Thanks to our colleagues, Oxford researchers now have access to 5 new databases providing accesss to important source materials for Middle and Near Eastern history in the 19th and 20th centuries. The sources are all drawn from the US Department of State so obviously present an interpretation of affairs from a US perspective. On the other, and by virtue of being in English language, this source material is easily accessible to those without the requisite linguistic skills.
These resources are useful to those researching:
- the history of many Middle and Near Eastern countries, incl. internal and foreign affairs, economic and social history with US commentary.
- Arab foreign policy and diplomatic relations
- Arab-Israeli relations, Palestine conflict
- the history of US diplomatic and foreign policy, foreign relations and the organisation and management of the diplomatic service.
- the support by the Department of State given to US citizens living or travelling in the Middle and Near East.
- the foreign policy of other Western powers
- Western colonisation and de-colonisation of the Middle and Near East
- Military history, Suez Canal Crisis 1956, etc.
- Christian-Muslim relations and conflict
- Biographical details of Middle and Near Eastern politicians, officials, political or religious activities.
The countries include Aden, Egpt, Iraq, Libya and Persian Gulf States and Yemen.
The records from the US Department typically include correspondence, field reports, intelligence reports, agents’ diaries, memos, dispatches, minutes, maps, and newspaper excerpts. They provide much insight and a huge amount of detail on people, events and places. They help to understand the development of foreign policy and read of frank and the confidential exchanges of views and thoughts between US officials.
In many instances, the documents include verbatim records of meetings and discussions, or transcripts from local or regional media. Digitised documents have captured handwritten or typed annotations and official stamps.1. Aden: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1880-1906 (Archives Unbound)
Aden’s strategic location long made it a strategic asset. The British captured Aden in 1839, and it served as a key port on the route from the Mediterranean to India via the Suez Canal. The documents in this collection are sourced from the Central Files of the General Records of the Department of State. The records are under the jurisdiction of the Legislative and Diplomatic Branch of the Civil Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
This archive covers Egypt from the years before the opening of the Suez Canal through the era of British domination, Egyptian nationalism, and independence. The documents are sourced from the Central Files of the General Records of the Department of State. The records are under the jurisdiction of the Legislative and Diplomatic Branch of the Civil Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
Iraq, from Ottoman rule through British colonial occupation and independence, is treated here from the perspective of the United States. The documents are sourced from the Central Files of the General Records of the Department of State. The records are under the jurisdiction of the Legislative and Diplomatic Branch of the Civil Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
This archive documents the American consulate in Tripoli. Included here are correspondences of Secretary of State James Madison during the Tripolitan War, 1801-1805, between the United States and the piratical North African Barbary States. Handwritten correspondences from Secretary of State William H. Seward in the Lincoln Administration, relating to the opening of the port of New Orleans in 1862, and exchanges from Secretary of State James G. Blaine, in the Garfield Administration, make this a rich resource in U.S. diplomatic history. The collection is sourced from the Central Files of the General Records of the Department of State. The records are under the jurisdiction of the Legislative and Diplomatic Branch of the Civil Archives, National Archives and Records Administration,
This Archives Unbound collection of U.S. State Department Central Classified Files relating to the internal affairs of the Persian Gulf states and Yemen, contains a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats.
These documents highlight the structure and activities of the Persian Gulf States’ and Yemen’s political system, government, judiciary, laws, military, customs, economy, finance, agriculture, natural resources, industry, communications, and media. Because of the broad scope of these records, they both supplement and complement the coverage offered by the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States series.
While you are here, you may also be interested in:
- Foreign Relations of the United States
- Digital National Security Archive
- US Declassified Documents Online
- Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) 1974-1996 [selections]
- British Campaign in Mesopotamia, 1914-1918 (Archives Unbound)
- French Mandate in the Lebanon, Christian-Muslim Relations, and the U.S. Consulate at Beirut, 1919-1939, The (Archives Unbound)
- Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Trans-Jordan: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1836-1944 (Archives Unbound)
- Middle East Online: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970. (Archives Unbound)
- Middle East Online Series 2 – Iraq 1914-1974, The. (Archives Unbound)
Do you want to know which other resources are useful for your study? Check out our LibGuides:
- Guides to resources for US studies
- Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries
- Politics and International Relations
Useful Oxford Libraries and subject specialists: