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The Duke University Libraries are committed to providing top-tier collections and research support for Middle East and Islamic Studies.  Since 2000, Duke University Libraries have been building and expanding its Middle East and Islamic Studies collections.  While collecting comprehensively in all subject areas in English, the collections in the three main regional languages – Arabic, Persian, modern Turkish/Ottoman Turkish – as well as Urdu, center on the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on materials on Islam (jurisprudence, law, exegesis, theology), Arabic language (grammar) and literature (both classical and modern), history (history of Islam, contemporary history) and politics.  Duke faculty interests, curricular and programmatic development have been the driving force of the collection development.

In addition, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library boasts a growing collection of Ottoman-Turkish journals, cartoons and satirical journals, a small Arabic and Persian manuscripts collection, as well as important (Turkish and Pakistani) political posters and early photography from the Levant.

Duke University Libraries’ priorities are developing the Arabic and Turkish collections.  These collections are integral to the faculty, researchers, and students of Duke University, to NC State and the UNC-CH faculty, researchers, and students, and to scholars worldwide.  By providing financial support to name the Librarian for Middle East and Islamic Studies position, to establish strategic collection and travel endowments, and to provide expendable funds for researchers-in-residence, donors will help Duke University Libraries attract the brightest students, faculty, and researchers.  

Establish a collection endowment ($300,000)

Duke University Libraries’ collections support rich programming in the Duke Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC) and Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC).  Both centers are interdisciplinary in their nature with faculty in History, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies and Anthropology, Political Science and Economics.  While the collection is rich in particular resources (e.g., literature), there are many areas which need to be developed (e.g., Islamic Art, graphic novels, history, and modern art).  In addition, historical photography from the region needs to be further developed, as do traditional aspects of rare collections, like manuscripts, calligraphic specimens, rare books, and travel literature.  Doing so will not only further support scholarship and teaching on campus, but enhance Duke’s reputation as a major site for conducting research in Middle East and Islamic Studies.