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Sudan Printed Books Collection

Collection Details

Sudan Printed Books Collection held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

Durham University Library has holdings of 4250 monographs on the Sudan, making it the library's largest country collection within the Middle East and North Africa collections. All of this material is online apart from a few recent accessions. The collection attempts to cover the whole range of the humanities and social sciences. Periodicals: there are only 2 current periodicals in stock on specifically Sudanese subjects, but there are 15 other non-current periodicals on the Sudan in the main collection alone and many further Sudanese periodicals are held in the Middle East Documentation Unit. Newspapers: the library contains broken runs or fragmentary holdings of many Sudanese newspapers. These are all recorded on the OPAC and are held in the University Library's Special Collections section at Palace Green. Theses: 5 Durham doctoral theses on Sudanese subjects.

History and development

The collection of monographs and other printed materials on the Sudan was built up originally as a by-product of the Sudan Archive, but in recent years it has grown to be a very substantial collection in its own right. It is now probably the largest collection in the UK of material from and about the Sudan, having received many generous donations of books, pamphlets and other printed materials, especially over the last six years or so. The library tries to collect all material, no matter where published, on the Sudan.


The collection is strong in virtually all areas of the humanities and social sciences, but has particular strengths in history and politics, particularly for the period of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium, 1898-1955; agriculture, rural development and irrigation; sociology & anthropology, including a great deal of information about the tribes and customs of the Sudan. The collection also contains a large amount of material on the geography of the Sudan, including a good collection of early narratives of travel and exploration in the Sudan.

General arrangement and access regulations

Durham University Library's Sudan Printed Material collection is available on open access in the Main Library, apart from a small amount of material in store. With a few small exceptions, it is held in the Library's Oriental sequences on Level 1 of the building. Within the sequence the collection is classified by subject using the Library of congress classification scheme. There are separate Reference and Periodical sequences, also shelved on Level 1. The collection is not subdivided by language, materials in all languages being shelved together.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.



Languages of material

Arabic, English, French, German.


Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Environmental sciences, Geography, History, Human rights, Industries, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Recreation, Religion, Science and technology, Sociology, Travel, Women.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Books, Newspapers (includes microfilm editions), Serials, Theses.

Total size of collection

4250 volumes, 17 periodicals, 15 newspapers, 5 theses

Size of collection - vernacular

700 volumes in Arabic, 4 newspapers

Size of collection - western

3550 volumes, 17 periodicals, 11 newspapers, 5 theses

Collection Management Information

The collection is being actively developed, and the average intake has fallen.

Annual intake

200 - 300 volumes per annum, depending on the volume of donations in any particular year.

Content date range

600 to present

Co-operative agreements

None, though Durham University Library does collect works from and about the Sudan under the MELCOM and SCOLMA specialisation schemes.

Collection Catalogue Information


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