Skip to Main Content

Library Guide for Modern Middle East: Databases

Major Middle Eastern Studies Databases of Primary and Secondary Sources

Index Islamicus (EBSCO version): the international classified bibliography of publications in European languages on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world from 1906 until the present day. Material cited in the Index Islamicus includes work written about the Middle East, as well as the other main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, plus Muslim minorities elsewhere. It covers all the main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, as well as Muslims living elsewhere, and their history, beliefs, societies, cultures, languages and literatures.

Index Islamicus (ProQuest version): a bibliography of publications in European languages on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world, providing access to over 2,000 journals and series. It also covers conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works, and book reviews.

Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR) Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies: a list of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies collected since AMIR began on December 5, 2010. This includes an online listserv for which you can sign up to find out about new and emerging resources for Middle Eastern research (an online newsletter, in effect).

Alliance Israelite Universelle archives offers a huge amount of information on Jewish communities in the Mediterranean Basin as well as on French Jewry from the end of the 19th century through the first half of the Some material in the archive is available online, some is available in microfilm. A search of HOLLIS+ for “Alliance Israelite Universelle archives” finds 2,477 items, with collections arranged by country. You can search for the collections of a country simply by adding the country name to the search: “Alliance Israelite Universelle archives Tunisia” or “Alliance Israelite Universelle archives iran.”

Associated Press 4: Middle Eastern Bureaus Collection, 1967-2008: access to the records from some of the AP's most active international bureaus, delivering the stories behind the headlines from 1967 to 2009. With stories stemming from Jerusalem, Ankara, Beirut and their surrounding areas, these records include news stories in the form of typescript carbons or wire copy, the version that AP sent on to its member newspapers, which members were free to alter. Among the most covered topics are military operations, civil and global wars, diplomacy, refugees, cultural clashes, and terrorism, providing real-time insights into the second half of the twentieth century regarding issues of global importance that still impact the world today.  Go into Explore Collections to find the Middle East bureaus.

Confidential print: Middle East 1839-1969: the most important papers generated by the British Government’s  Foreign and Colonial Offices on the Middle East. Includes  one page letters, telegrams, large volumes or texts of treaties, and much more. All items marked “Confidential Print” were printed and circulated immediately to leading officials in the Foreign Office, to the Cabinet, and to Heads of British missions abroad. This collection includes the following classes from The National Archives, Kew in their entirety: CO 935/1-25 Middle East General, 1920-1956; FO 402/1-33 Afghanistan, 1922-1957; FO 406/1-84 Eastern Affairs (Middle East), 1812-1946; FO 407/1-237 Egypt/Sudan, 1839-1958; FO 416/1-113 Persia, 1899-1957; FO 423/1-70 Suez Canal, 1859-1947; FO 424/1-297 Turkey, 1841-1957; FO 437/1-9 Jordan, 1949-1957; FO 464/1-12 Arabia, 1947-1957; FO 481/1-17 Iraq, 1947-1969; FO 484/1-11 Lebanon, 1947-1957; FO 487/1-11 Middle East General, 1947-1957; FO 492/1-11 Israel/Palestine, 1947-1957; and FO 501/1-10 Syria, 1947-1956. All documents are full-text searchable.

JSTOR Middle East Studies: the searchable text of 61 full-text journals on the subject of Middle Eastern studies

The Middle East, abstracts and index: (print) first published in 1978 this print reference resource covers traditional scholarly literature relevant to interdisciplinary study of this region, along with the complete text of an extensive collection of primary source documents

Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies: an index to research, policy, and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa, with citations to scholarly journals and other periodicals, books, book reviews, book chapters, theses & dissertations,: bulletins, internet documents and grey literature, with about 12,000 citations added each year

Mideast English summaries, with links to original text as available, of news from 22 Arab countries, Iran, and the Arab media Diaspora covering from 2005 to the present

