Includes editions of cuneiform and other Semitic language texts, and studies, encyclopaedias, bibliographies and dictionaries. Virtually the whole range of humanities and sciences are covered. There are about 4,000 volumes, 45 periodical titles and a number of theses, several submitted to SOAS and others published by University Microfilms International.
History and development
Established at the beginning of the Library's existence. Collection development on a systematic basis after the establishment of chairs in Ancient Near Eastern cultures and Semitic languages in 1948 and 1961 respectively.
19th and 20th century texts and studies of Semitic languages and literatures, especially those of the Ancient Near East, and Ethiopia. One of the best collections in this area in Europe, and an excellent resource for teaching and research in the field.
General arrangement and access regulations
Chiefly open access, arranged by language. Periodicals in a separate sequence.
Subjects of the Collection
Regions of Asia
Near & Middle East and North Africa.
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey.
Languages of material
Akkadian, Amharic, Aramaic, English, French, Geez, German, Italian, Phoenician, Russian, Samaritan Aramaic, Semitic (Other), Syriac, Tigre, Tigrinya, Ugaritic.
Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Geography, History, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Religion, Science and technology, Sociology.
Languages as linguistic focus
Akkadian, Amharic, Aramaic, Geez, Phoenician, Samaritan Aramaic, Semitic (Other), Syriac, Tigre, Tigrinya, Ugaritic.
Names relevant to the collection:
- Cohen, Marcel Samuel Raphael, 1884-1974
- Goldziher, Ignaz
- Morag, Shelomo, 1926-1999
- Moreh, Shmuel
- Ullendorff, Edward
Collection Material and Size
Books, Newspapers (includes microfilm editions), Serials, Theses.
Total size of collection
4,000 volumes, 45 periodical titles, 1 newspaper (current issues only)
Size of collection - vernacular
2,000 volumes, 5 periodical titles, 1 newspaper (current issues only)
Size of collection - western
2,000 volumes, 40 periodical titles
The online library catalogue offers access to all material acquired since 1989 and a substantial part of the material collected prior to that date. Work to add records for the earlier collections from the card catalogue is ongoing and by the end of 2002 all material acquired since 1979 will be included as well as significant parts of the rest of the collection. For those who cannot access the card catalogue on site the Library's catalogues have been published (details below).
Catalogue transliteration schemes
Since 1989 all records have been created using the current Library of Congress transliteration schemes, with the exception of Japanese which uses Modified Hepburn. As records are added to the online catalogue the transliterated records are being updated to these schemes.
The current cataloguing and some of the earlier records for the following languages contain author and title fields in the relevant script: Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Ladino, Persian, Yiddish.