The Arab World Documentation Unit - AWDU - located in the Research Commons Old Library provides unique collections, totalling over 100,000 items on Arab Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, United Arab Emirates as well as the wider Arab world including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. AWDU collects mainly documentary reference material such as statistical data, country reports, official publications, political opposition newsletters and Pan-Arab literature. The Unit holds substantial archival, historical and sociological material from the mid-18th century onwards, such as the Bombay Diaries (held in Special Collections - 16,000 selected photocopied pages from 1778 to 1820), as well as microfilms from British, American, Indian, French and Portuguese government archives and around 500 volumes of reproduced documents from the British Public Records Office published by Archive Editions. There are also important collections of private papers and diaries such as the valuable Uri Davis collection - containing 2600 volumes of books, 600 pamphlets and 400 volumes/boxes of periodicals mainly dealing with the Arab-Israeli Conflict, as well as microfiche holdings of documents on Palestine during the Mandate period and after 1948.
Combined with e-resources the Unit offers an excellent research environment for scholars and researchers. More on individual collections below but the best way to appreciate is to visit!
Note: Special Collections require advance notice if you wish to consult items held there e.g. The Bombay Diaries.
Arab - Israeli Conflict Collection
This substantial collection has been brought together from various sources and includes private libraries that are held and administered by the Unit. It consists of official publications of the PLO, the Israeli government, foreign governments and international organisations, and material from Palestinian organisations and solidarity groups. Other documentation includes archival material. Funds have been used to improve the archives by adding collections of historical official documents: a complete collection of UN resolutions from 1947-1991, British documents, published by Archive Editions as Palestine Boundaries, and American documents from 1910-1959 on microfilm.
Arab Countries Collections (non-Gulf)
This is arranged by country to cover the official publications, reports, statistics and legislation issued by governmental and non-governmental institutions in the Arab countries or their representatives in other countries.
The Unit holds most of the titles relevant to the Arab Gulf region, containing British documents up to 1963, and some of the original documentation that was collected by Archive editions but never published.
CAABU (Council for the Advancement of Arab British Understanding)
This collection is a press cuttings collection covering the years since 1967. This substantial collection of newspaper cuttings on the Middle East, from the British press has been collated in book form, and covers 4 decades. The collection is periodically updated.
Gulf Countries Collections
This mainly consist of material from government departments, central banks or monetary agencies, commercial banks and companies, and from other non-commercial sources in the country such as universities, research centres and institutes. Statistics, directories, reports and reference materials have also been included.
Gulf Information Project Collection
This was set up in 1991 to monitor the humanitarian effects of the Iraq - Kuwait war, and includes international reports and documents, press cuttings files, etc. The project was continued until 1995, and the consequent archive was then sent to Exeter. Some updated material has been added.
Gulf Microfiche Collection
This collection contains material on Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and incorporates Internal Publications (Administrative, Economic and Commercial and Non-commercial Institutions); External Publications; Descriptive Items and some Periodicals. There is a link to the Library catalogue records from here.
This section includes publications, yearbooks and guides from government sources, petroleum companies and International and regional organisations: Arab League, IEA, OAPEC, OPEC, UN, etc. The material covers annual reports and reviews, statistics, market trends and prices, energy profiles, conference proceedings and directories.
Press Cuttings Collections
MEPEP Press Cuttings 1967-1985 - A large collection from 1967 to 1985, divided into broad subject categories, and mainly in Arabic but including some English and European titles. There are sections on the 4th Arab-Israeli war, The Camp David Summit and Arab reactions, and the Middle East Political Situation.
Press cuttings donated by Michael Adams, & Hugh Mowat, 1977-2000 - Collections from 1977 to 2000, divided into subject files. Topics include progress towards peace 1977, Lebanon, Human rights, The Israeli election 1988, the Intifada 1987-88, and many more recent files. Updating material is donated regularly.
The Middle East in the world press, 1955-1982: a classified collection of the Arab Microfiche Institute press cuttings from 1955-1982 on microfiche, mainly in English but including some Arabic and European titles, with a yearly supplement on the Arab Israeli conflict. Link to Library Catalogue (OPAC) Records available here.