SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Middle East & Central Asia

  • Context
  • Collection
  • Coverage:Middle East
  • Coverage:Central Asia
  • E-Resources
  • Future

Context

1. The Department

The Near and Middle East Department is a unique concentration of teaching and research on 5000 years of culture, from cuneiform and ziggurats to Arabic and Islamic revolution. It is Britain's largest university department specialising in the languages and cultures of the Middle East, with a long and distinguished track record in teaching and research in the region's modern and ancient languages.

The department offers undergraduate, MA and PhD programmes

The department has 24 FTE academic staff and 345.6 FTE students, including 237.8 undergraduates, 86.9 taught postgraduates and 21.0 research students.

For more information see

2. The Centres

2.1 Centre of Islamic Studies
  • The Centre of Islamic Studies at SOAS aims to promote scholarship and research in all areas of Islamic Studies, past and present. The study of the Qur’an and Hadith from the Arabic texts, and the analysis and translation of Islamic texts from Arabic into English form the core activities of the Centre
  • The Centre also deals with Islamic thought in European, African and Asian languages and promotes the study of Islamic culture and relations between Muslims and the wider world
  •  For more information see Centre of Islamic Studies (CIS)
2.2 Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and Caucasus     
  • The principal role of the Centre is to promote, coordinate and disseminate information relating to, the academic study of Central Asia and the Caucasus across the disciplines and to act as a resource for academic, governmental, non-governmental and business constituencies with an interest in those regions
  • For more information see Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus
2.3 Centre for Iranian Studies    
  • In 2010, a new Centre for Iranian Studies was officially constituted within the London Middle East Institute (LMEI)
  • The Centre is dedicated to promoting high quality research on Iran, including in collaboration with other such centres in the UK, in Iran and internationally
  • It aims to build cordial relations with the various diasporic communities in London and to showcase and foster the best of contemporary Iranian talent in the arts, music, digital culture and film
  • For more information see Centre for Iranian Studies
2.4 Centre for Digital Africa, Asia and the Middle East (CeDAAME) (now closed)    
  • The Middle East section of the library has also supported digitization projects of the CeDAAME such as the SOAS/Yale Islamic Manuscripts Gallery. This was a joint project with Yale University and sponsored by NEH in the USA and JISC in the UK. The project digitized and made available on-line, dictionaries and manuscripts from the collections of Yale and SOAS. It was finished in September 2010   
  • More details about the SOAS part of the project are to be found at Yery (YS-IMG) Project and about the Yale side at http://www.library.yale.edu/ysimg/

Collection

3. History

The Middle East and Central Asia section of the library drew its collections from:

  • The old London Institution located in Finsbury Circus
  • The University of London Library and the libraries of two other colleges, University College and King’s College, which transferred to the School their Oriental books in exchange for western-language material from the Institution’s collections, (although Hebrew and Syriac were excluded)
  • Donations from the British Library, the India Office Library and a number of private benefactors.

The Library:

  • Has built up collections relating to the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus, including publications on and from those regions, within the fields of languages and cultures, arts and humanities, and law and social sciences
  • Has supported course reading lists, including multi-disciplinary and diaspora studies, on Departmental subject courses relating to the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus
  • Has selectively acquired material on some Middle Eastern, Caucasian and Central Asian diasporas in Europe and Asia
  • For details on the Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica collections, see the ANE subject statement

4. Languages

The Library collects material in:

  • Middle Eastern, Central Asian & Caucasian languages
    • publications in and on vernacular languages from across the entire region are actively acquired
  • Other languages
    • Middle Eastern studies publications are actively acquired in European languages (primarily English, French, German, Spanish)
    • Middle Eastern studies publications are very selectively purchased in:
      • A range of other European languages (e.g. Russian, Italian, Portuguese etc.)
      • Asian languages. These are held in the relevant regional collections (e.g. studies in Japanese on the Middle East area held in the Japan collection)
  • See General Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

  • A superseded classification scheme using Roman numerals is extant for some publications acquired in the remote past in European languages or vernacular  languages (L.V.1-L.V.4, VII.L, S.VII.L, S.VIII.L, SG.L.III-SG.L.XII, SG.III-SG.XII, S.VII, S.VIII, V.1, V.2, V.3, v.4, VII.1-9, VIII.1)     
  • Since 1973, the print collections are classified using Dewey Decimal Classification option B (where the regions are classified first, followed by the subjects)
  • All books are prefixed using letter prefixes indicating a topic, a region, a country, a people or a language, i.e.:     
    • Print publications in European languages:
      • N = Islam, NB – NXB = Middle Eastern countries & peoples, O – OX = Central Asian countries & peoples     
    • Print publications in Middle Eastern and Caucasian languages taught or researched at SOAS (including works in those languages or linguistic studies in or translations from those languages): 
      • P – PBA, = Arabic & Arabic dialects, PE = Armenian, PG – PJD = Caucasian languages, PL – PNK = Persian & Iranian languages, PP – PWD = Turkish & Turkic languages
    • Additional prefixes are used for:
      • Large books ("L")
      • Reference books ("Ref ")
      • Large reference books ("L Ref")

6. Special Collections

Manuscripts    
  • Over 400 Arabic manuscripts, some 400 Persian and 45 Turkish, and a few in Coptic and Ethiopic
  • The collection at SOAS was catalogued before the World War II by A. J. Arberry, and the proofs of the catalogue were shipped to Beirut in 1939. Unfortunately they did not survive the war, and the School has only Arberry’s notes and some galley proofs of the catalogue
  • In 1980, Adam Gacek worked up the entries for the Arabic manuscripts with latter additions into a catalogue which was published in a limited edition in 1981, and again in 1985 with corrections. There is no complete catalogue of the Persian manuscripts
  • Some of these manuscripts are especially rare and beautiful, the finest example being perhaps Husayn Va’iz Kashifi’s Anvar-i Suhayli which contains 27 exquisite Persian miniatures
  • Other manuscripts are interesting for their illustrations and calligraphy, particularly some of the Qur’an, and for their history, such as the Persian Guide of Kings composed by Jeronimo Xavier, S.J., and addressed to the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, in 1609 A.D
Rare books    
  • The Library was able to acquire microfilm copies of the remaining five books needed to complete its holdings of the limited editions from the press of Ibrahim Muteferrika, a Hungarian by birth who fell into slavery but later became the founder of the first Turkish press in Istanbul in 1729  

Coverage:Middle East

Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:

The Middle East & Central Asia section covers a very wide area both geographically, stretching over three continents, and linguistically, with languages that are spoken from the western tip of North Africa to the farthest reaches of Siberia.

In broad terms the section comprises material on the Arab Middle East (including Egypt and areas formerly under Arab rule like Spain and Sicily) and Arabic; Iran and Iranian languages – ancient and modern (including ancient Persia and its religions); Turkey (including parts of the Balkans formerly under the Ottoman Empire) and Turkish; the Caucasus and Caucasian languages; and Afghanistan and the Republics of former Soviet Central Asia.      

The division of Central Asia in SOAS Library between the Middle East and the China collections is based on the Turkic languages and peoples being in the former, and the Mongolian and Tibetan languages and peoples in the latter.  

The Library has a national responsibility to collect material for North Africa, including Libya but not Egypt (all subjects) within the framework of the specialist acquisition programme defined by the Middle East Librarians Committee in the UK (MELCom UK).

For more information on MELCom UK http://www.melcom.org.uk/

Teaching

The collection aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Middle East Department and Regional & Departmental Centres.

Research

The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below:

Languages Classification Tables

For details on the language classification tables see Linguistic subject statement
The linguistic spread of the Middle East collection is extremely wide. The one Semitic language, Arabic, comprises the bulk of the collection and includes works on all subjects with special emphasis on Islam, Arabic language and literature and Middle Eastern history.  There is a particular focus on works in Arabic from and about the countries of North Africa.
Iranian languages include more than seventeen ancient and modern languages, principally Modern Persian (Farsi), but also significant collections in and on Old Persian, Balochi, Kurdish and Pashto.
The Turkic languages collection includes Turkish (by far the largest) and also sixteen derived languages – most prominently Uzbek, Uighur (Uygur), Azeri and Kazakh.

Religions Classification Tables

For details on the religions classification tables, see Religions subject statement
The Middle East and Central Asia region harbours a vast amount of belief systems that have spread worldwide over the centuries, or endured through time locally: the monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and their mystic branches) but also Bahaism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, etc.

8. Detailed Structure

The main subject areas of collecting for Middle East are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy.

8.1 Anthropology & Sociology
  • Social sciences
  • Sociology & anthropology (Interdisciplinary works on society)
  • Social interaction
  • Social Process
    • Social change (Including contact between cultures)
    • Conflict (Including terrorism)
  • Factors affecting social behaviour
    • Population (Including genocide)
    • Movement of people, migration and forced migration
    • Transnationalism
  • Social groups
    • Age groups
    • Men and women
    • Women
    • Social class
    • Religious groups
    • Iraqi Christians and their dispersal across the Middle East and Europe
    •  Language groups
    • Aramaic-speaking communities in late Sassanid and early Islamic Iran
    • Racial, ethnic, national groups
    • Occupational and miscellaneous groups
  • Culture & institutions
    • Subcultures
    • Political institutions
    • Economic institutions
    • Specific aspects of culture (not provided for elsewhere education, language, medicine, art)
    • Iranian incantation bowls
    • Religious institutions
    • Institutions pertaining to the sexes
    • Marriage and the family (Including kinship)
    • Institutions pertaining to death
  • Communities
  • Planning and development (Including community participation
  • Movement of people to, from, within communities
    • Structure
    • Specific kinds of communities (Including  rural & urban)
  • Social welfare
  • Customs, etiquette & folklore
    • Personal appearance (Including tattooing)
    • Customs of life cycle & domestic life
    • Death customs
    • General customs
8.2 Art & Archaeology

The Library develops and maintains collections on all aspects of art, archaeology and architecture of the regions and individual countries of the Middle East and Central Asia.

