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Ethiopian Studies Collection

Collection Details

Ethiopian Studies Collection held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The collection consists mostly of printed books: c. 640 items, of which only 190 are catalogued online. 4 non-current periodicals are also held.

History and development

Same as general holdings


The main areas of strength are: Ethiopic Literature (mostly in translation), where we hold c.180 items; Ancient and Medieval Ethiopia, c.70 items: Modern History of Ethiopia, with around 100 items. The collection also contains volumes on Ethiopian Christianity, Ethiopian politics, mostly concerning the reign of Haile Selassie and the succeeding military regime and some material on development (and underdevelopment) issues in Ethiopia.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Ethiopian collections of Durham University Library are split between: 1) A country-based sequence of older material, formerly held in the library's Oriental Section before its closure in 1987, classified in the Library of Congress classification scheme and not catalogued online 2) Post-1987 material and older material reclassified into Dewey and catalogued online, shelved as part of the main book sequence. All Ethiopian material is on open access apart from a small amount in store and items in all languages in the collection are shelved together.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.


Eritrea, Ethiopia.

Languages of material

Aramaic, English.


Development, History, Language, Literature, Politics and government, Religion.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Books, Serials.

Total size of collection

640 volumes, 4 periodicals

Size of collection - vernacular

14 volumes in Ethiopic

Size of collection - western

625 volumes, 4 periodicals

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

0 to 0 AD

Interlibrary loan procedure

Durham lends its Asian Studies material on the same basis as other material.

Collection Catalogue Information


Only 30% of Durham University Library's Ethiopian Studies material is catalogued in the OPAC. The rest - the material still classified in Library of Congress classification - is recorded in the library's manual catalogues - the Oriental Draft catalogue for material received up to 1975 and the Author catalogue, closed in 1990. These are available on Level 2 of the Main Library.

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