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Middle East and North African Collection

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Historical city of Petra in Jordan's Ma’an Governorate
Historical city of Petra in Jordan’s Ma’an Governorate

Helpful Information


Laila Hussein
Middle East & North African Studies Librarian
Assistant Professor, University Library

Subject (LibGuides) Guides

Related Pages

New Middle East Books 


The Middle East and North Africa Studies collection (MENA) at the University of Illinois is a part of the International Area Studies Library. The collection covers the region through the rise of Islam to the present and is developed to support the University’s centers and departments that offer courses related to the Middle East, North Africa, and the Islamic world.

The Middle Eastern Collection contains 85,897 total items. There are 66,577 items in Arabic including 61,630 books and 4,186 magazines and journals. In Hebrew there are 9,679 items total, 8,237 books, and 809 magazines and journals. In Persian there are 6,302 items total, 5,627 books, and 365 magazines and journals. And, in Turkish there are 3,339 items total, 2,054 books, and 967 magazines and journals.

The collection covers various disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences and includes languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Kurdish, Turkish, English, French, German, and Spanish. To locate non-Latin script language materials please follow the guideline set by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association, ALA-LC Romanization Tables.

This website is by no means a complete representation of the vast MENA collection however it serves as an entry way and portal to the digital and electronic resources available in the field.

If you have any questions or comments about using our collection, or wish to submit requests for new materials please contact Laila Hussein, Middle East & North African Studies Librarian.

Featured News

Sultan Qaboos Collection Gift


In October 2012, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies received a grant from the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. that included acquisition funds for a collection on Oman and Ibadi Islam. The Sultan Qaboos collection now includes 100 volumes , giving the Library of the University of Illinois one of the most comprehensive collections of its type in the Western hemisphere.

Papers of Charles C. Stewart, professor of history (1974-) contain a photocopy of a TEXT and commentary on the Koran by ‘Abd al- Jalil wuld Abd al-Rahman wuld Muhammadu wuld Muhammadu wuld al-Khattat wuld Sid A’mar (ca. 1900-65); Mauritanian Arabic manuscripts collection of Islamic and sub-Saharan African research material. These Arabic language manuscripts and printed documents, primarily from the 19th century, concern literature, law, Islamic religious texts and commentaries, Arabic language, and history.