  • Art general and philosophy of arts
  • Archaeology general (theories, methods etc.)
  • Civilisation (arts)
  • Inscriptions and epigraphy
  • Architecture and gardens
  • Christian art [Byzantine art]
  • Islamic art
  • Jewish art
  • Sculpture
  • Paintings and calligraphy (print making and prints)
  • Ceramic arts
  • Art metalwork
  • Numismatics
  • Lacquer and art woodwork
  • Jewellery
  • Textile arts and costume
  • Rugs and carpets
  • Other arts
8.3 Diaspora, Migration and Ethnic Minority Studies
  • Migration, Social Science aspects
    • Afghanistan : Migration, remittances, diaspora, return migration, and Iraqi diaspora remittances
  • Ethnic groups
  • International migration and colonisation, Political aspects
  • Immigration, Political aspects
  • Emigration, Political aspects
  • Refugees
  • Slavery and emancipation
8.4 Development Studies
  • Aid
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Environment/Natural Resources
  • Famine & Food Security
  • Globalisation
  • Health Issues [also includes HIV/AIDS]
  • Industrialisation
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Statistical Data
  • Urbanization
    • Post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East
8.5 Economics
  • Economies of the whole MENA region
  • Economic systems, schools, theories
  • Econometrics
  • Economic Situation and Conditions
  • Labour Economics
  • Money, banking and finance
  • Land and Property
  • Environmental economics, Natural Resources and Energy
  • Socialism and Related Systems
  • International economics
  • Multilateral Economic Cooperation
  • Rural Economics & Agriculture
  • Development and Growth
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Political Economy
    • Privatisation in Turkey
  • Comparative Economics
8.6 Finance & Financial Management
  • Financial Economics
  • Banks and Money
    • Islamic Banking and Finance
  • Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business and Ethics
  • Corporate Finance
8.7 Gender Studies
  • Gender issues in the Middle East
    • Especially in Iran and Israel
  • Gender and conflict in the Middle East
  • Women and feminism
    • Especially in Iraq
  • Men and masculinity
    • Especially in Iraq
  • Politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) rights advocacy in the Middle East
8.8 History
  • Cultural history
    • Medieval Arab philosophy and science
    • "Private life"
    • Ottoman biography and the history of private life
  • Decolonization
  • History of the book / reading
    • School textbooks on history
    • History of reading
    • Arab codicology
  • History of education
    • Intellectual History of the Middle East
  • History of religions
    • Ancient Near Eastern faiths
    • Eastern Christianity
    • Islam and Islamic theology [Kalam especially]
    • Minority religions
    • Shi'ism
    • Sufism
  • Historiography
    • Islamic historiography
    • Armenia
    • Diaries, memoirs etc ("less popular sources")
    • Arab historiography
  • Pre-Islamic history
    • Iran / Persia [Pre-Islamic Iran]
  • Medieval history
    • Ayyubids
    • Crusades
    • Egypt
    • Iran / Persia
    • Jerusalem
    • Kurdistan
    • Mamluks
    • Mongols
    • Ottoman Empire
    • Silk Road
    • Syria
  • Modern history
    • Egypt
    • Jerusalem
    • Kurdistan
    • Ottoman Empire
    • Palestine
    • Iran [16-20th Century Iranian History ; Iran’s WWI links with Germany and India]
  • Slavery and emancipation
  • Social class
    • Medieval period
    • Outcasts
  • Social history
    • Cities and urban spaces
    • Cities in Iran
  • 20th century history
    • Balkan countries (formerly Ottoman)
    • Jerusalem
    • Kurdistan
    • Near East region in World War 1
    • Ottoman Empire
    • Palestine [History of Israel-Palestine conflict]
    • Turkey [History of social change, literacy, leading up to the Turkish Republic; Early Turkish Republic]
  • 21st century history
    • Jerusalem
8.9 Languages
  • Semitic Languages   
    • Arabic    
    • Arabic Dialects [especially Bedouin dialects]
    • Hamito-Semitic languages
  • Iranian Languages            
    • Northeastern
      • Avestan [Pre-Islamic Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian]
    • Southeastern
      • Pashto    
    • Northwestern    
      • Kurdish
    • Southwestern    
      • Middle Persian
      • Modern Persian [esp. Persian translation studies, Persian language acquisition]
      • Persian Dialects
  • Turkic Languages
    • Southwestern (Oghuz Turkic)
      • Turkic linguistics
      • Turkish
      • Azeribaijani
      • Turkmen
      • Early Anatolian Turkish]
    • Modern Turkish
      • Turkic linguistics
8.10 Law
  • Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
  • Civil & Human Rights law
  • Commercial & Company law [focuses on UAE and Islamic Law]
  • Competition
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional & Administrative law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal law & Procedure
  • Discrimination & Equality
  • Employment and Labour law
  • Family law [including Islamic Family Law]
  • Financial law [focuses on Islamic finance and foreign investment law]
  • Gender
  • Immigration & Nationality  
  • Information Technology Law
  • Inheritance, Succession, Trusts
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Law [specifically Public International Law in relation to Israel/Palestine situation]
  • Justice
  • Law & Development
  • Law Reform
  • Legal History
  • Legal Systems [incl. Customary, Civil, Common & Islamic etc.] [specifically Islamic Law, Muslim law, Egypt, Gulf, Palestine and laws of Middle East, Afghanistan, Israel]
  • Nationality & Citizenship
  • Philosophy and Theory of Law
  • Trade
  • The Library has national responsibility to collect legal materials (law reports, legislation, official gazettes) for:
    • Middle East (except Common & Civil jurisdictions)
    • Specifically the Gulf States
    • Yemen
    • Israel (Hebrew material)
8.11 Linguistics
  • Language (Interdisciplinary works on language and literature)
  • Philosophy & theory
    • Language and communication (including semiotics)
    • Psychological principles (including language acquisition)
  • Language education and research
  • Treatment of language with respect to kinds of persons and groups
  • Geographic sub-division of Language
  • Linguistics
    • History and description with respect to kinds of persons
  • Writing systems
  • Etymology
  • Phonology & phonetics
  • Grammar
    • Syntax
    • Stratificational linguistics
    • Systemic linguistics
    • Grammatical analysis
  • Style in Linguistics and language
  • Dialectology & historical (diachronic) linguistics [especially Linguistic change in modern Turkey]
    • Pidgins and creoles
  • Standard usage & applied linguistics
    • Translation and interpretation
    • Applied linguistics in language teaching & Second language acquisition
    • Language disorders
    • Reading
  • Structured verbal languages other than spoken and written ( including Mathematical linguistics & Sign languages)
8.12 Literature & Literary Criticism
  • Rhetoric and collections
  • Rhetoric of fiction
  • Rhetoric of essays, speech, letters, humour and satire
  • Collections of literary texts from more than two literatures
  • Comparative literature of the Middle East
    • Translation studies
    • Cross-cultural reception of literature
  • History, description, critical appraisal
    • Early Ottoman literature
    • Classical Arabic prose literature and adab
    • Arabic popular literature
    • Nation and Nationalism in Middle Eastern Fiction (in translation)
    • Politics and Aesthetics in Modern Arabic Literature
  • Poetry, History and criticism
    • Modern and Classical Iranian poetry
  • Drama, History and criticism
  • Fiction, History and criticism
    • Modern Arabic literature
  • History and criticism of essays, speech, letters, humour and satire
  • Literature displaying specific features, more specifically:
    • Oral literature, esp. Bedouin, Al Dhafir, Mutair, Al Murrah and Rwalah tribes
    • Sufi spiritual literature in Iran
    • Feminist literature and criticism
    • Historiography in the Middle East
    • Exile literature by multilingual Iranian writers
    • Muslim literature (al Jamiada)
  • Theory and practice of literary text analysis
8.13 Media & Film Studies

