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Middle Eastern Studies

This research guide points to resources relevant to Middle Eastern Countries, Regions, and Subjects.

Best Research Tools


  1. Cities of the World: A compilation of current information on cultural, geographical, and political conditions in the countries and cities of six continents, based on the Department of State's "Post reports"
  2. Historic Cities of the Islamic world. Edited by C. Edmund Bosworth. Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2007Articles have been taken from the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam, completed in 2004, but in many cases expanded and rewritten. All have been updated to include fresh historical information, with note of contemporary social developments and population statistics.
  3. Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia: Michael R.T. Dumper and Bruce E. Stanley, editors. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2007: Articles about the history and culture of the 100 most important cities in the Middle East and North Africa. Useful bibliographies.
  4. Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010. 2 vols: Intended as an introduction to important topics in urban studies, this encyclopedia includes entries on some individual cities because of their historical importance, their importance within the literature of urban studies, or their connections with other articles in this encyclopedia.
  5. The Urban Social History of the Middle East, 1750-1950. Edited by Peter Sluglett. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, [2011].
  6. Green Cities: An A-to-Z Guide. By Nevin Cohen, Juliana Mansvelt, editors. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011: Sections on climate change, energy, transport and air quality, water, and waste management for each city profiled. Among the 148 entries, there are 27 entries on individual international cities.
  7. Cities of the World: Their Origin, Progress, and Present Aspect: By Edwin Hodder. Cassell & Co. London, New York [1886-89]. HathiTrust Digital Library.


  1. World Encyclopedia of Cities. By Kurian, George Thomas. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, c1994-
  2. Encyclopedia of World Cities. By Ness, Immanuel. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, c1999. 
  3. The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History. Edited by Peter Clark. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2016: Offers a comparative study of urban development from ancient times to the present day. The Handbook explores not only the main trends in the growth of cities and towns across the world but also many of the essential themes in the making and remaking of the urban world.

Library Databases

General Reference Resources

  1. Credo Reference Online: This online encyclopedia provides background information on a variety of subjects from nearly every major discipline. Through Credo you can find articles, books, news, images, audio, and more.
  2. Gale Virtual Reference Library: A searchable collection of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.
  3. SAGE Knowledge: Large collection of online reference encyclopedias that cover a variety of subject areas including Urban planning and development, urban and rural geography, and more. 
  4. PAIS International (Public Affairs Information Service International): Contains citations to public policy literature of economics, government, law, international business, political science, public administration, and other social sciences. Indexes a broad range of resources: journal articles, books, government documents at all levels (federal, state/provincial, municipal), yearbooks, reports, and pamphlets in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Search by city name.
  5. Urban Studies and Planning Full-Text Collection by Sage: Includes the full text of 12 journals published by SAGE and participating societies on a broad range of topics in the social sciences.
  6. eHRAF World Cultures: Contains ethnographic collections covering all aspects of cultural and social life. eHRAF is unique in having subject indexing at the paragraph level. This allows detailed and precise searching for concepts not easily found with keywords.

Country Information

  1. Europa World Plus: The Country Statistics/Area and Population section has city populations for each country as of the most recent census or estimate. Current directory of major institutions and governmental organizations.
  2. Business Source Complete: Includes Country profiles and reports
  3. OECD iLibrary: Search across publications and statistical information for member countries of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation. May include some city-level information, but focus is at country level.
  4. UN Data Country Profiles: Economic and social indicators, the environment, and trade profile.

News Sources

  1. Access World News: Current and archived state, national, and international full-text articles on issues, events, people, government and more with over 4,500 newspapers and other news sources. Also includes: Access Business News, Access International News, Access Military, Government, and Defense, Access Newswires & Transcripts, and Acceda Noticias.

Non-Library Databases

  1. United Nations Population Information Network: Developed by the United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Provides data on different topics including population, cities, and urbanization.
  2. Population Reference Bureau:   provides both U.S. and international data and maps. The U.S. data in PRB's DataFinder are from the U.S. Census Bureau's decennial census, American Community Survey, and population estimates. The international data in PRB's DataFinder are from several Population Reference Bureau data sheets. Additional international indicators were compiled by PRB staff, primarily using national surveys.
  3. UNHABITAT: UN Program concerned with urban development around the globe. Relevant resources include:
  4. U.S. Census International Programs: Demographic data for countries of the world.
  5. Guide to Law Online (Library of Congress)

Country Reports

  1. International Religious Freedom Report (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. U.S. Department of State)
  2. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. U.S. Department of State)
  1. World Population Review: Current population on all countries.
  2. Atlas of Urban Expansion: A multi-phase research effort by the NYU Urban Expansion Program at the Marron Institute of Urban Management and the Stern School of Business of New York University, in partnership with UN-Habitat and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, to monitor the quantitative and qualitative aspects of global urban expansion
  3. Global Power City Index: Evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their “magnetism,” i.e. their comprehensive power which allows them to attract creative individuals and business enterprises from every continent and to mobilize their assets in securing economic, social, and environmental development. GPCI evaluates the comprehensive power of forty of the world’s leading cities according to six main functions (Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Livability, Environment and Accessibility) representing city strength
  1. Emporis: One of the world's largest available platforms concerning building-related information. Here you find buildings,companies and photos in more than 50,000 cities worldwide.
  2. Google Image Search (Advanced): Currently indexes more than 425 million images. Easy to use. Includes advanced image search.
  3. Pixabay: A repository of free public domain images.
  4. ARTstor: Searchable database of digital images and associated catalog data. Covers the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  5. Cities and Buildings Database: A collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web. 
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