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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

History 425 -Spring 2015: Middle and Near East

Quick guide for students by Ellen Sexton. esexton [at]

Digitally Available Reference Books

The Contemporary Middle East: A Documentary History Offers researchers a look into the key events that have shaped the Middle East region since World War I (up to 2008). Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, 2008 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, 2004 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 1996 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, 2003 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, 2000 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Oxford Art Online (CUNY USE ONLY) Includes many entries on Middle Eastern, North African and Islamic Art

Oxford Music Online (CUNY USE ONLY) Includes many entries on Middle Eastern, North African and Islamic Music

Understanding Islam and Muslim Traditions, 2004 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, 2009 Available through Gale Virtual Reference Library (CUNY USE ONLY)


Search all online Encyclopedia Databases together here.

Reference Books in the Reference Stacks

REFERENCE BOOKS: on Islam and the Middle East While some of these works include information on ancient times, most of these books cover the period after the coming of Islam in 622 B.C.E. A few specifically cover the medieval Islamic periods and others only modern times. Geographic scopes vary, some specific to certain regions, others cover all of Islam which has spread worldwide.

Country Reports On Human Rights Practices. (1979-present) These reports are submitted to the U.S. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Reports from 1993-present are also available on-line

Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam (1967)This older work continues to be a useful resource for Islamic history and culture. Entries are based on classical and medieval Muslim writings. Lloyd Sealy Library’s set is incomplete.  Reference: DS37 .E523

Esposito, John, ed. (2001) The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. This encyclopedia offers up to date information on current events related to Islam throughout the world, including specific aspects of Islamic law and other socio-political issues. Reference: DS35.53 .O95 2001

Esposito, John (1999) Oxford History of Islam. Arranged in thematic chapters, this very readable and well illustrated volume is useful for a general historical background on selected topics. Reference: BP50 .O95 1999

Gibb, H.A.R, ed. (1970) Cambridge History of Islam. This classic resource that contains chronological and regional essays on Islamic history. Reference: DS35.6 .C3
Glassé, Cyril, ed. (2001)

The New Encyclopedia of Islam. A concise dictionary that covers from the pre Islamic period to the end of colonialism. Reference: BP40 .G42 2001

The Holy Qur’an Many editions of the Koran are available in the library. An online, searchable edition is freely available here.  Reference and Stacks: BP109

Moussalli, Ahmad S. (1999) Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamental Movements in the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. This book offers a chronology of Islamic fundamentalist events as well as a dictionary of groups, individuals and movements. Reference: BP60.M36 1999

Robinson, F. (1982) Atlas of the Islamic World since 1500. This book is a compact discussion of the history, beliefs and practices of Muslims around the world, including features and specific maps, chronology and lists of historical rulers. Reference and Stacks: DS35.6 .R6 1982

Shavit, D. (1988) The United States and the Middle East: a Historical Dictionary. Entries include people, institutions and events related to U.S.-Middle East relations.
Reference: DS63.2 .U5 S384 1988

Simon, R., P. Mattar. and R. Bulliet, eds. (1996) Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East. These volumes cover the modern Middle East and include Muslim and non-Muslim subjects. Reference: DS43 .E53 1996

Weeks, R., ed. (1984) Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic Survey. This resource on Muslim people throughout the world is alphabetically arranged by ethnic group. Each entry includes beliefs, geographic location(s), tribal associations and history of each group. Reference: 35.625 .A1 .M87 1984

Reference Books on the Ancient Near East and Ancient Egypt Considered the ‘cradle of civilization,’ the history of the Middle East begins with the world’s first writing, cities, government and laws. Many of these reference works begin with prehistory or civilization in 3100 B.C.E. and end at either the fall of Assyria in 662 B.C.E., the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E. or the coming of Islam in 622 C.E. Many of these books also cover the Biblical history of the Old and New Testaments.

The Anchor Bible In addition to offering a definitive text of The Old Testament, these volumes discuss the contemporary historical and literary context of specific Biblical passages and stories. Lloyd Sealy Library does not own all volumes. Other Bibles are also in this area of the stacks. Stacks: BS192.2 .A1

Baines, J and J. Malék (1982) Atlas of Ancient Egypt. This volume covers the history, culture and geography of ancient Egypt, much of the book covers the individual archaeological sites, which are arranged geographically. Reference: DT56.9 .B34 1982

Coogan, Michael (1998) Oxford History of the Biblical World. Includes several very readable topical essays related to ancient periods in the Levant and other geographic areas of the Middle East that appear in the Bible. Reference: BS635.2 .O94 1998

Manley, B. (1996) Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt This small book includes the history and geography of ancient Egypt, including Nubia and the Levant, when relevant. Chronologically, this volume extends from prehistory to Classical times. Reference and Stacks: DT49.9 .M36 1996

Neusner, Jacob and William Scott Green (1996) Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical World 450 B.C.E. to 600 C.E Entries include information on people, places and events during Biblical times. Reference BM50 .D525 1996

Sasson, J, ed, (1995) Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. These volumes include essays on Ancient Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Ancient Iran. There are several essays on the history and ancient laws of each region. Reference: DS57 .C55 1995

Reference Books: Islamic Law Islamic jurisprudence applies to personal behavior, actions and obligations in broader ways than western law. Based on interpretations of the Koran, legal actions are variously interpreted by the many jurisprudence schools of Islam. These books cover personal, social and political aspects of law, and explain and elaborate on legal Islamic terms, such as Jihad, Hadith and Shari’a. All of the general reference books on Islam should be consulted for general and specific aspects of Islamic Law. Many books can be found in the stacks under the call number KBL.

Anwarulla (2002) The Criminal Law of Islam. Describes punishments in Shari’a law for specific criminal acts. Reference Law: KBP3791 .A933 1997

El-Awa, M. (1983) Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study. This volume presents different schools of interpretation of punishment in Islamic law and applications to Islamic penal systems. Reference Law: KBL .A967p 1983

Bakhtiar, L. (1996) Encyclopedia of Islamic Law: a Compendium of the Views of the Major Schools. Arranged by subject, this volume covers personal, family and social issues as well as civic, economic and religious obligations. Reference Law: KLB.E56 1996

Malik ibn Anas (transl. 1989) Al-Muwatta of Imam Milik ibn Anas: The First Formulation of Islamic Law An English translation of the earliest treatise on Islamic Jurisprudence. Reference Law: KBL .M251 1989

Haleem, M., A. Sherif and K. Daniels (2003) Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a. Includes essays on Islamic law applied to specific aspects of criminal justice. Reference Law: KBL3791 .C75 2003

Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia Volume 5 covers the legal systems in the Middle East. Reference Law: K530.M6 1984

Reference Books: Israel Israel is an important player in Middle Eastern politics and culture. Lloyd Sealy Library has several books specific to Israel.

Patai, R. (1971) Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel. Entries include people, places and subjects related to Zionism and the founding of Israel. Reference: DS149 .E597

Sebba, L, Horovitz, M and Geva, R (2003) Criminal Justice Systems in Europe and North America: Israel. A brief overview of the criminal justice system in Israel.
Reference Law: KMK3407 .S4 2003

Snyder, E (2000) Israel: A Legal Research Guide A bibliographical reference of primary sources, periodicals and reference books on law in Israel.
Reference Law: KMK47 .S65 2000