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Islam & Middle East Studies Research Guide: Overview

Arabic calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy

Islam & Middle East Studies - Research Guide

The following bibliography lists Penn Library resources, print and electronic, that will be of use to students for the study of Islam, and the history and culture of the Islamic lands. (For the purposes of this guide, the Islamic lands are defined as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)). The print sources listed here are either located in Van Pelt Library, the Reference Area or the Middle East Seminar Room (Rm 523, 5th Floor). All electronic sources are available via the Penn Library Web. For the purposes of this Research Guide, only Western language materials will be considered.

For assistance in using or locating sources, please consult the Middle East Studies Librarian (Rm 524), or a reference librarian.


                                                                 Library Catalogs

Franklin. Penn's online catalog, lists 96% of the library's collections. See the Franklin Search Help for searching tips.

E-Resources. The E-resources home page ( is the best way to access Penn's electronic resources. Materials on Islam can be found on the Middle East Studies or Religious Studies interest pages, located below the main search boxes. For quick reference use the "Find it" boxes.

WorldCat. A large 30+ million entry, multinational, bibliographic database that includes the holdings of many university, college, and public libraries. Search this database to identify materials that Penn does not own, and request them through BorrowDirect+ or Interlibrary Loan (ILL).                          

General Guides to the Subject

These works are introductions to research on Islam. They list some of the most useful and important works, often with descriptive and evaluative annotations. These guides also list reference tools and basic studies of Islam.

Auchterlonie, Paul, et al. Introductory guide to Middle Eastern and Islamic bibliography. Oxford: Middle East Libraries Committee, 1990.

Daiber, Hans. Bibliography of Islamic philosophy. Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 1999. 3 v.

Ede, David, et al. Guide to Islam. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983.   This is one of the best guides for English-language readers. It has annotations for approx. 3,000 items, however most of these were published before 1977. 

Geddes, C.L. An analytical guide to the bibliographies on Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur'an. Denver: American Institute of Islamic Studies, 1973.

Khanbaghi, Aptin. Encyclopedias about Muslim civilizations. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press in association with the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, 2009.

_____________. Interpretations of law and ethics in Muslim contexts. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

Kimball, Michelle R., and Barbara R. von Schlegell. Muslim women throughout the world : a bibliography. Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Reiner, 1997.

Ronart, Stephan. Concise Encyclopedia of Arabic Civilization: the Arab East. New York : Praeger, 1960.

Ronart, Stephan. Concise Encyclopedia of Arabic Civilization: the Arab West. Amsterdam : Djambatan, 1966.

Sauvaget, Jean. Introduction to the history of the Muslim East, a bibliograpical guide. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1965.

Sela, Avraham. Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Jerusalem, Israel : Jerusalem Publishing House, 1999.

Skreslet, Paula Youngman. The literature of Islam: a guide to the primary sources in English translation. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc. : American Theological Library Association, 2006.

Wensinck, A.J. A handbook of early Muhammadan tradition, alphabetically arranged. Leiden, E. J. Brill, ltd., 1927.

___________.  Concordance et indices de la tradition musulmane les six livres, le Musnad d'al-Dārimī, le Muwatta' de Mālik, le Musnad de Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Leiden ; New York : E.J. Brill, 1992.

Subject Guide

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Brian Vivier
Van Pelt Library 525