Political Media, Broadcasting, Mediated Communication, Media Production, Media and diaspora, especially:

  • Journalism
  • Sociology of Journalism (with cultural and policatal aspects)
    • Representations of trauma, conflict, war reporting, suffering, crisis communication
    • Iran and political communication, social movements, women’s movement, resistance politics and gender
  • Mass media and communication
    • Print media
    • Television studies
    • Radio
  • Digital culture and development of technology
  • Global media
  • Cinema
8.14 Music
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology
    • Gender and music in the Middle East
  • Philosophy and theory
    • Aesthetic and political theory of music in Israel
  • Education and research
  • History of music
    • Music of the Eastern Mediterranean [esp. Cyprus]
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Christianity
  • Religious music : Islam
    • Islamic ritual performance
  • Religious music : Judaism
    • Music and Sound in Jerusalem, Israel and Palestinian territories
  • Vocal Music [Qur'anic recitation]
  • Songs
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.15 Politics & International Studies
  • Political Theory
  • Research Methods
  • The State
  • Comparative Government
  • Systems of Governments and States
  • Political Ideologies
    • Palestinian nationalism
  • Political Situation  and Conditions
    • Political communication and digital politics in Iran
    • Iranian gender movements
    • Histories of colonisation and liberation in the Middle East
    • Palestinian prisons and policing
    • Popular mobilisation in the Middle East
  • Relation of the State to Religious Organisations
  • Relation of the State to Labour Movements
  • Relation of the State to Business and Industry
  • Relation of the State to Political Action Groups
  • Relation of the State to Armed Forces
  • Civil and Political Rights
  • The Political Process
  • Political Parties
    • The "Green Movement" in Iran
  • International Organisations
  • Election systems and Procedures
  • Migration
  • Colonization
    • Colonisation, imperialism and Palestine.
  • Slavery and Emancipation
  • International Relations
    • Iraqi diaspora politics
  • Foreign Policy & Specific Topics in International Relations [e.g. foreign aid, international conflict, use of force]
    • Israel-Palestine conflict
    • Political violence and gender, feminism, refugees, immigration and the Israel-Palestine conflict
    • War, conflict, counter-insurgency, international laws of war in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    • Palestinian transnational movements
  • Diplomacy
  • Political Economy
  • Political Violence
  • Energy Policy
8.16 Pure and Applied Sciences
  • The Library does not acquire material on the pure sciences, except works relating to the history of science.
  • The Library collects material on the applied sciences where such works are of an interdisciplinary nature and cover issues such as economic, social, political and development studies.
  • Works of an Interdisciplinary nature includes economic, political and social aspects relating to subjects such as:
    • Irrigation and water resources
    • Agriculture, forestry and land use
    • Medicine and public health but not scientific and technical aspects:
      • Linguistic works on flora and fauna
      • Works on traditional and indigenous medicine and medicinal plants
      • History of medicine
      • Medical anthropology
      • Social and political aspects of disease and public health
    • Environmental and ecological works that are related to development, politics and economics
    • Works on human ecology
    • Material on intermediate and sustainable technologies related to development issues.
8.17 Religion & Study of Religions
  • Islam
    • Islam and the Qur'an (translations and commentaries)
    • Islam and Islamic philosophy
    • Islam and Secularism
    • Secularism  in Turkey
    • Islamic law
    • Jihad
    • Islamic theology
    • Kalam and Fiqh
    • Modern Islamic scholarship, especially Tafsir and Fatwas
    • Messianic movements (Baba & Bah'ai)
    • Qur'anic studies
    • The Qur'an: language, style and translations in English
    • Relations between Islam and other religions
    • Christian-Muslim relations in Egypt
    • Muslims in Europe and other Western countries
    • Islam in Central Asia
    • Islam in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Java)
    • Sufism and mysticism
    • Sufi movements in Turkey
    • Comparisons between the Eastern Christian and Islamic tradition, esp. mystical sources (Sufism) in 6th century Syriac and Arabic sources
  • Christianity (Eastern)
    • Aramaic-speaking Christian communities
    • Armenian Orthodox Church
    • Byzantine Church
    • Coptic Church
    • Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches
    • Syriac Church [Especially in Turfan, Iraq]
    • Literatures of all the above
    • Monastic traditions of all the above
  • Non-Islamic faiths of the Middle East
    • Non-Chalcedonian churches (Iraq)
    • Mandaeans
    • Manichaeism
    • Zoroastrianism (and Mithraism)

Coverage:Central Asia

Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:

The Middle East & Central Asia section covers a very wide area both geographically, stretching over three continents, and linguistically, with languages that are spoken from the western tip of North Africa to the farthest reaches of Siberia.

In broad terms the section comprises material on the Arab Middle East (including Egypt and areas formerly under Arab rule like Spain and Sicily) and Arabic; Iran and Iranian languages – ancient and modern (including ancient Persia and its religions); Turkey (including parts of the Balkans formerly under the Ottoman Empire) and Turkish; the Caucasus and Caucasian languages; and Afghanistan and the Republics of former Soviet Central Asia.      

The division of Central Asia in SOAS Library between the Middle East and the China collections is based on the Turkic languages and peoples being in the former, and the Mongolian and Tibetan languages and peoples in the latter.  

The Library has a national responsibility to collect material for North Africa, including Libya but not Egypt (all subjects) within the framework of the specialist acquisition programme defined by the Middle East Librarians Committee in the UK (MELCom UK).

For more information on MELCom UK see http://www.melcom.org.uk/

Teaching

The collection aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Middle East Department and Regional & Departmental Centres.

Research

The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below:

Languages Classification Tables

For details on the language classification tables see Linguistic subject statement
The linguistic spread of the Middle East collection is extremely wide. The one Semitic language, Arabic, comprises the bulk of the collection and includes works on all subjects with special emphasis on Islam, Arabic language and literature and Middle Eastern history.  There is a particular focus on works in Arabic from and about the countries of North Africa.
Iranian languages include more than seventeen ancient and modern languages, principally Modern Persian (Farsi), but also significant collections in and on Old Persian, Balochi, Kurdish and Pashto.
The Turkic languages collection includes Turkish (by far the largest) and also sixteen derived languages – most prominently Uzbek, Uighur (Uygur), Azeri and Kazakh.

Religions Classification Tables

For details on the religions classification tables, see Religions subject statement
The Middle East and Central Asia region harbours a vast amount of belief systems that have spread worldwide over the centuries, or endured through time locally: the monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and their mystic branches) but also Bahaism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, etc.

8. Detailed Structure

The main subject areas of collecting for Central Asia are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy.

