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Good afternoon. My name is Ali Behdad and

I'm the director of the Center for Near

Eastern Studies at UCLA and on behalf of

my colleagues I would like to welcome

you to this forum on remote research. It

is difficult to recall a time when doing

research in the Middle East has been

more challenging, whether as a result of

the coronavirus epidemic, officially

sanctioned restrictions on research, or

political violence. In light of these

challenges, we at the Center for Near

Eastern Studies have organized this

two-part forum for scholars and students

who need, or wish, to undertake research

on Middle Eastern topics in various

fields of Humanities and Social Sciences

at least in the near future, if not

longer. I'm pleased to introduce our two

distinguished scholars in this panel, who

will share their knowledge of online

resources and offer advice for doing

research during these difficult times.

Our first speaker is Dr. Charles

Kurzman, who is professor of sociology

and co-director of the Center for Middle

East and Islamic Studies at the

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Professor Kurzman, who received his

Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, is the author of

numerous works including the book The

Missing Martyrs (2011), which was reprinted

in 2019, Democracy Denied 1905-1915, which

was published in 2008, and Unthinkable

Revolution in Iran, which was published

in 2004. As well, he is the editor of the

anthologies Liberal Islam (1998) and

Modernist Islam 1840-1940, which was

published in 2002.

Our second speaker is Dr. Dale Correa, who

is Middle Eastern Studies librarian and

history coordinator for the University

of Texas Libraries. She received her Ph.D.

from NYU and is an expert on archival

research (domestic and international) with

a focus on the MENA region as well as

strategies for making scholarship more

open and discoverable. She's past

president of the Middle East Librarians

Association, having served as president

of the organization during 2018-2019. Dr.

Correa has also served on the Executive

Board of the Middle East Materials

Project and the Center for Research

Libraries. Her research interests include

the development and theory and

methodology for the academic study of

Islam and religion social communitarian

epistemology manuscripts history and

multilingualism in the pre-modern

islamic aid intellectual tradition.

Dr. Kurzman and Dr. Correa will speak

for about 20 minutes each, followed by

20-minute question and answer session. Thank you

both of you for joining us. Professor

Kurzman, we'll start with you.

Thank you, Professor Behdad. It's a pleasure

to be meeting with you all under these

virtual circumstances and tough times, of

course, in the world and also for

research. I've prepared a few comments,

primarily for graduate students who work in

Middle East Studies. I can't help you

with your financial difficulties. I can't

help you with the health challenges. What

I can offer is a bit of historical

perspective and perhaps some thoughts on

ways forward, paths forward that we might

be thinking about in this unprecedented

era. The coronavirus

pandemic is unprecedented in its

particular form, but the idea of a crisis

in the Middle East is not unprecedented.

In fact there's been many crises in the

Middle East that have disrupted both the

everyday life in the region as well as

research the region. I mean if we look

back just over a century to World War I,

you had the mobilization of the

Ottoman army; the largest army the

Ottomans had ever fielded. They were

fighting battles pretty much across the

region, there was widespread displacement,

civilian suffering, of course, academics

were affected by this as well and then

in World War II and during various

other wars and other crises in the

region. There have been numerous times

over the last century when research was

not possible in the region. We're not the

first people ever to experience this and

even in recent years these challenges

have have multiplied. So one indicator of

this is the number of students from the

United States studying abroad in the

Middle East region. This data is from the

Institute for International Education

their annual open doors report and you

can see that the numbers of the past

decade since about 2009 have been

declining. They've declined by about a

third after ramping up hugely in the

previous decade. Now these are mainly

undergraduates, not graduate students,

and it's only one indicator, of course, of

research in the region but even this

decline over the last 10 years really

doesn't show the full story. The decline

is even steeper in many parts of the

Middle East. If we break out three

countries that are the largest sites for

study abroad in the region for American

students, in the blue you see Israel has

actually increased the

number of study abroad students and is

now about half of all students in the

region are studying abroad in Israel. In

green, you see Egypt and the numbers,

which were a couple thousand a dozen years


dropped off substantially in 2010-2011,

of course, with the uprisings there

and then with the coup in 2013, the

numbers have been close to zero and I

find it very hard given the repression

of academics, especially foreign

academics, in Egypt I find it hard to

recommend that students go there. In red

we see Turkey, where it also had a

couple thousand students studying abroad

there, American students, and then during

the attempted coup and the backlash and

the repression of academics there then

those numbers have have declined since

2015. So there's been all sorts of things,

challenges to research in the region. Of

course, there's a a political repression

in a number of countries. I'm sure you're

familiar with the Middle East Studies

Association Committee for Academic

freedom CAFMENA, the Middle East and

North Africa region, and another one for

North America, and that committee is

issuing dozens and dozens of letters

about the repression and mistreatment of

academics in the region. So even before

the coronavirus, it was tough to do

research in many parts of the Middle East. And then,

of course, the coronavirus comes and we

see here in this chart I just thought

was an interesting graphic, the air

travel, the number of flights drops

dramatically over several weeks at the end

of January and into the middle of

February this is globally and has been

climbing up since then so it's now about

two-thirds of where it was in the beginning

of January, but most of those flights are

flying almost empty and even if you were

able to get a flight, once you get off

there's now travel restrictions almost

everywhere in the world so you wouldn't

be allowed, you're not allowed to go into, to

cross borders in the way that you might

have been several months ago. So we have

a huge problem. How do we continue to do

our research? How do we continue to keep

this enterprise going? I'd like to give

two examples of people who faced travel

restrictions in the past and how they

kept going. These examples are going to

come from the field of sociology. my home

discipline. but of course, there's many

other examples that could be taken from

other fields. The first one I want to

mention is W.I. Thomas. He's famous in

sociology, in the history of sociology,

the lead author of a classic book called

The Polish Peasant in Europe and America

that was published in 1918. So Thomas was

teaching at the University of Chicago

and was going travelling to Poland each

year, for part of the year, for

several years to collect material and do

field research on the peasantry in

Poland and then World War I breaks out

and he can't go back to Europe and, in

fact, many of his notes, about a third of

his notes and materials, that he gathered

were lost in the war and so he had to

reconfigure his project. The story he

apparently would tell about how he did

this was that one day he was

walking in Chicago, in the alleys of

Chicago, and somebody threw a bag of

trash out of a window and it landed,

almost hit him, it landed in front of

him and broke open and he sees there on

the ground a handwritten letter in

Polish that was a letter from somebody's

family in Poland or to

somebody you know it's in Polish it was

his topic of study and he gets the idea,

or so he said, that using letters as a

source of material for research could be

the replacement for the field research

that he had been doing. So he puts an ad

in the Chicago Polish language newspaper

and asked people to send letters to his

office and get thousands and thousands

of letters and he uses those as the basis

then for his for a large chunk of the

research that he gets published in this

masterpiece, this five-volume set The Polish

Peasant in Europe and America and takes

on a research assistant who had fled

Poland because of the war,

as a co-author, Florian Znaniecki, who goes

through and helps him with all of this

and helps to write up the results. So

here's a case where worldwide disaster,

and travel restrictions lead to a novel

source of data of evidence of

research materials. The second example I

want to give is more recent. This is my

colleague and friend and former student

Ali Kadivar, at Boston College who can't

go back to Iran, his home country, and so

instead of doing the field work that he

might otherwise have done, decides to

use online news sources as data and he goes

systematically through all sorts of news

reports that are collected on websites or

in various subscription services for

Iranian newspapers and we see here a quote

about his method from an article he

just published, using this sort of data,

just published with co-author in

the journal Comparative Politics. So work

can continue. It forces us when we can't

go to our original plans to come up with

Plan B's and to think of novel ways then

of doing our research.

So I have a few ideas of paths you might

follow for doing research in the current

era, when we can't travel and can't reach

the materials that we had

hoped to originally. The first point, I'm

going to make five points, but the first

one is to keep reading if you can.

