Subject encyclopedias can provide detailed and authoritative background information that can help you to begin your research. The articles can define terms, give an overview of a topic and suggest directions for narrowing your research. They can also provide bibliographies of books and articles for more in-depth research.
Encyclopaedia Iranica. 1982. Extensive essays on topics about Iran; unfortunately, only completed through letter K. Alderman Reference DS 253 .E52
Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd. ed. 2007. Comprehensive encyclopedia on all aspects of Jewish life, culture, history, and religion.
Encyclopaedia of Islam (Use second edition, the third is still in progress). Comprehensive encyclopedia of Islamic religion and of the culture and history of the Islamic regions. Spellings may differ from thosepredominating in Western publications (e.g., Husayn, al-Nasir, instead of Hussein and Nasser).
Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. 1995. Alderman Reference DS 35.53 .O95 1995. More attention to specifically Islamic topics than the Encyclopedia of the Modern Midle East, but Islam is so intertwined in the politics and culture of the region that the encyclopedia's scope is very broad. Comparing articles about "Nasser" between the two encyclopedias, one can see that the Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World focuses on the way that Nasser utilized Islam in shaping his rule, while the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East provides a general overview of his career and legacy with little detail about Nasser and Islam.
Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East. 1996. Alderman Reference DS 43 .E53 1996
Historical Dictionary of Iraq (for example). 2nd. ed. 2013. Alderman Library has "historical dictionaries" for many countries that may provide background on people and events not covered in encyclopedias of the Middle East in general. Alderman Reference DS 70.9 .G47 2013 (Some will be in the circulating collection.)
New Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel. 1994. Alderman Reference DS 149 .N56 1994.
Journal Finder —Perhaps the Library’s best-kept secret. Type in the title of your journal to see which databases provide access to it in full text. (Access from the Library’s main page using the drop-down for “Also Try” beneath the VIRGO search box.) This and Google Scholar are the best ways to track down citations.
Historical Abstracts Find articles about the history of the world from 1450 to the present, published in over 2,000 journals from many countries. Includes book reviews. Does not include articles about the US or Canada. For these see America: History & Life.
Can use a wildcard to expand searches: wom?n (for woman or women)
Or truncate: Palestinian w1 nationalis* to search for articles about Palestinian nationalism (the words nationalism or nationalist will both be covered by the truncated term. W1 means that the word Palestinian will be searched within one word of nationalis*
Limit search to a specific time period- Search: Christians AND Palestiniam w1 nationalis*
Historical Period from 1917 to 1970
Dissertations and Theses Fulltext A searchable database of dissertations and these. Much of this literature is relevant and has not made it into the book or journal literature yet.
RAMBI, the Index of Articles on Jewish Studies -- The RAMBI database covers all fields of Jewish studies. "Search options" explains how to use RAMBI, while "RAMBI Web" links to the search interface.
Index Islamicus Search for books and articles in periodicals about Islam and the Muslim world. Also includes reviews.
Google Scholar A useful free index to scholarly literature. "Cited by" can show more recent articles that have used a source of interest. "Related articles" also provides links to additional sources. In Settings, you can create "access links" for the University of Virginia Library (Find@UVA).
JSTOR Full-text backfiles of many important scholarly journals. Coverage is usually from the first issue to 3-5 years before the present.
Women's Studies International Find articles related to women's experience during all historical periods. Can use wildcard or truncate similar to Historical Abstracts, but there is no way to limit to historical period except by keyword search (ex., piracy and early modern).
Keyword search should be "Google-like," just enter whatever terms you want; no need for connectors like and.
Will search the title, author's name or description of the item.
There are also some Subject terms that indicate primary source materials:
Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
Personal narratives (used in relation to specific events only)
Songs and music
Speeches, addresses, etc.*
*Used with individuals' names,classes of persons (e.g., soldiers), and organizations.
VIRGO Classic In Basic Search mode choose "Begins With" and then select "Title" when searching for a known item, or "Subject" when searching for terms like Palestine will reveal related subject headings and different subdivisions--for example, Palestine--1901-1936. Great Britain--Foreign relations.
Foreign Relations of the United States. The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. 1861 through the Carter Administration. (Don;t be deceived by the portraits beginning with Truman on the website. Provided by the U.S. Dept. of State courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.
British Documents on Foreign Affairs--Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print. Diplomatic dispatches and other papers that, went to the king, were sent to important embassies abroad, or were circulated to other major departments of government. As its name indicates, the Confidential Print was not available to the public because it included sensitive information. Series B, parts II and II, cover the Near and Middle East; series G, parts I and II, covers Africa, including Egypt. Held in Alderman Library.
Documents diplomatiques français relatifs à l'histoire du Liban et de la Syrie à l'époque du mandat : 1914-1946
The Middle East [1941-49]. 3 reels & 3 reels 1950-61 suppl. OSS/StateDepartment Intelligence and Research Reports, pts. 7, 12. Washington:University Publications of America, 1977-79. (IVY-MFILM Micfilm 1001 & 1144)
Declassified Documents Reference System Searchable collection of over 70,000 scanned declassified U.S. documents from the 1940s onwards taken from presidential libraries, the CIA, the FBI and other agencies.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Norfolk Journal and Guide, Pittsburgh Courier, NY Amsterdam News, Baltimore Afro-American, and Washington Post.
The Times, Digital Archive - 1785-1985 Search the full text of The Times (London) including articles, advertisements, and picture captions. See an image of either just the article or the full page.
President Gamal Abd El Nasser -- Primarily an audio-visual archive of Nasser's speeches, documentary films from the Nasser era (1952-1970), Egyptian documents that encompass days of Nasser from the Egyptian Press, handwritten papers, the Central Committee for the Socialist Union sessions, the Revolutionary Command Council decrees, cards exchanged between family members, minutes of the Ministers Council sessions and some publications. It also includes a complete set of documents representing official correspondence between Egypt and each of Great Britain and the USA.. The Egyptian documents are in Arabic.
Al Aqsa Mosque library: This digitization project preserves the historical periodical collections (1900-1950) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Library, located in East Jerusalem. here are some rare periodicals in this collection, such as Majallat Rawdat al-Maʿarif (1922-34), the journal of one of the most important high schools in Mandate Palestine, al-Kulliyya al-ʿArabiyya (1928-36), the journal of the most important men’s education training college in Mandate Palestine, al-Huquq (1925-7), the only Arabic law journal to publish in Mandate Palestine, as well as a dozen others.
Historical Jewish Press -- This is the largest collection of Jewish and Hebrew periodicals in the world, digitized and searchable by keyword! The collection includes fifty-two titles in a half-dozen languages, including Hebrew (28), French (8), Yiddish (6), English (5), Judeo-Spanish (2), Judeo-Arabic (2), Russian (1) and Hungarian (1) published in Europe, the Middle East and the United States from the 1850s to the 1990s, with a concentration of material from 1900-1950. English titles include 1932-1950 Palestine Post (predecessor of Jerusalem Post).
Shamela is one of the largest free digital collections of Arabic books online, with over 6,000 volumes. Most work deal with Islamic religious sciences, but include other topics as well, such as travelogues, chronicles and biographical dictionaries.
Waqfeya is quite similar to Shamela, although it is smaller and the user interface is not quite as sleek. It also focuses on Islamic religious sciences, but also includes many volumes on other topics, including Islamic economics; history; the Muslim family; contemporary life; and Arabic language and literature.
ULB Sachsen-Anhalt: An enormous collection of some 3,050 volumes of printed Arabic, Ottoman and Persian (and other) books that date from the end of the sixteenth century to the early twentieth, digitized by the Middle East and North Africa Special Area Collection of The Universitaets- und Landesbiblithek Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle.
Unavailable through VIRGO or unavailable in full-text via our article databases does not mean inaccessible or even seriously inconvenient. U.Va. Library has a great interlibrary loan service that should put the needed article in your inbox or the book in your hands within a few days of your requesting it.
Create an account with our Interlibrary Loan Department (log on as first-time user).