8.1 Anthropology & Sociology
  • Social interaction
  • Social Process
    • Social change (Including contact between cultures)
    • Conflict (Including terrorism)
  • Factors affecting social behaviour
    • Population (Including genocide)
    • Movement of people, migration and forced migration
      • Transnationalism
  • Social groups
    • Religious groups
      • Armenia: Christian-Jewish relations
    • Language groups
    • Racial, ethnic, national groups
      • Especially Ethnic relations between Central Asian and Caucasian Peoples
    • Occupational and miscellaneous groups
  • Culture & institutions
    • Anthropology of Islam in Central Asia
  • Communities
  • Social welfare
  • Customs, etiquette & folklore
    • Personal appearance (Including tattooing)
    • Customs of life cycle & domestic life
    • Death customs
    • General customs
8.2 Art & Archaeology

The Library develops and maintains collections on all aspects of art, archaeology and architecture of the regions and individual countries of the Middle East and Central Asia.

  • Art general and philosophy of arts
  • Archaeology general (theories, methods etc.)
  • Civilisation (arts)
  • Buddhist art
  • Islamic art
  • Sculpture
  • Paintings and calligraphy (print making and prints)
  • Numismatics
  • Jewellery
  • Rugs and carpets
8.3 Diaspora, Migration and Ethnic Minority Studies
  • Migration, Social Science aspects
    • Modern Central Asia diaspora
  • Ethnic groups
  • Ethnic minorities and human rights
  • Ethnic relations
  • International migration and colonisation, Political aspects
  • Immigration, Political aspects
  • Emigration, Political aspects
  • Refugees
  • Law pertaining to migration
8.4 Development Studies
  • Aid
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Environment/Natural Resources
  • Famine & Food Security
  • Globalisation
  • Health Issues [also includes HIV/AIDS]
  • Industrialisation
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Statistical Data
8.5 Economics
  • Development & growth
    • Armenia: Armenia as a transition economy
    • Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan as a transition economy
8.6 Finance & Financial Management
  • Banks and Money
    • Islamic Banking and Finance
  • Distribution of Income and Wealth
  • Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business and Ethics
  • Corporate Finance
8.7 Gender
  • Gender issues in Modern Central Asia
8.8 History
  • History of religions [includes Christianity]
  • Medieval history (500-1499) [Silk Road cultures]
8.9 Language
  • Iranian Languages
    • Northeastern
      • Avestan [Pre-Islamic Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian]
    • Southeastern
      • Pashto
    • Northwestern   
      • Kurdish
    • Southwestern    
      • Middle Persian
      • Modern Persian [esp. Persian translation studies, Persian language acquisition]
      • Persian Dialects
  • Turkic Languages
    • Southwestern (Oghuz Turkic)
      • Turkic linguistics, Turkish, Azeribaijani, Turkmen. Early Anatolian Turkish
    • Modern Turkish
    • Northwestern (Kipchak Turkic)
      • Kazakh
    • Southeastern (Uyghur Turkic)
      • Turkic linguistics, Uyghur, Kyrghyz, Tatar, Uzbek
    • Northeastern (Siberian Turkic)
      • Oghur Turkic       
  • Caucasian languages
    • North Caucasian languages (Abkhaz-Adyghe and Dagestanian) [Structure of Abkhaz, Structure of Adyghe]
    • South Caucasian languages (Kartvelian)
    • Georgian [Georgian linguistics]
  • Indo European languages            
    • Armenian [ East and West Armenian]
8.10 Law
  • Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
  • Civil & Human Rights law
  • Commercial & Company law
  • Competition
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional & Administrative Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal law & Procedure
  • Discrimination & Equality
  • Employment and Labour law
  • Family law
  • Financial law
  • Gender
  • Immigration & Nationality
  • Information Technology Law
  • Inheritance, Succession, Trusts
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International law (generally)
  • Justice
  • Law & Development
  • Law Reform
  • Legal History (generally)
  • Legal Systems
  • Nationality & Citizenship
  • Philosophy & Theory of Law (generally)
  • Trade
  • The Library has national responsibility to collect legal materials (law reports, legislation, official gazettes) for:
    • Central Asia (vernacular language materials)
8.11 Linguistics & Language Studies
  • Philosophy & theory
    • Language and communication (including semiotics)
    • Psychological principles (including language acquisition)
  • Linguistics
    • History and description with respect to kinds of persons
  • Grammar
    • Syntax
    • Stratificational linguistics
    • Systemic linguistics
    • Grammatical analysis
  • Dialectology & historical (diachronic) linguistics
  • Turkic linguistics
8.12 Literature & Literary Criticism
  • West Armenian literature, literary criticism in Armenian
8.13 Media & Film Studies