This is a moment where we're stuck but

if we can manage the motivational

side there is a lot of material out


Dr. Correa is going to present some of

that material in ways you can access it

I'm sure Rustin Zarkar, who's our

Middle East librarian here at the

University of North Carolina, has also

given a talk where he lays out a bunch

of resources that are available, the

address is on there. I'll put these

slides that I'm showing on my website

and they have links so you can follow anything

you want. And another source that I want

to mention, although Dr. Correa may be mentioning

this already, is archive.org, which has

a new policy during the pandemic of

allowing easier checkout policies where

you can check out a book that they've

digitized, even if it's under

copyright, many of them can be checked

out during this time, so continue, keep

reading, if you can. The next thing I want

to suggest is thinking about new forms

of evidence, new forms, new types of

research, in fact, sometimes it might

involve learning new tricks. I'm trying

to learn these tricks myself. There's a

group called the Islamicate Digital

Humanities Network, idhn.org, that

is people who know these big data skills,

they are proficient in R and other

programming languages, and they are

trying to think about how you can use

the massive amount of digital text

that's out there for new sorts of

research projects. We had a panel, a thematic

conversation at the Middle East

Studies Association last year, we're

planning to do another this year in the

unlikely chance that we actually get to

meet, but there's an ongoing conversation

and these skills especially learning R,

which is extremely helpful for wrangling

large amounts of text, for scraping it

from the web, and various sources and then analyzing

and presenting it graphically. I'm

trying to learn these new skills,. I think

many of us would do well to add these to

our toolkits for research. Another avenue

is to use new forms of data. So the ACSS,

the Arab Council for the Social Sciences,

has a data archive that just went live

last year it's called the ACSS

Dataverse, dataverse like universe, but

for data. There's a network of these data-

verses, it's open source interface

software, and so the ACSS dataverse is at

dataverse.acss.org, and there is a

network of all of these data archives

around the world. This one focuses on

data sets from the Arab region. There's

there's more data out there than you

might imagine so if you're willing, or

interested, in doing quantitative data

analysis there's quite a bit of material

growing amout of material and if you

know of people who have research who

have data sets that they'd be willing to

contribute they're taking deposits as

well at the dataverse and I'm honored

to be working with them on getting this

thing up and going. There's also

qualitative research in the dataverse.

It can take data into all forms but most

of it is primarily quantitative data.

Another path forward is online

interviews. So for those of you who are

used to doing fieldwork and ethnography

and interviews in person and that was all

your training and that's what you expected

to do, it is a weak substitute but it

is still possible and you can keep your

momentum going for a research project by

arranging online interviews. It will keep

your head in the project. It'll keep

you keep you moving forward, to get in

touch with the various organizations or

through social media, meeting people and

arranging online interviews. The one

thing I want to mention here is that if

you have gone through your institutional

review board, your Human Subjects

protection folks, and that and all of

your material was that in-person stuff

and getting consent in person, you may

need to get in touch,

in advance, with your IRB or

institutional officials, in order to make

sure that your stuff can be adapted to

get consent online. A final approach I

want to mention is international

collaboration. So international

collaboration has been a watchword in the

Sciences and the Social Sciences for

many years, less so, frankly, in the Social

Sciences than in the Natural Sciences

and less so in the Humanities, I think,

than in the Social Sciences, but perhaps

this is the moment, this is the crisis

that's going to generate, force us to

create more international collaborations,

where you have some books and access to

some materials but someone somewhere

else doesn't and they have access to stuff

that you don't have access to and

perhaps through sharing we can get

through a sharing economy and move our

research forward through new forms of

collaboration. It would be lovely if that

were a side effect of this pandemic, that we

reach out to people and we rely on them

more I think that would be a lovely

outcome. So in summary, you know,

graduate students today in the midst of

this pandemic face, you may face health

problems, financial problems, travel

problems, political problems, all sorts

of problems. And one of the problems you

may be facing is sort of a motivational

problem, and I know I'm facing that too.

