Over 2,500 rare books, publications, and archival collections, ranging from the 16th century to the present day.
The theme of exchange — whether cultural, scientific, or commercial — surfaces frequently in the publications collected in this area. Ranging from scientific and medical treatises originating in the Arab world, whose Latin translations circulated widely in Europe up through the Renaissance; to first-hand accounts of exploration and trade between the Arabian Peninsula and Europe, Africa, and South Asia; over 2,500 rare books and other publications, some dating back as far as the 16th century, sketch out the various ways that the Arab world has impacted and interacted with other parts of the world. Archival collections, rare publications, and ephemera also document various facets of the rapidly evolving societies of the Gulf region, the Arabian Peninsula, and the wider Indian Ocean rim.
The life and career of an influential Egyptian poet.
Traditional construction of Arabian dhows in the UAE.
Recordings and photos of Bedouin oral poetry.
There are over 25 distinct archival collections currently, filling nearly 170 linear feet (54 linear meters) of shelving space. Listed below are highlights from some of these collections. Expand for descriptions and finding aids of each of these highlights.
Papers, manuscripts, photographs, art works, ephemera, and realia of the Egyptian poet, publisher, physician, and bee scientist, Ahmed Zaki Abu Shadi (1892-1955), and his immediate family, documenting his literary activities in early 20th century Egypt, and subsequent life as an emigre in the United States. (20 linear feet, currently in process)
Business ledgers, financial records, property deeds, and correspondence that illustrate the role of Iranian merchants in Bahrain in the early to mid-20th century, and collected papers of other merchants and “native agents” who worked for the British Residency in the Gulf during the 18th and 19th centuries. (25 linear feet in 12 document boxes, 17 oversize boxes)
Photographs, documents, and related texts, about the history and traditional methods of constructing Arabian dhows, collected by British diplomat Paul Bergne during his posting in Abu Dhabi in the early 1970s. Includes photographs taken by Bergne at dhow construction sites in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (0.5. linear foot, 1 box).
Digitized audio files and associated metadata for hundreds of commercial sound recordings produced for East African audiences, and in particular, African and Arab audiences of the Swahili Coast, between the late 1920s and the first decade of the twenty-first century. Collected by musicologist and NYUAD professor Andrew J. Eisenberg.
Detailed bird-watching logs, and associated correspondence and documented, as compiled by a group of expatriate volunteers living in the UAE from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. These materials present some of the most extensive and detailed records of species of birds documented in the Emirates during this period. (in processing, 6.75 linear feet)
Books, periodicals, government publications, reports, magazines, newspapers, and other printed material related to the history of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, the oil industry in the region, and government publications, collected by historians Frauke Heard-Bey and David Heard, and reflective of their activities and interests during their half-century as residents of Abu Dhabi, from the 1960s onward. (68.37 Linear Feet in 111 boxes and approximately four flat oversize boxes, and 200 volumes)
Reports, correspondence, publications, news clippings, and audiovisual materials, chiefly related to the activities of British-born journalist, writer, archaeologist, and environmentalist Peter Hellyer in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates from the 1980s onward
Digital copies, in PDF format, of minutes of conference meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and associated documents, from the beginning of the conference in 1960 up to 1986, acquired by historian Giuliano Garavini during the research and writing of his book The Rise and Fall of OPEC in the Twentieth Century. (405 MB, 113 records)
Photographs, broadsheets, documents, periodicals, and books, related chiefly to the military service of Graham Anthony Hill, an officer with the British Army, who served with the Trucial Oman Scouts and Union Defence Force, in the early 1970s, in the Trucial States and later, the United Arab Emirates. (0.4 linear feet, 1 document box)
Raw footage created by an Armenian cameraman and documentary filmmaker, capturing the turbulent years of the late 1980s and early 1990s in the Caucasus, including demonstrations calling for Armenian independence from the Soviet Union, devastation from the 1988 Gyumri earthquake, and front-line combat in the enclave of Nargorno-Karabakh. (128 video recordings, 30 hours)
Extensive research materials, including copied archival documents, maps, and drafts of texts, from the late British historian of Eastern Arabia, J.B. Kelly (1925-2009). Including first-hand material documenting his role as an advisor to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Sultanate of Oman between the 1960s and 1980s, and photographs from his visits to the region.
Official reports, debates, correspondence, and opinion literature regarding the administration of British-controlled mandate Palestine, collected by Max Kreutzberger (1900-1978), a German-Jewish historian and social worker, and subsequent founder of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. (3.75 linear feet in 9 document boxes)
Field notes, transcripts, manuscript drafts, and research materials compiled by the Dutch diplomat and scholar of the Bedouin spoken-poetry of central Arabia. Includes original and rare source materials used by Kurpershoek in his doctoral dissertation on the Egyptian writer Yusuf Idris, including transcripts of original interviews with him. (8.5 linear feet, in 20 boxes, 120 books, oversize photographs, and maps)
A collection of books, pamphlets, brochures, postcards, maps, and other ephemera acquired by French journalist Paul Maubec (also known as Chris Kutschera) during his time as a journalist covering the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and the USSR. Much of the collection is made up of travel-related materials: maps, guidebooks, and exhibition catalogs, with a special emphasis on the Kurdistan region of Iraq. (2.5 linear feet in 2 records cartons, 1 document case, 2 oversize folders)
An extensive set of documentation about contemporary Arab artists, both in the region and the diaspora, assembled by art historian and NYUAD faculty member Mikdadi. Dossiers of over 200 such artists include correspondence, biographical documents, photographs, and audio- and video-recordings, forming one of the most comprehensive, publicly available research collections on this topic. Additional records document Mikdadi’s role as a curator designing and realizing exhibitions about contemporary Arab art in museums in the United States and elsewhere. (20.5 linear feet, 49 document boxes)
The Hiner Saleem film scripts collection consists of seven screenplays of films by Iraqi-born Kurdish filmmaker Hiner Saleem (born 1964). (0.4 linear feet, 1 document box)