UA Library’s Middle East Collection: By the Numbers

Monday, July 11, 2016

This vast resource provides a wealth of information to faculty and students engaged in cutting-edge research.

The University of Arizona’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), School for Middle East and North African Studies (MENAS) and Arizona Center for Judaic Studies are among the best in the country when it comes to Middle Eastern scholarship and research. At a time when thoughtful discussion and understanding of such an expansive and diverse region is vital to the national dialogue, these UA programs are answering the call. And they’re doing it with the help of the university’s impressive Middle East library collection

“The collection's strengths are its overall breadth, and its concentrations in ancient and modern Middle Eastern history, anthropology, Islam, languages, literature and political science,” says Anne Betteridge, CMES director. “We depend upon the availability of a wide range of resources about the region, and many of these resources are in Middle Eastern languages.”

Just how vast is the collection? It includes:

  • More than 110,000 volumes in Arabic, Hebrew, Pashto, Persian and Turkish languages integrated with English and Western European language resources to facilitate multi-language browsing across subject areas. Plus, 2,000 volumes are added each year, meaning it is continually growing.
  • Over 6,000 current periodicals, many in regional languages, along with back issues of another 200 periodicals that are no longer published.
  • Roughly 550 videos and films in languages spoken throughout the region.

The impact of this invaluable collection reaches beyond the UA community. The Middle East collection is accessible to students and scholars from 36 major research libraries through the Great Western Library Alliance, the largest consortium of academic libraries in the country.