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A Guide to Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Information on the Islamic Near East

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Islamic & Near Eastern Studies

Collection: General

Date Revised: April 14, 2014

Subject Librarian: AJ Robinson

Compiled by: Jaleh Fazelian


1. General purpose:

This collection supports the research and teaching needs of the faculty and students in the Jewish, Islamic, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department, as well as faculty and students in other departments focusing on Islamic and Near Eastern languages and cultures, especially History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Music, Political Science, Religious Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities.

2. Subjects excluded :

Turkish language material is generally excluded, as the university does not support this language.  However, with the recent hire of a Turkish music specialist, we do purchase items that support her teaching and research.

3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

The interdisciplinary nature of a topic like Islamic Studies leads to some overlap in a variety of areas including History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Music, Political Science, Religious Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities. Librarians covering these areas work diligently to avoid duplication and keep collections up-to-date.

4. Languages included and excluded:

The Islamic Studies vernacular collection (NEEA) contains works in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Udru (covered in the South Asia Collection Development Policy). Items in English are interfiled into the larger Olin Library collection based upon call number designation.

5. Geographical limitations:

The collection, based around Islamic Studies, reflects that Islam is a worldwide religion. The faculty at Washington University tends to focus teaching on the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, and South Asia. The collection reflects the areas covered in the classes offered.

6. Chronological limits:

The collection covers from the rise of Islam (Sixth Century AD) to the present day.

7. Retrospective acquisition:

The Libraries acquire primarily currently published materials. As funds and availability allow, the Libraries will acquire older and out-of-print titles to meet new research and teaching needs. Such retrospective acquisitions are usually only considered upon faculty or student request.

In evaluating these needs, subject librarians look at potential use and the availability of materials from consortial partners or digital libraries (e.g. HathiTrust).

8. Types of material collected and excluded:

The following types of materials are usually excluded from the collection: textbooks, language-learning materials, translations into languages other than English, unrevised dissertations.

9. Other factors to consider:

The department has been discussing the viability of teaching Turkish again. This would be a major consideration and strain on the current budget.

10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

Basic, Instructional Support, Research, Comprehensive





History (Turkey)



History (Iraq)



History (Iran)



History (Saudi Arabia)



History (Egypt)



History (Libya)



History (Algeria)



Arabic Language & Literature



Persian Language & Literature



Turkish Language & Literature



Political Science, Anthropology of region collected by appropriate Librarian