Middle East & North African Collection


Laila Hussein, Middle East & North African Studies Librarian / Assistant Professor of Library Administration

University of Illinois
Main Library, Room 321

Library Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 9am-7pm
Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1-5pm


The first section of this webpage is a listing of general sites that provide access to free e-books. The second section provides available e-books more specific to the topic of the Middle East and North African studies. All links are FREE and OPEN ACCESS. 

  1. General Free E-Book Resources & Digital Libraries 
  2. Middle East & North African Studies Digital Books & Libraries

General Free E-Book Resources & Libraries 

Open Library

An open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published. Over 1,000,000 free e-book titles available. 


The HathiTrust Digital Library brings together the immense collections of partner institutions in digital form, preserving them securely to be accessed and used today, and in future generations.

Project Gutenbuerg

Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

Google Books

Search and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide.

Internet Archive Open Access Texts 

The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 10,000,000 fully accessible books and texts.

Middle East & North African Studies Digital Books & Libraries

Al Meshkat

A resource for Islamic books in Arabic. 

Al Waraq

A reource for Arabic books. 

Bibliotheca Alexandria Digital Assets Repository 

The Digital Assets Repository (DAR) is a system developed at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Library of Alexandria, to create and maintain the Library's digital collections.


A collection of e-books prepared by the Turkish Department of Culture and Tourism and Ministry of Information Systems


A multilingual (Arabic, Berber, French..) digital library that gives open access to scientific and documentary collections (archives, images, manuscripts, and prints) in humanities and social sciences of the Mediterranean region. 

Goussen Library Collection (Bibliothek Gouseen)

A specialist library for oriental church history with prints predominantly in oriental languages such as Syrian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Arabic, Armenian and Georgian languages from the 16th to the 20th century (the focus is on the 18th and the 19th century).

Ircica Farabi Digital Library 

A collection of digital reproductions of sources regarding history, art, culture geography, science and literature of Islamic countries and cultures.

MENALIB: The Middle East Virtual Library 

The Middle East Virtual Library (MENALIB) is an information portal for Middle East, North African, and Islamic Studies. It provides access to electronic fulltext materials or electronic bibliographical records of printed materials and manuscripts. The technical basis for this Virtual Library is maintained by the State- and University Library Saxony-Anhalt in Halle (Germany).

World Digital Library: Middle East and North Africa

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.


A scene from the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo, Egypt.

Photo: by Haddara (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons