Revue des Etudes Islamiques [STX 297.05RE] 1927-1980.

Revue du Monde Musulman et de la Mediterranee [HIX 909.R32821].

Studia Iranica [HIX 955St94].

Studia Islamica [HIX 297.05ST].

Die Welt des Islams [STX 297.05WEN.S].

6. Annual surveys of political events and economics

The Middle East Annual (from 1981) [EDX 956.04M5842].

Middle East Contemporary Survey (from 1976/77) [EDX 320.956M58].

The Middle East and North  Africa (from 1948) [STX 315.6M584].

Middle East Record (from 1960 to 1970) [STX 956M585].

Middle East Review (from 1974). Economics and politics [ASX 330.956M58].

For information on older, discontinued surveys of events from the beginning of this century see Martin Kramer, "Surveying the Middle East," Asian and African Studies, 24,


7. Human Rights Reporting

a) On the internet:

Human Rights in the Middle East/Amnesty International USA:

Human Rights Watch, Middle East:

U.S. Department of State human rights reports:


b) In the library:

Index on Censorship. Censorship and freedom-of-expression issues world-wide [STX 323.4405IN; Law K9.N3].

Reporting on human rights is carried on by a number of organizations.  Their reports can be searched for in the online catalog under: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Helsinki Watch, Middle East Watch, National Lawyers Guild, and International Red Cross.

Note from Prof. Cuno

Note:  Library location and call number at UIUC are indicated within square brackets [ ]. Very good and/or essential sources that graduate students preparing a field in the modern Middle East should become familiar with/make use of are marked with an asterisk (*).