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Johnstone Papers

Collection Details

Johnstone Papers held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

Working papers of T.M. Johnstone, reflecting in particular his research into Arabian dialects and MSA languages, his efforts to record these unwritten and dying languages and to compile lexicons. The collection includes material on Arabic and Arabic dialects, materials on the MSA languages, lecture notes and recordings of the spoken languages.

History and development

Thomas Muir Johnstone, Professor of Arabic in the University of London, was a distinguished authority on Arabic dialects and on a group of unwritten languages spoken in the Omani province of Dhufar and in Socotra. He travelled extensively in Eastern Arabia and Oman and published extensively on the subject. His papers were presented by his widow, Mrs. B. Johnstone, in 1983.


The strength of the collection is the large quantity of material on the unwritten languages of South Arabia gathered in one place.

General arrangement and access regulations

The papers are arranged in the order of the accession list. (The archive reference code for this collection is GB-0033-JOH).

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.



Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Audio materials (includes cassettes & CDs), Manuscripts.

Total size of collection

14 metres of papers

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

1960 to 1983 AD

Collection Catalogue Information


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