The library is actively supporting teaching needs in that field.

8.14 Music
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
    • Uyghur Maqam tradition
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Islam
  • Vocal Music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Operas
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
  • Composers
8.15 Politics & International Studies
  • Research Methods
  • The State
  • Systems of Governments and States
  • Political Ideologies
  • Political Situation  and Conditions
    • Modern Central Asia: Post-Soviet political change
    • Kazakhstan: Politics of language, ethnicity and nationalism in post-Soviet countries
  • Relation of the State to Religious Organisations
  • Relation of the State to Labour Movements
  • Relation of the State to Political Action Groups
  • Relation of the State to Armed Forces
  • Civil and Political Rights
  • The Political Process
  • Political parties
  • International Organisations
    • Political Parties The "Green Movement" in Iran
  • Election systems and Procedures
  • Migration
  • Colonization
  • International Relations
  • Foreign Policy & Specific Topics in International Relations [e.g. foreign aid, international conflict, use of force]
  • Diplomacy
  • Political Economy
  • Political Violence
  • Energy Policy
8.16 Pure and Applied Sciences
  • The Library does not acquire material on the pure sciences, except works relating to the history of science.
  • The Library collects material on the applied sciences where such works are of an interdisciplinary nature and cover issues such as economic, social, political and development studies.
  • Works of an Interdisciplinary nature includes economic, political and social aspects relating to subjects such as:
    • Irrigation and water resources
    • Agriculture, forestry and land use
    • Medicine and public health but not scientific and technical aspects:
      • Linguistic works on flora and fauna
      • Works on traditional and indigenous medicine and medicinal plants
      • History of medicine
      • Medical anthropology
      • Social and political aspects of disease and public health
    • Environmental and ecological works that are related to development, politics and economics
    • Works on human ecology
    • Material on intermediate and sustainable technologies related to development issues.
8.17 Religion & Study of Religions
  • Central Asia
    • Buddhism
      • Tibetan Buddhist texts
    • Christianity
      • Syriac Christianity
    • Islam
      • Qur'an and religious education in Central Asia
    • Manichaeism
    • Shamanism
    • Sufism
  • Armenia
    • History and Patristics of the Armenian church
    • Armenian-Syriac, Armenian-Byzantine relations
    • Christianity (Orthodox)

E-Resources

9. Major Databases

General Databases
  • A-to-Z Electronic Journals
  • Cambridge Books Online
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • Dawsonera
  • EBSCOhos
  • Index to Theses  
  • InformaWorld
  • IngentaConnect
  • International Bibliography of the Social sciences (IBSS)
  • ISI Web of Science
  • JSTOR
  • Oxford Journals Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Project MUSE
  • Sage Journals Online
  • Wiley Online Library
  • WorldCat
  • Zetoc
Subject Specific Databases
  • BABO: Bibliography of Arabic Books Online (Brill)
  • Brockelmann Online (Brill)
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam (2 and 3) (Brill)
  • Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān (Brill)
  • Encyclopedia Iranica
  • Index islamicus (Brill)
  • Middle East and Central Asia Studies
  • MideastWire
  • Oxford Islamic Studies Online

10. Online Subject Guides

For more information and online resources see the Middle East & Central Asia Library Subject guide

For more information and online resources see the Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica Library Subject guide

For other databases SOAS subscribes to, see A-Z databases list

Future

11. Trends for the Future

Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library retains one endeavours to provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.), where available.
  •  For subjects of a theoretical, general or non-regional nature the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.) is favoured.