Middle Eastern Studies Collection Development Policy


The Middle Eastern collection supports faculty research, and graduate and undergraduate instruction for the program in Middle East Studies [MES] and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies [CMES] http://www.cmes.ucsb.edu/index.html . The Center does not grant any degrees, but coordinates the work of faculty and students who emphasize the Middle East in a number of departments and programs, including MES. MES grants a BA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies and helps "graduate students in the various disciplines to obtain appropriate language and area-studies training as part of their degree programs…."

Middle Eastern Studies at UCSB is truly interdisciplinary. The major portion of course offerings are to be found in the departments of Religious Studies (which includes courses on Middle Eastern languages) and History, but other departments such as Music, Comparative Literature, History of Art and Architecture, Anthropology, Law and Society, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Global Studies, and Performing Arts also offer courses on the area. Courses defined as "Middle East Studies" cover the Middle East in its broadest sense: ancient through modern Middle East and North Africa and the Islamic world; early and eastern Christianity; and Judaic studies as it relates to the Middle East region.

Scope of the Collection

Subject areas: history, literature, language, and religion (primarily Islam, but also other faiths originating or practiced in the Middle East) are the major emphases. Politics, music, performing arts, anthropology, sociology, and fine arts are also collected.

Geographical coverage: Middle East and North Africa (Afghanistan to Morocco) and Middle Eastern peoples and Muslims in the diaspora. Islam in South/Southeast Asia and the Balkans, Central Asia, India, and "Sudanic" Africa are also collected, but are done in coordination with other collection managers.

Chronological coverage: Ancient to contemporary.

Languages collected: Scholarship and translations primarily in English, but also in French and German. Spanish and Italian works are also collected to a lesser degree. Russian, Dutch, and other European languages are collected as needed. Regional language coverage is of primary and some secondary materials. Because of the program emphases and the volume of publishing, Arabic is the most heavily acquired. Hebrew (modern and Biblical) and Persian are also collected. Turkish is collected at a very basic level.

Publication types and formats

Scholarly works and translations in European languages and primary literary, historical, and political sources are collected to support undergraduate study and graduate and faculty research Textbooks are usually not collected except for major language instruction textbooks and area surveys that fall within the scholarly category.

Printed monographs and journals form the bulk of the Library's collections in MES, but materials in other formats are also acquired . The Library regularly purchases documentary and feature films and CDs. Online resources in the field of Middle East Studies are not numerous, but when they are available, serious consideration will be given to acquiring them. The Library has a small collection of representative area and/or language newspapers both for current and archival use.

Cooperative relationships

The Library is an active member of MEMP (The Middle East Microforms Project) http://www.crl.edu/areastudies/MEMP/index.htm . MEMP's materials are housed at the Center for Research Libraries and available for the use of UCSB patrons.

The Library is also a participant in CALME (California Middle East Librarians) which was recently established to facilitate cooperative efforts among librarians with Middle East collection responsibilities. Members at this time are UCSB, UCLA, UCB, and Stanford.

Meryle Gaston
Middle East Studies Librarian
Area Studies Department
Davidson Library
(805) 893-7686
gaston [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu


Author: gaston [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Meryle Gaston)