Middle East

Middle East

Biographical dictionaries as the scholars’ alternative history of the Muslim community, by Wadad Al-Qadi. Pp. 23-75 in Organizing knowledge : encyclopaedic activities in the pre-eighteenth century Islamic world, ed. by Gerhard Endress ; Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2006, 234 p.


Arabic biographical dictionaries : a summary guide and bibliography, by Paul Auchterlonie. Durham: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1987. 60 p.
Widener | WID-LC | DS39.2.A2 Z993x 1987
--Offers a classified listing of "the best-known, fullest and most useful biographical dictionaries" (p. 1) for the classical and modern periods. Author, editor, translator, and title index. Includes both Arabic and European-language dictionaries, with 6-page list of “Works in Western Languages or by Westerners on Arabic Biographical Dictionaries.”
--Serves as a companion to Diana Grimwood-Jones’ article, Genealogy, biographical dictionaries and Who's Whos, pp. 78-100 in Arab-Islamic bibliography : the Middle East Library Committee guide (HOLLIS Record). 

Arabic biographical sources, classical and modern: a guide, by Ragai N. Makar and Judith F. Jarrow. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, Marriott Library, Special Collections Dept., Middle East Library, 1993, 181 leaves
--Extensive annotated bibliography of exclusively Arabic-language works, grouped by type, subject and country with author index.

Collective Biography

Arab-Islamic biographical archive

Arabian personalities of the early twentieth century / with a new introduction by Robin Bidwell. Cambridge, England ; New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Oleander Press, 1917, c1986. viii, 362 p., [2] leaves of plates : ill. ; (Arabia past & present ; vol. 19) Widener | Harvard Depository | DS244.49 .A73 1986   NIS
--Biographical information (often very brief) on over 3700 persons.  Compiled from reports of travellers and intelligence agents and originally (1917) published for internal use by the British Government.  Full text in Arab-Islamic biographical archive. 283511  Beale’s An oriental biographical dictionary  (originally 1881) also includes many figures not found elsewhere, although the transliteration is irregular.

Behn, Wolfgang. Concise biographical companion to Index Islamicus : an international who's who in Islamic studies from its beginnings down to the twentieth century. Leiden; Boston : Brill, 2004-2006. 3 v. 

Widener | WID-LC | OL 330.5 Bd. 76
--Essential source for information on authors writing in European languages on the Islamic world. Brief information on about 21,000 authors who have published in Index Islamicus, together with some other writers. Abbreviated sources with each article keyed to initial bibliography. Published as Handbuch der Orientalistik. Erste Abteilung, Nahe und der Mittlere Osten, 76. Bd. 

Bewley, Aisha Abdurrahman.  Muslim women : a biographical dictionary. London: Ta-Ha, 2004, 221 p. 
Widener | WID-LC | BP73 .B49 2004x
--Covers roughly 1700 women from many occupations, but especially Companions of the Prophet and scholars.  Largely from the beginning through the 13th century, but some later.   Glossary and list of “Women listed as having given allegiance to the Prophet” not included in main sequence. Glossary.

Biographical Encyclopedia of the modern Middle East and North Africa
Internet Archive full text (vol. 1 only)
--Includes over 300 individuals, with over 75% living figures.  Deceased figures include persons influential over the last two centuries. Emphasis on inclusion of wide range of occupations, including sports, entertainment, medicine, etc.  Includes Afghanistan. Articles with source lists.  Many articles discuss contemporaries associated with the main biographee. This material can be found via the index. There is a Nationality and Ethnicity Index and a substantial (64-page) subject index. Available online via the Gale Virtual Reference Library. 

100 great Muslim leaders of the 20th century / editor-in-chief, Mohd. Manzoor Alam ; editors, Z.M. Khan ... [et al.]. New Delhi : Institute of Objective Studies : Marketed by Genuine Publications & Media, 2005, 485 p.
Widener  |  Harvard Depository    |  DS432.M84 A13 2005   F
--Arranged by major occupations: leaders and rulers, revolutionaries and freedom-fighters, ulema and jurists, writers and poets, educationists and social reformers. Table of contents gives names and countries. Includes living and deceased persons.  Includes persons living outside Muslim countries. Introduction with brief history of Islam in 20th century and historical maps. Terminal bibliography and list of web sites. Subject index, including countries and names mentioned in articles.

Ibn Khallik_n, 1211-1282. Ibn Khallikan's biographical dictionary / tr. from the Arabic by Bn Mac Guckin de Slane. Paris, Printed for the Oriental translation fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1842-71. 4 v.  ( Oriental translation fund ; 57)
 Widener | Harvard Depository | Asia 1590.3

Shimoni, Yaacov. The Biographical dictionary of the Middle East. New York: Facts on File, c1991.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC DS62.4.B56 1991   NIS
Internet Archve full text
Includes about 500 20th century figures, living and deceased, of political significance, with author's assessment of their importance and some portraits. Full text in Arab-Islamic biographical archive. 283511   Other sources for political persons are Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa: a biographical dictionary and the Dictionary of modern Arab history : an A to Z.

Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa

Beale’s An oriental biographical dictionary includes many figures not found elsewhere, although the transliteration is irregular.


Who's who in the Arab world. Beirut : Publitec Editions, v. ;
Widener | RR 1634.6 Latest  (03/04) Widener | Asia 1590.2 Earlier  Current 03/04   NIS
--The 18th ed. (2007-2008) includes about 6000 persons in a wide variety of occupations in 19 Arab countries. Index by profession for each country.  Also offers succinct country surveys providing political and economic summaries and directories of key institutions. Indexed (6th ed, 1981/82) in Biography and genealogy master index. 160047    Full text of 2nd (1967)  and 16th  (2003/04) eds.  in Arab-Islamic biographical archive.

Earlier sources:

The International who's who of the Arab world has about 3500 entries (3rd ed., 1987) on persons in all walks of life. lncludes expatriates. Terminal list of biographees by country, then by occupation or field of activity. Eds. 1-3 (1978, 1984, 1987/88) published. Full text of 3rd ed. (1987/88) in Arab-Islamic biographical archive. 283511 

The Middle East, 1948-1963   HOLLIS Record

The Middle East and North Africa, 1964-  HOLLIS Record

  • Included “Who's who in the Middle East" section (including Sudan) from 1948-1982/83, containing around 400 (1948) - 700 (1982/83) entries on both Middle Easterners and Europeans. Initially included 12 countries (including Afghanistan) with more, including Israel, added later.  Full text of eds. 1 (1948) and 11 (1965) in Arab-Islamic biographical archive. 283511 Eds. 25 (1978-79) - 29 (1982-83) indexed in Biography and genealogy master index. 160047

Who's who in U.A.R. and the Near East . Cairo, 1959.

Continues Who's who in egypt and the near east 379735 (1952-58; title varies) and Who's who in egypt and the middle east 379729 (1948-51).  Previously titled, Mondain égyptien, the Egyptian who’s who (1935?-1947) 379721. Includes (1959) Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Aden. Coverage has gradually expanded since 1935. First section, arranged by country, gives brief information on governmental officials, diplomatic representatives, and business firms. Who’s who section has roughly 10,000 entries with position, address, clubs. No birth dates or education. Full text (1949, 1952, 1955, 1959 only)  in World biographical information system.  


Collective Biography

Mouradian, George.   Armenian infotext / by George Mouradian.  Southgate, Mich. : Bookshelf Publishers, c1995.   x, 342 p. 
Widener | WID-LC | CT1919.A758 M686 1995
--Largely a biographical dictionary of roughly 600 living and deceased persons. Includes people important in Armenian history as well as Armenians in and out of Armenia.  Appendices: lists of Armenians in the U.S., former Soviet Union, Byzantine Empire, sports, etc. Short terminal annotated bibliography. 


Collective Biography

Milani, Abbas. Â Eminent Persians: the men and women who made modern Iran, 1941-1979. Â Syracuse, 2008. Â 2v index 
--Reviewed in 2009aug CHOICE.
--Biographies, largely 4-7 pages long, of 153 prominent individuals active in a wide range of occupations in prerevolutionary Iran (1941-1979), arranged by field of activity. Very few women. Substantial source notes often including interviews and archival research. Detailed index


Iran who's who. Tehran, Echo of Iran. v. Law School | B/IR 015 IRA
Widener | WID-LC | CT1866 .I7

Ed. 8 (2006) includes almost 2900 biographical sketches, in English, of persons in all fields. Many entries with photographs.  Gives languages spoken for each person. Biennial. Full text (eds. 1 and 7, 1971, 2003 only) in Arab-Islamic biographical archive.


See general Jewish sources.

Collective Biography

Judisches biographisches Archiv Jewish biographical archive. Munchen; New Providence: K.G. Saur Verlag, [1994?]-1995. LOCATION: Widener: Microfiche RR 42 Library has: 690 microfiches + booklet


Who's who in Israel and Jewish personalities from all over the world. Tel-Aviv : Bronfman, [1985- v. : ill. ; Widener | RR 1639.2 =Latest ed. Widener | Asia 9350.7 =Earlier Widener | Harvard Depository
--Latest ed. (2001) has about 2500 entries. Lists of government officials and section on public and private organizations, etc. Continues Who’s who in Israel and in the work for Israel abroad (title varies),  252929 1945-81. Full text (1992/93) in Jewish biographical archive.
--Continues Palestine and Transjordan who's who (1945/6), Palestine personalia (1947, Saur), Who's who in the State of Israel (1949), Who's who, Israel (ceased with 1968), and Who's who in Israel and in the work for Israel abroad (1970-1981).



Who's who in Lebanon. Beyrouth : Les Editions Publitec, v. ; 21-
Widener | RR 1638.5 Latest Widener | Ott 3796.5 Earlier

Includes (19th ed., 2007-2008) over 1500 persons. Index by profession. Includes sections on Lebanese institutions and general country information. Vols. for 1963/64-1973/74 in French; later in English.  Full text (eds. 1 and 17, 1963, 2003/04) in Arab-Islamic biographical archive.

Saudi Arabia


Who's who in Saudi Arabia. Sydney, Australia : Asia Pacific InfoServ Pty Ltd, 2006-    
--Almost 800 entries preceded by substantial country information.  Entries have addresses. Issued in loose-leaf form.  Different Who's who in Saudi Arabia  published 1976-1984. of which the 3rd ed. (1983/84) offers almost 1,000 brief English language sketches. Includes an index by field of endeavor. Indexed in Biography and genealogy master index (1976/77, 1978/79).  Full text (1st (1977) and 3rd (1984) eds. in Arab-Islamic biographical archive.

Who's who in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah, Tihama. v.
Widener | WID-LC | CT1890 .W47


Collective Biography

Moubayed, Sami M. 2006. Steel & silk : men and women who shaped Syria 1900-2000.  Seattle, WA : Cune, 623 p.
--Biographies of 341, largely deceased, Twentieth Century Syrians with sources.  Most entries have photographs. Entries grouped by occupation with initial alphabetical and occupational lists. Terminal bibliography, chronology, and lists of heads of state, prime ministers, and ministers of foreign affairs.


Collective Biography

 Isık, İhsan,  Encyclopedia of Turkish authors: people of literature, culture and science. Ankara : Elvan Publishing, 2005. 3 v. 1 CD-ROM in pocket of v. 1.
Widener  |  WID-LC Mid East    |  PL213 .I8713 2005x
--Includes 2023 20th century literary and scholarly authors, both living and deceased. Articles have lists of biographees’ works. Many articles with photographs.  Short terminal glossary of Turkish terms. Index of names mentioned in articles. Available online http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/BelgeGoster.aspx?17A16AE30572D313FFB2CB2AD591CE26E0D3FE4467ECCEB8
--Persons are chosen from the same authors larger (10,000 persons) work in Turkish, Türkiye Edebiyat, Kültür ve Bilim Adamlar Ansiklopedisi.


Mitler, Louis, Ottoman Turkish writers : a bibliographical dictionary of significant figures in pre-Republican Turkish literature. New York : P. Lang, c1988, 203 p.

Widener  |  WID-LC    |  PL213 .M48 1988   


Includes 98 authors, literary and non-literary.  Articles give available biographical information and lists of works and secondary sources. Compiled from several biographical dictionaries in Turkish.  Short terminal essay on terminology and a bibliography.   SUBMITTED

Turkish biographical archive

Süreyya Bey, Mehmet, 1845-1909. Sicill-i Osmanî / Mehmed Süreyya ; yayına hazırlayan Nuri Akbayar ; eski yazıdan akraran Seyit Ali Kahraman. Beşiktaş, İstanbul : Kültür Bakanlığı ile Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı'nın ortak yayınıdır, 1996-98. 6. v. 
Widener  |  WID-LC Mid East    |  DR438 .S87 1996x   

The “Register of the Ottomans” is still an important source. It serves as the national biography of Ottoman Turkey.  Pt. 1: Sultans and royalty, pt. 2: Ottoman and Seljuk notables, largely holders of state offices, but some scholars, Khans of Crimea, and governors of Mecca. Turkish translation from Ottoman Turkish and Latin script transliteration with name indexes.  There are also editions in Romanized Ottoman Turkish and in Turkish in Arabic script. Brief biography of author, under Mehmed Süreyya, in Historical dictionary of the Ottoman empire 337431 This and other Ottoman biographical compendia briefly discussed in Suraiya Faroqhi’s Approaching Ottoman history: an introduction to the sources  (pp. 161-163). 


G_n_m_z T_rkiyesinde kim kimdir : 1987-1988 = who is who in Turkey : 1987-1988. ÄÅãstanbul : 1987. 684 p. 

Widener WID-LC Mid East DR438 .G78 1997x F (1998).
--Includes Turks living in the U. S. and Cyprus.  Last ed. published apparently 8th ed. (for 2002). Full text of eds. 1-6 (1985-1999) in Turkish biographical archive.  Submitted

Who's who in Turkey.   Ankara : Cyclopedic Publications,  
Widener | Ott 3861.3  Note for record is :Holdings : 1958-1960 Full text of 1960 ed. in Turkish biographical archive. 

Turkey is represented in Who's who in Europe (eds. 1-3; 1964/65-1972)