Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- I -- GENERAL MATERIALS
- PART TWO
- 11 -- ORIENTAL DIVISION AND GENERAL ORIENTAL RESOURCES
- RESOURCES
- Subject Resources

Subject Resources

Materials on Egypt, both ancient and modern, include such pioneer works as the studies conducted during Napoleon's expedition and published by the Commission des Monuments d'Egypte, the researches of Lepsius, and the mass of publications that have appeared during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There is a fine set of Egyptian archaeological maps in the Map Division. PL-480 additions have strengthened the area since 1962.4

Another strong group relates to the Arabs, their history, customs, and language. There are extensive periodical resources and an unusual representation of grammars and dictionaries. There is a very full collection of editions of the Arabian Nights. Historical resources of unusual richness include archaeological works and other works published in Arabic. Islamic (Muhammadan) law is well represented.

The materials on India in the Oriental Division are also rich. All aspects of Indian life are well covered, particularly Indian law. Modern government publications, including materials reprinted from Indian archives, are located in the Economic and Public Affairs Division. PL-480 additions since 1962 have enriched the Indic holdings in all areas.

Linguistics is an outstanding feature of the Oriental Division's resources. The representation of standard dictionaries and treatises of the principal Oriental tongues is noteworthy, and the library has long made special efforts to collect both critical writings and such printed examples of minor languages as can be found. In the latter field it unquestionably excels.

History, always a major strength of the library's collections, is fully represented for the Oriental countries. Historical materials in Oriental languages are retained in the Oriental Division, while those in Western languages are administered by the General Research and Humanities Division. The Oriental Division holds such special items as Chinese dynastic histories in Chinese and pamphlets issued by the Taiping rebels, discussed more fully in the chapter on Asian history.

All Oriental religions are well covered--Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. The collection of Korans in native languages and in translation is extensive.