A Survey of Middle East Archives
Introducing a new HAPP series, A Survey of Middle East Archives
In a new series of blog posts on Sources and Methods, I will survey archives and research institutions in the Middle East relating to diplomatic history.
The surveys are based on months of research on the archival landscape in five countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and Iran. For each entry, I interviewed historians and librarians who have lived, worked, and studied in the region. I am extremely grateful that so many scholars were willing to share their insights about archival research in the region with me.
As each of the five posts will show, conducting research in the Middle East, particularly when studying modern diplomatic history, can prove difficult in the best of times. Limited resources, unclear classification laws, and often antagonistic government authorities can make the experience exhausting –even dangerous.
It is therefore important to have a sense of what one is getting into, and what one can hope to expect, before embarking on a research trip to the region.
The series is by no means exhaustive, nor is it intended as the final word on the matter. Rather, it is a first step in understanding and describing the potentially valuable holdings of archives in the Middle East. In the coming months, I plan to expand my survey to include additional countries in the greater Middle East/North Africa region, as well as valuable collections located outside of the region itself.
I hope readers will share their experiences conducting research in the Middle East with me, offer any necessary corrections, and point out missing information. The individual blog posts will eventually be compiled into a larger Working Paper and republished, and your comments could prove invaluable to making this a useful and reliable resource for future readers.
About the Author
History and Public Policy Program
The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs. Read more
Cold War International History Project
The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. Read more