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Research Resources: Class Guides

HIS 373: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon

Reference Resources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Reference or secondary sources are informational resources written by individuals who were not the actual participants in the topic at hand. They may be of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different perspectives as a result of the passage of time. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.

Please Note: The general call number range for the Middle East is DS41-DS66
The general call number range for Iraq is DS6-DS79.9
The general call number range for Lebanon is DS80-DS90
The general call number range for Iran is DS251-DS326

Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
Ref Room BP40 .E525 2004 Vol. 1-2

Encyclopedia of the Qur'an
Ref Room BP133 .E53 2001 Vol. 1-6

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World
Ref Room DS35.53 .O96 2009 Vol.1-6

The Islamic World: Past and Present
Ref Room DS35.53 .I86 2004 Vol. 1-3

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
Ref Room DS43 .E53 2004 Vol. 1-4

Don't forget to consult the following electronic reference resources:

Oxford Reference Online
The largest, most up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible reference work in the world. This huge resource contains almost 2 million words and phrases from Oxford's English language and bilingual dictionaries.

Encyclopedia of Islam Online - Limited to 3 simultaneous users
Includes articles on distinguished Muslims of every era and origin, tribes and dynasties, crafts and sciences, political and religious institutions, the geography, ethnography, flora and fauna of various countries with significant Islamic populations (the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indonesia, as well as the Ottoman Empire) and on the history, topography and monuments of the major towns and cities therein.

Search Terminology - Keywords and Subject Headings

When conducting research, always consider alternative keywords and subject headings for your topic. Begin by analyzing your topic or research question, and break it down into its key concepts. What keywords appear? Are there alternative keywords that come to mind?

For this course, keywords may include: islamic, muslim, middle east, muslim diaspora, qur'an, koran, shite, shi'ite, sunni, arab, jihad, iran, persia, etc. To explore additional keywords and concepts, try Grokker.

Subject headings may include: "Islam--Encyclopedias", or "Islamic countries", or "Iran--History", or "Islam and politics" etc.

How to find books

  • Select CATALOG from the Library home page. In finding books for this class, try using the keyword and subject terms mentioned above.
  • When you discover a book of interest, select the "DETAILS" tab, and then the "FULL RECORD" tab to look at the assigned subject headings for that item. Note related subject headings, and click on them to find other books that are described in a similar way, and may prove useful.
  • Remember to search out call numbers in both the STACKS and the REFERENCE ROOM. Call numbers are designed to mirror themselves in these two areas. If you find a valuable book in the STACKS, you will find similar, high quality REFERENCE items under the same call number in the REFERENCE ROOM.

How to find and locate journal articles

Start by consulting the following electronic resources:

A collection of abstracts and articles from over 250 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to the last 4 or 5 years.

Index Islamicus
The most comprehensive bibliography for Islamic Studies. Produced by an editorial team working at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, its records cover scholarship deemed significant to the field. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews, with books being indexed down to the chapter level. Coverage extends back to 1906.

ATLA Religion Index
Comprehensive database in religious and theological scholarship. Includes index citations, journal articles, essays in multi-author works, and book reviews from ATLA's print indexes: Religion Index One (RIO), Religion Index Two (RIT), and Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR). Covers from 1949 to the present.

Historical Abstracts
Comprehensive international historical coverage (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Covers abstracts from 1955 to the present.

If the article you find is available in full-text, follow the appropriate links. If not, take note of the JOURNAL NAME being cited, and go to the Journals at F&M page to see if the library subscribes to the journal. If so, locate the journal in print or microfilm, and make a copy for your research.

For additional article resources, look under the Electronic Resources - A to Z List on the Library homepage.

Don't Forget: Always consult the bibliography at the end of a journal article for additional resources!

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information. To search for more authoritative sites, use mediated search directories such as the Librarians Index to the Internet or Google Scholar.

Internet Islamic History Sourcebook
A categorized listing of links to aspects of the history of Islam; also includes translations of source texts, and articles.

Site "examines Islam's worldwide resurgence through the stories of diverse Muslims struggling to define the role of Islam in their lives and societies." Includes interviews with Muslim scholars, an overview of major themes (Islam and women, Islam and the West), frequently asked questions, and portraits (with video clips) of ordinary Muslims from around the globe. Companion to an episode of the PBS series Frontline.
A broad collection of Islamic resources presenting a Shi'ite perspective with pictures and many texts, including articles, books, and the Quran in Arabic and English. Resources cover topics including Ramadan, pilgrimage sites, calligraphy, and Islamic law. also features Muslim responses to the events of September 11, 2001. Also available in Arabic and several other languages. Digitized by the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project.

Islam, Islamic Studies, Arabic, Religion: Resources for Studying Islam and the Diverse Perspectives of Muslims
A collection of annotated sites about Islam, covering the Quran, Sufism, Sunni, women's rights, art, architecture, music, Arabic language study, and more. It is "particularly intended to be of use for non-Muslim and Muslim students and teachers at all levels as well for members of the general public who wish to get a non-polemical and non-sectarian view of Islam and the diverse perspectives of Muslims." From a professor of religion at the University of Georgia.

Other "How To's"...

Additional Help

Contact Christopher Raab for further assistance or fill out a research appointment request form to meet with a librarian.

Last updated: 8/20/09 cr


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