Duke University has been collecting materials in the fields of Middle East and Islamic Studies for several decades in both Western and regional languages. Western language materials, especially those in English, have been extensively acquired. The Library broadly collects English language books and journals relevant to Islamic studies. The Western language monographic collection provides ample coverage of canonical aspects of Islam, the religion’s history and development, its philosophical and scientific significance, as well its geographical expansion. Philosophical and historical studies are well represented, as are works on political Islam and its movements. Other areas such as art, music, women’s and gender studies, ethics, sociology, and media have been covered well. A good number of core reference works are available as well. They include titles like Encyclopædia of Islam, Encyclopædia of the Qur'an , Historical Atlas of Islam, Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East & North Africa, or Encyclopædia of Women and Islamic Cultures. To access journal literature, the Library provides online access to Index Islamicus and Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies (MECAS). In addition to these specialized databases, Duke subscribes to a wide range of electronic databases which include a vast array of materials covering the culture, history, and politics of Islam in the Middle East and beyond. These resources include, but are not limited to: Lexis/Nexis Academic, Historical Abstracts, Public Affairs International Service (PAIS), Anthropology Plus, ATLA Religion Database.
Duke has been steadily building collections in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. Non-Western foreign language materials on Islamic studies, housed in the Divinity Library, include exegetical literature (tafsîr), collections of hadîth and related commentaries, works on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) as well as collections of fatwas, and more general works on Islam. Duke participates in the Library of Congress acquisition programs for India (includes Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal), Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has built collections of over 250,000 volumes which include numerous works (both in English and regional vernaculars) in the field of Islamic studies. More recently, materials on Southeast Asia have been purchased. The librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European studies acquires the growing number of materials related to Islam in the Russian Federation and the successor states of the Soviet Union, particularly Central Asia and Transcaucasia. Arabic, Persian, or Urdu materials in Islamic studies are housed in the Divinity Library. Perkins Library holds a strong collection of Arabic literature ranging from classical works to contemporary authors’ works from all regions of the Arab world. Perkins also houses a substantial number of works in regional vernaculars in the fields of history and sociology.
Arabic literature holdings range from classical works to modern authors from all regions of the Arab world. Other areas of increased importance are history and the social sciences. In addition, Duke's Middle East film collection has grown considerably and has come to represent an important component of Middle East resources in the Triangle area.
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