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Queens Collection

Collection Details

Queens Collection held at University of Cambridge Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The collection contains publications on language, literature, history and archaeology of the ancient near East. In particular there are works on Biblical studies, medieval Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Arabic language and texts. There are publications on the archaeology of Egypt and the Levant. A small number of items on ancient Iranian studies, Sanskrit and Pali also included. The contents are mainly in European languages but there are significant number of publications in Hebrew and a small number in Syriac, Arabic, Coptic, Persian and Sanskrit. There is a collection of several hundred Bible translations in many European and Asian languages. A large proportion of the contents are early editions of critical and descriptive works by European oriental scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries which pre-date the main Faculty Library collections.

History and development

The collection consists of the oriental collection belonging to Queens' College, Cambridge, which was transferred to the Faculty on permanent loan in 1972. The collection grew out of the collections and interests of the oriental scholars of Queens' College. There are many books form the collection of William Wright (1830-1889), R.H. Kennett (1846-1932), and A.A. Bevan (1859-1923). The Bible collection belonged to Samuel Lee (1783-1852) a former Professor of Hebrew. The collection is primarily of nineteenth century items but some volumes date back to the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries. Little has been added to the collection since 1870.


Language and literary texts, especially Bible and related texts.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Queens' College Oriental Collection is shelved in the Faculty Library's basement store. The volumes retain the original Queens' College class-marks. The collection can be used for reference purposes only.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.

Languages of material

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac.


Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Communication and media, Economics, History, Language, Literature, Religion.

Languages as linguistic focus

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac.

Names relevant to the collection:

  • William Wright (1830-1889) R.H. Kennet (1846-1932) A.A. Bevan (1859-1923) Samuel Lee (1783-1852)

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types


Total size of collection

3,000 volumes

Size of collection - vernacular

400 volumes

Size of collection - western

2,600 volumes

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

1750 to 1899 AD

Collection Catalogue Information


Included in the Union catalogue of Departmental and College Libraries which is part of the Cambridge University on-line catalogue

Catalogue transliteration schemes

LCSH with local adaptations

Links to other collections

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