This term, the Islamic Studies Library is trialing two databases relevant to students and researchers in the field of Islamic and Middle East studies:
- the Afghan Serials Collection:Partisan Publications from the Wahdat Library (DA-ASC) is available until March 2nd, 2019
- the Cambridge Archive Editions Online (CAE) is available until March 12th, 2019.
Make sure you try them out, and share your feedback with us!
1. The Afghan Serials Collection (ASC)
ASC gives access to partisan serials from the Wahdat Library which is “the most comprehensive private collection of rare newspapers and journals from Afghanistan.” The Afghan Serials Collection includes 46 newspapers and journals published in Persian, Pushto, Arabic, Urdu, and English (i.e. more than 2,500 issues). As outlined on the database homepage: “the Afghan Serials Collection covers the use of the press by many groups that sought to shape Afghanistan’s social and intellectual landscape including the Communist People’s Democratic Party (PDPA); exiled loyalists to the deposed Afghan monarchy; independent humanitarians and intellectuals seeking to better their country; anti-Soviet mujaheddin groups from a range of political movements; the Taliban; and minority political parties that have emerged following the post-2001 transition towards democracy.”
Features offered by this database are numerous:
- journal titles can be either browsed or searched in original language and English transliteration
- journals can be ordered alphabetically (title), chronologically (Afghan/Islamic or Gregorian calendar), by country of publication or language
- rubrics within each issue can be independently accessed for online reading and downloaded in PDF
- searching for occurrences within a title is possible, in English transliteration only
ASC will primarily be of interest to social scientists (sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, historians, etc.).
2. Cambridge Archive Editions Online
CAE gives access to thousands of primary source documents from the British National Archives in facsimile, including maps, on the Middle East, Russia and the Balkans, the Caucasus, Southeast Asia, and China and the Far East. The Near and Middle East Collection alone includes 118 titles documenting the history of the region between 1850 and 1980.
Documents can be searched, browsed, or discovered by topic (15 topics are used to classify the materials). They can be read online using the “Reading Mode” (full page display with left-hand side navigation bar) or dowloaded in PDF. WHat makes CAE particularly interesting is the fact that documents have been OCR’ed (Optical Character Recognition) allowing for searching occurrences within a publication.
CAE will be of particular interest to historians.