Libraries & Collections

Since the establishment of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) in 1973, MELCOM has maintained close relations with it, seeking to represent the interests and needs of libraries within the field of Middle Eastern studies in Britain, and to enhance its members’ awareness of library and bibliographical resources in their field. It has in particular provided a special section in the Society’s Bulletin (now the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies) for reviews of bibliographies and other reference works and occasional articles of a bibliographical nature.

MELCOM has also, since 1979, co-operated with other Middle East librarians in Europe – especially France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain – by holding joint international conferences to discuss matters of common interest, exchange information and to hear scholarly papers on historical bibliography, codicology, library history, Orientalism and the like.

At the 1987 Conference in Tunis a new organisation was constituted, called MELCOM International: the European Association of Middle East Librarians. This has taken over the responsibility for organising these conferences, as well as extending Middle East library co-operation in new directions. Madame Sara Yontan is the President of MELCOM International (Secretary: Dr. MariaLuisa Langella, Treasurer: Dr. Andreas Drechsler).

MELCOM also cooperates with other organisations such as the Hebraica Libraries Group and The Middle East Librarians Association for North America (MELA).