The provision of bibliographical information and other aids to access to Middle East materials in British libraries has always been a high priority for MELCOM. It has therefore produced a substantial number of handbooks and guides, for the use of scholars and researchers as well as its own members. Some of these have been published by commercial publishers, others by MELCOM itself. A full list is given below.

The first work (no. 1 in the list), conceived by Prof. Pearson, was a substantial introductory bibliography of the whole field. It embodied the results of a conference of librarians and academics, at which lists, mostly annotated, of basic books on various subjects or areas, such as would be needed by a newly established academic library, were presented and discussed. Despite the obvious defects of such an approach, it clearly met a need, as it quickly sold out, and a new edition was commissioned (no. 4), followed by a supplement (no. 10).

Three other major reference works have also been produced: the bibliography of reference materials in Arab/Islamic studies (no. 2), also the brainchild of Prof. Pearson; the classified bibliography of Iran and Persian studies (no. 6), which was the last magnum opus of the late Prof. Elwell-Sutton of Edinburgh; and a comprehensive bibliography on the PalestinianIntifada (no. 16), published in 1993.

Another major bibliography unfortunately never saw the light of day: a substantial retrospective listing of Arabic periodical articles, modelled on Prof. Pearson’s original Index Islamicus 1906-1955, and entitled Index Arabicus. This was sent to Beirut to be printed in 1975, just when the catastrophic Lebanese civil war broke out: it has not been possible to trace it since. (The Index Arabicus by Abdul Jabbar Abdul Rahman, published in Baghdad in 1989, although similar in scope and intention, is a different work.)

Two guides to British Middle East collections were also published (nos. 5 & 7), and three union catalogues of periodicals and newspapers in Middle Eastern languages (nos. 3, 9 & 15). Another union list of relevant periodicals in European languages is in preparation.

In 1985 a series of research guides was started, and five have appeared so far. Three of them (nos. 8, 11 & 12) are handbooks on specialised subjects; another is a substantial directory of holdings of photographic material in a wide range of British institutions (no. 13); the one with the widest appeal is probably the introductory guide for those embarking on research (no. 14). Most recent is the bibliography of the Palestinian Intifada (no. 16) which has already been mentioned.

Publications (in chronological order)

  1. Middle East and Islam: a bibliographical introduction. Ed. Derek HOPWOOD and Diana GRlMWOOD-JONES. Zug: Inter Documentation, 1972 (Bibliotheca Asiatica, 9). VlIl+368pp. Superseded by the revised edition, 1979 (see item 4).
  2. Arab Islamic bibliography: the Middle East Library Committee guide, based on Giuseppe Gabrieli’s Manuale di bibliografia musulmana. Ed. Diana GRIMWOOD-JONES, Derek HOPWOOD, J.D.PEARSON, with the assistance of J. P. C. AUCHTERLONIE, J. D. LATHAM, Yasin SAFADI. Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1977. xvii+292pp.Sections: Bibliographies; Encyclopaedias and reference works; Arabic grammars; Genealogy, biographical dictionaries and who’s whos; The press and periodicals; Maps and atlases of the Arab world; Arabic geographical names; Festschrifts and commemorative volumes; Scientific expeditions; Orientalism and Orientalists; Institutions; Arabic manuscripts: general; Illuminated Arabic manuscripts; Arabic papyri; Archives; Arabic epigraphy; Muslim numismatics; Arabic printing and book production; Libraries; Booksellers for the supply of material on the Arab-Islamic Near and Middle East.
  3. Union catalogue of Arabic serials and newspapers in British libraries. Al-fihris al-shamil lil-dawriyat wa-al-suhuf al- ‘Arabiyah fi al-Mamlakah al-Biritaniyah. Ed. Paul AUCHTERLONIE and Yasin H. SAFADI. London: Mansell, under the auspices of the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Lancaster, 1977. xvi+I46+[ii]pp.Important addenda are to be found in “The Arabic serials held by the Institute of Development Studies Library (University of Sussex)” by Paul AUCHTERLONIE (preamble by M. H. ROGERS), British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Bulletin, 4 ii (1977), pp. 102-112.
  4. Middle East and Islam: a bibliographical introduction. Revised and enlarged ed. Ed. Diana GRIMWOOD-JONES. Zug: Inter Documentation, 1979 (Bibliotheca Asiatica, 15). IX+429pp.Sections: 1. Reference; 2. History and Islamic studies; 3. Subject bibliographies; 4. Regional bibliographies; 5. Language and literature.
  5. Collections in British libraries on Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. (Produced under the auspices of the Middle East Libraries Committee, United Kingdom.) Ed. Paul AUCHTERLONIE. Durham: University of Durham, Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 1982 (Occasional Papers, Series, 12). 98pp.
  6. Bibliographical guide to Iran: the Middle East Library Committee guide. Ed. L. P. ELWELL-SUTTON. Brighton: Harvester Press, 1983. xxv+462pp.Sections: I. The study of Iran; II. Reference works and bibliographies; III. Manuscripts, libraries and archives; IV. Newspapers, periodicals and series; V. Official publications; VI. Religion, philosophy, ethics and law; VII. Science and technology; VIII. Geography and topography; IX. History; X. Languages; XI. Literature; XII. Arts and crafts; XIII. Performing arts; XIV. Social sciences; XV. Epilogue (post-Revolution developments).
  7. Middle East Sources. A MELCOM guide to Middle Eastern and Islamic books and materials in United Kingdom and Irish libraries. Compiled and edited by Ian Richard NETTON. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 1998.
  8. Official publications on the Middle East: a selective guide to the statistical sources. By C. H. BLEANEY. Durham: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1985 (Research Guides, 1) [iv]+32pp.Sections: How to use official publications as source materials; International organisations and their publications on the Middle East; Regional organisations of the Middle East; Country-by-country survey of data and information; List of population and other censuses; List of national development plans; Published sources and reference materials; Major collections in the UK; Index of international organisations.
  9. Union catalogue of Persian serials & newspapers in British libraries. Ed. Ursula SIMS-WILLIAMS. Introduction by John GURNEY. London: Ithaca Press, 1985. xv+l49pp.Includes a chronological index and an index of institutions.
  10. Middle East and Islam: a bibliographical introduction. Supplement 1977-1983. Ed Paul AUCHTERLONIE. Zug: Inter Documentation, 1986 (Bibliotheca Asiatica, 20). Vl+244pp.Supplement to item 4, with the same section headings.
  11. Arabic biographical dictionaries: a summary guide and bibliography. By Paul AUCHTERLONlE. Durham: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1987 (Research Guides, 2). iv+60pp.
  12. Books from the Arab world: a guide to selection and acquisition. By Katherine VAN DE VATE. Durham: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1988 (Research Guides, 4). iv+55pp.Part One: Publishing, bibliographic control and acquisition: an overview; Part Two: Acquisitions from individual countries; Part Three: Addresses.
  13. Middle Eastern photographic collections in the United Kingdom. By Gillian GRANT. Foreword by Albert HOURANI. Durham: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1989 (Research Guides. 3) vi+222pp.
  14. Introductory guide to Middle Eastern and Islamic bibliography. Ed. Paul AUCHTERLONIE. Oxford: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1990 (Research Guides, 5). v+84pp.Sections: Bibliographies; Reference works; Periodicals; Manuscripts; Printed book catalogues; Theses; Encyclopaedias; Biographical dictionaries; Grammars and dictionaries; Appendix: Standard texts.
  15. Periodicals in Turkish and Turkic languages: a union list of holdings in UK libraries. By Muhammad Isa WALEY. Oxford: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1993. 95pp.Covers serials in all Turkic languages.
  16. The Intifada. The Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: a bibliography of books and articles 1987-1992. Al-Intifadah: Al-intifadah al-Filastiniyah fi al-aradi al-muhtallah: al- bibliyugrafiyah lil-kutub wa-al-maqalat 1987-1992. By Hala KALEH and Simonetta CALDERINI. Oxford: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1993. II+59+50+10pp.

Lists 929 publications in European languages and 654 in Arabic.

Nos. 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 available for sale exclusively through MELCOM (UK)‘s authorized distributor,

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