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Last Updated: 26 May 2022



  • Akkasah Photography Archive at New York University Abu Dhabi – This is an archive of the photographic heritage of the Middle East and North Africa with over 33,000 images.
    • Historical Collections – “Our historical collections range from the nineteenth century to the late twentieth. They cover a variety of themes and topics, from early images of the Holy Lands and from the Ottoman Empire, to images from family albums, institutional archives and the history of Egyptian cinema.”
    • Photo Albums – “Akkasah’s collection of photographic albums from the region has been created in collaboration with the Library at NYUAD. The albums are housed in Special Collections in the Library and their digitized versions are available on this website.”
    • Contemporary Projects – “Akkasah commissions and supports documentary photographic projects focused on the Middle East and North Africa. For the documentary projects, each photographer has created an exhibition of selected photographs on this site; additional images are also archived by Akkasah and can be viewed upon request, and with the agreement of the photographer.”
  • Arab Image Foundation Archive – “The ongoing research and acquisition of photographs include so far Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Mexico, Argentina and Senegal. To date, the collection holds more than 600,000 photographs.”
  • ARCHNET – “This is an “Open Access, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, conservation issues, visual and material cultures, and other topics related to the built environment. With a focus on societies in which Muslims are or have been a significant cultural presence, Archnet’s mission is to provide ready access to quality, unique texts and media that facilitate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional work.”
  • Das Bild Des Orients (The Image of the Orient) – This is a “specialized analogue and digital image archive on the Islamic, Christian and ancient Orient. It provides authentic image material from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) for research, publication or private use.”
  • Gertrude Bell Archive – This collection “comprises books on Arabic and Persian languages and on the histories of Arabia, and the Near and Middle East.” Included are photographs, diaries, letters, and personalia.
  • Islamic Painted Page – This is a “huge free database of Persian, Ottoman, Arab and Mughal paintings, illuminations, decorated Qur’an pages, and book bindings from over 310 collections worldwide.”
  • Jara’id: A Chronology of Arabic Periodicals (1800-1929) – “This website provides a chronology of Arabic periodicals between 1800 and 1929. It contains more than 3300 periodical titles with bibliographical information published in this period.”
  • Jrayed – Arabic Newspaper Archive of Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine – “‘Jrayed’ is a digital archive of Arabic newspapers and journals primarily from late Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine. The titles include a wide variety of political, cultural, religious and economic viewpoints, and span dailies to quarterly periodicals. This archive is searchable by title and author name, and can be browsed by date, title, city and frequency.”
  • Kurdish Sources – “The aim of KS is to share important primary sources related to Kurdish history.”
  • MENAdoc – Digital Collections – “The MENAdoc – Digital Collections is one of the central components of the DFG Specialised Information Service for Middle East, North African and Islamic Studies’ digital services. MENAdoc provides Open Access digital documents with regard to the MENA-region and to Islamic studies.”
  • The Middle East in Early Prints and Photographs – New York Public Library Digital Collection
  • The Middle East Photograph Archive – The University of Chicago Library – This archive “consists of over 400 photographic prints dating primarily to the second half of the nineteenth century… The Archive is particularly strong in photographs of nineteenth-century Cairo.”
  • Stuart Cary Welch Islamic and South Asian photograph collection – “ca. 65,000 photographs: transparencies, some black-and-white; 35 mm (slide format). Arranged by four broad categories: (1) paintings and illuminated manuscripts, (2) drawings, (3) decorative arts, and (4) architecture.”
  • Turkish Manuscripts Institution Presidency Manuscript Collection – “There are 2 collections in the library. Ali Emiri collection is divided into three as Arabic, Persian and Turkish. Turkish works are divided into sections according to their subjects such as history, geography, verse, medicine, literature, miscellaneous. In addition, another section was opened under the name of AEbelge in 2007. In this section, there are edicts, charter lines and various documents.”
  • University of Bonn Digitization Project “Translatio” – “The digitization project ‘Translatio’ at the Department of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages at the Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of Bonn focuses on Arabic, Persian and Ottoman-Turkish periodicals published during the Middle Eastern and Asian ‘saddle period’ between 1860 and 1945 and making them digitally accessible.”


  • The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library
  • Digital Egyptian Gazette – “The Egyptian Gazette, a daily newspaper catering to English and French speaking residents of Alexandria, began publication in 1880.”
  • Egyptian Government Services Portal
  • Oral Memoirs of the Suez Canal – “The ‘Oral Memoirs of the Suez Canal’ program… has made it possible to collect the testimonies of around fifty people who lived along the banks of the Suez Canal. The people interviewed belong to a wide variety of socio-cultural backgrounds, from senior managers and executives to simple technicians, Egyptians, French and Greeks alike. It offers the opportunity to present the ‘happy memory’ that shines through these stories, but also to show other types of memories, more controversial or dating back to the ancestors of the people interviewed.”
  • Tahrir Documents – “Tahrir Documents is an ongoing effort to archive and translate activist papers from the 2011 Egyptian uprising and its aftermath. Materials are collected from demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and published in complete English translation alongside scans of the original documents.”


  • Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran Digital Archive – “Explore the lives of women during the Qajar era (1796-1925) through a wide array of materials from private family holdings and participating institutions. Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran provides bilingual access to thousands of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, publications, everyday objects, works of art and audio materials, making it a unique online resource for social and cultural histories of the Qajar world.”


  • American Center of Oriental Research Photo Archive – “The ACOR Library holds a remarkable photographic archive related to its role in preserving and promoting the country’s heritage. The complete collection, estimated to number more than 100,000 images, provides primary visual documentation of Jordan, including the major archaeological and cultural heritage projects that the center has sponsored across the country over the decades.”



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