Collecting Areas and Formats

The collections are grouped around five main thematic areas.

Arab Heritage and Gulf Crossroads

Over 2,500 rare books and publications, some dating back as far as the 16th century.

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.

Maps and Mapmaking

Cartography is not a static, impartial discipline, and this collection traces the evolution of maps of Arabia and its adjacent regions over the past five centuries. From a 16th century Venetian map based on Ptolemaic conceptions of the region, 17th-century plans designed for European seafarers traveling through the region on their way to India, and 18th- and 19th-century Ottoman atlases, to the works created by 18th- and 19th-century scientists and geographers, 20th-century hydrographic charts of the Gulf, or maps delineating sources of oil and shifting boundaries in the Arabian deserts: the maps collected here reflect a variety of interests, perspectives, and priorities.

Cinema and Filmmaking in the Gulf and Mashreq

Inspired by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which took place annually between 2008 and 2014, this collection originated with efforts to acquire copies of films that screened at that festival, in particular works of filmmakers from the UAE and the wider Gulf region. Additional works by filmmakers throughout the Arab world have been included, as those works have been used for teaching and research at NYUAD. To date, this collection comprises approximately 400 titles.

Photobook Collection

This collection of over 300 titles reflects the growing interest in photography as an art form, both within the UAE and in the programs and curriculum of the NYUAD campus. Begun in collaboration with Akkasah: The Center for Photography, at NYU Abu Dhabi, this collection seeks to pull together a representative collection of books created by photographers themselves, in which their works are framed and formatted according to their own aesthetic visions, and not merely compilations of their work produced by other editors.

Global Shakespeare Collection

The collection consists of 750 titles in over 25 different languages.

As part of the curriculum of NYU Abu Dhabi from its inception, Global Shakespeare studies have sought to take the works of one of the best-recognized names in the English literary canon, and examine what happens to those works when they are translated and performed in other languages and cultures. The collection consists of 750 titles in over 25 different languages, ranging from earliest European language translations in the 18th century, to more contemporary versions in languages ranging from Turkish, to Maori, to Welsh.

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Campus Center (C2), Floor 3
We are located in the back of the library, between Library Administration and the Campus Technology Center.

Brad Bauer
Librarian for Archives and Special Collections
Lauren Kata
Assistant Librarian for Archives and Special Collections