Multidata Online: provides full text from and bibliographic citations to selected newspapers and periodicals from the Arab world in Arabic, English, and French. The file consists of five databases: 1."General News" with full text covering 52 dailies and weeklies since 1994; 2. "Specialized Periodicals" with bibliographic citations from more than 225 specialized Arabic periodicals since 1920; 3. "Reviews" with full text book reviews from more than 250 newspapers and magazines in the Arab world from 1998; 4. "Theses" with a subject index to theses submitted to 21 Lebanese institutions of higher learning; and, 5. "Index Arabicus" documenting the contents of 42 Arabic periodicals published between 1870 and 1969. The database has both Arabic and English interfaces

Other Databases Useful to Middle Eastern Studies Researchers

ABSEES (American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies): includes material on Turkey and the Ottoman Empire

Academic Search Premier: a multi-disciplinary database that includes citations and abstracts from over 4,700 scholarly publications (journals, magazines and newspapers). Full text is available for more than 3,600 of the publications and is searchable.

AccessUNDP: index to reports of projects funded by the United Nations Development Programme and executed through a variety of agencies and organizations. Full texts of most reports are available in Microforms (Lamont) Microfiche S 535. Covers from 1972-1998.

Alt-Press Watch: a full text database of the newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and independent press. As a current and retrospective collection, Alt-Press Watch serves a broad spectrum of subject areas including the arts, media and popular culture, business and labor studies, education, environmental studies and ecology, global studies, history, journalism, literary and critical studies, political science, government and public policy, social science and more

Anthropological Index Online: published by the Royal Anthropological Institute in cooperation with the Centre for Anthropology, British Museum. AIO is the index to current periodicals held in the Anthropology Library at the Centre. Over 780 journals, published in more than 40 languages, are indexed on a continuing basis. From 2000-2001 a retrospective conversion was undertaken which has added some 100,000 records going back to 1957, citations that were originally published on paper as volumes 1-22 of Anthropological Index.

Anthropological Literature: an international resource published by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University and based on the collections of the Tozzer Library, Anthropological Literature indexes articles, reports, commentaries and obituaries found in nearly 700 journals and monographic series. Selected Open Access anthropology journals are indexed beginning in 2010. AL currently includes over 600,000 citations in more than 50 languages. A list of currently indexed journals can be found on the AL I-Site at

Anthropology Plus: a comprehensive, focused index covering publications in anthropology and related disciplines issued from the mid-19th century to the present. Social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology and archaeology (particularly prehistoric archaeology) are indexed comprehensively.

AnthroSource: contains full-text of journals and newsletters published by the American Anthropological Association. Text is searchable, but is displayed as PDF images. Content for years and titles included in JSTOR is drawn from there.

Armed Conflict Database: covers international and internal conflicts, as well as terrorism, incl. information on refugees and returnees, internally displaced persons, weapons used and their flows, fatalities, costs, historical backgrounds, and timelines. Users can generate reports, download data, and browse through year-by-year analysis and fact sheets online.

Art Full Text: a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from art and architecture periodicals published throughout the world. Full-text coverage for selected periodicals is also included. Periodical coverage includes English-language periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as periodicals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, Art Full Text indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals.

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials: indexes journal articles, essays, and book reviews in the field of religion. Citations cover all religions and all theological points of view. There are links from cited articles in more than 50 journals to page images of the articles themselves. Strong coverage from 1949-present, with some retrospective indexing back to 1881

Beginner's Guide to Locating and Using Numeric Data: this research guide created by Diane Sredl, the Data Services Librarian, provides a starting point for researchers who are new to using numeric data. It includes basic resources for locating data and using statistical software.

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO): provides access to a broad range of scholarly materials published from 1991 onwards, including working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals, and policy briefs. Maps, country data, topical course-packs, case studies, and a schedule of events and conferences are also available on this site, as is a monthly update service for new content provides over 75 country risk-related variables including political, economic, financial and government stability. Also includes domestic and international economic indicators, social indicators, ICRG Risk Ratings and Coplin-O'Leary Forecasts. Harvard has a full subscription to; you are not required to pay for the data even though a price will display. Simply click on the icons "Get Data" and "Proceed" to access the data. The subscription does not include PRS Online or ICRG Online. Data are displayed in a web browser or can be downloaded in comma-separated value (CSV) format for use in a spreadsheet program (such as Microsoft Excel) or statistical software program. Use the Data Wizard to select multiple countries and multiple indicators.

Dissertations and Theses Full Text: indexes dissertations and masters' theses from most North American graduate schools as well as some European universities since 1861. Provides full text for most indexed dissertations from 1990-present.

EastLaws: The Official Gazettes of a large set of Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, Egypt, the Emirates, Kuwaite, and Bahrain. You can request a training session through the organization, and search legislative records, judicial contents, international treaties, and more than 150 other sector-specific databases.

Ethnic NewsWatch: an interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish), and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press

FBIS Daily Reports (Foreign Broadcast Information Service daily reports) 1941 - 1996 consists of Daily Reports published from September 4, 1941 through 1996. Created by Presidential directive during World War II and at first placed under the Federal Communications Commission in 1941, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service [it has had several different names during its long history], was later transferred to the War Department, and then to the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947, where it resided until 1996. The original mission of FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. These translations, or transcriptions in the case of English language materials, make up the Daily Reports

Google Scholar: use this Harvard-proxied link to search for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. The service can be used to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Using this link gets you full-text for free.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text: a reference guide to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada, which are covered in America: History and Life). This database offers annotated references to information on topics from the Renaissance to the present. Currently over 1800 journals published throughout the world are covered in the database, including key historical journals from virtually every major country. Full text is available for over 300 journals and 100 books. All abstracts are written in English. In addition to articles, Historical Abstracts includes citations to historical books and to abstracts of dissertations completed worldwide of particular interest for historical research.

Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994: the United States Joint Publications Research Service was a government agency which translated foreign language books, newspapers, journals, unclassified foreign documents and research reports. Approximately 80% of the documents translated were serial publications. JPRS was the largest single producer of English language translations in the world, with an emphasis on communist and third world countries. More than 130,000 reports were issued between 1957 and 1994. In its early years JPRS concentrated heavily on scientific and technical material from communist countries. Gradually coverage broadened to include more non-scientific materials

JSTOR 19th Century British Pamphlets: a collection of the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century. The collection will eventually contain more than 20,000 pamphlets from seven UK institutions.

MLA International Bibliographyprovides access to scholarly research on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore in over 3,000 journals and series from 1926 to the present. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, bibliographies, and other formats

NEXIS Uni: (formerly Lexis Nexis), features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790—with an interface that offers quick discovery across all content types, personalization features such as Alerts and saved searches and a collaborative workspace with shared folders and annotated documents.

Periodicals Index Online: an index to the contents of thousands of journals in the humanities and social sciences, from the 18th century to the present. Covers journals from North America, the United Kingdom and the rest of the English-speaking world and journals in other European languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish. Includes the complete table of contents for each issue of each journal.

Philosopher's Index: a bibliographic database designed to help researchers easily find publications of interest in the field of philosophy. It contains over 600,000 records from publications that date back to 1902 and originate from 139 countries in 37 languages. The Index covers all subject areas of philosophy and related disciplines.

Project MUSE: access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals published by several university presses in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics

Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) International: indexes the public and social policy literature of public administration, political science, economics, finance, international relations, law, and health care, indexing publications in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

Religious and Theological Abstracts: summaries of articles in scholarly journals in the fields of religion and theology

Women's Studies International: citations and abstracts in this file are drawn from a variety of essential women's studies databases ranging from classic works & core studies to the latest scholarship in feminist research. Databases include Women Studies Abstracts, Women's Studies Database, Women's Studies Bibliography Database, MEDLINE Subset on Women, Women of Color and Southern Women: A Bibliography of Social Science Research, and Women's Health and Development: An Annotated Bibliography.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts: indexes the international journal literature in political science and its related fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy. Abstracts are provided for most citations and links to the full-text are included beginning in 2004 for records with ISSNs. Older records are based on the merged backfiles of Political Science Abstracts and ABC-Poli Sci.