It's hard to focus, it's hard to keep the

work going. Make time in the day to

actually get back to the kinds of

thoughts, the kinds of research, the kinds

of creativity, that we expect of

ourselves and try to overcome this

feeling that your life is sort of on

hold and what I'd like to suggest is

both the sense of historical perspective,

that this, you know, previous generations of

researchers have faced their own

challenges their own problems of travel

restrictions and difficulties

of political and all sorts of

other problems. This is a set of

challenges we face and maybe that

historical perspective helps and also

these new avenues of thinking creatively

about new forms of data, new ways of

accessing materials will help us get

over this hump as well and get us back

to doing the kind of creative,

substantive research that we're capable

of despite the challenges today. Thank

you very much. Thank you very much for

that incredibly inspiring and

informative presentation

Professor Kurzman, I'm sure there will be

some questions from the students

afterward. I would like to now ask Dr.

Correa to present her talk. Thank you all

very much and thank you Ali for that

wonderful introduction and thank you

Charlie for fantastic beginning to this

conversation that was all extremely useful

and I was taking notes myself too so it was great

for me as well. So everyone's going to

have a different approach to dealing

with research during, as we've said, these

very unprecedented times of an

international pandemic. My approach is

informed by my work as a librarian as

well as key experiences that I've had in

my scholarly life. Notably, living in

Uzbekistan for about six months during

my dissertation research and not having

access to reliable internet or my Tier

1 research library and having to do

fieldwork without all those resources,

which is actually fairly normal for

fieldwork in the Middle East and Central

Asia, in my case. But that was when my

researching creativity was really tested

and so reflecting on those experiences

and lessons learned there and also what

I've seen has worked for graduate

students and faculty, recently, and

applying that to this situation where

we know we can't travel and we know we

can't access certain libraries and archives in the MENA

region. I'm gonna take us through a

number of resources and I'm glad this is

recorded because there's a whole bunch

I'm going to go through but they are all

referenced in various places

on very important websites that I'll

talk about, where we have lists of

online archives that libraries consult, or

on research guides where they've been

linked and I will show you where those

are so you have those reference points

to start with again. So as Professor

Kurzman said, this is a pandemic, you

need to go easy on yourself. Okay, all is

not lost.

There is a lot that you still can do and

there will be a lot more that you can do

in the future once we wait for those safer

conditions to come to passc. So, I want to

start us with questions, what can you

focus on now? What's possible now? Perhaps

research at North American libraries,

checking catalogs of libraries and

archives in the Middle East, to plan for fieldwork

in the future. Locating digitized fully

accessible online collections that do

actually inform the research that you need to

be doing. That may or may not be useful

for you depending on the kind of

research you're doing if you need

basically the information from a given

manuscript or document, but not the

document or manuscript itself, if the physicality

of the item is not as important to you then these

digital collections are going to be great because you

get access to all of that. If you need to interact

with the actual object at least this is

a starting point, okay, and then you can

go from there. So I'm going to break down

these questions into near-, medium-, and

long-term goals, although there's much

overlap amongst them all. So the near-

term goals might be research in North

American libraries. This does not

necessarily mean only secondary sources

and print works but it does lean

heavily that way. I'm going to talk about

Hathi Trust emergency temporary access

service, the National Emergency Library

at archive.org,

Arabic collections online and the

Library of Arabic Literature. Next

looking at the medium-term goals, we

might think about locating digitized

primary source collections for your

research; okay things that we can find

online that will work for you. This is

where we will gather sources from lists of

resources like research guides, Access to

Mideast Islamic Resources (that's a blog

sorry) and Hazine, which is another

blog. All these guys will come very much

in handy and those are your starting

reference points for any of these kind

of questions.

We'll look at some of the highlights

from these, including the Qatar Digital

Library, Noorlib, Digital archive for the

Study of Pre-Islamic Arabic Inscriptions,

and Archnet. And then in terms of long-

term goals,

so we're thinking about planning, maybe

even grant writing for the future

because what really helps the grants is

being able spell out exactly where you

need to go, who you're going to talk to,

and what you're going to look at and so

that's checking the catalogs of

libraries, archives in the Middle East to

plan for your fieldwork. And there's also

the possibility of ordering copies

without traveling, either officially

through web sites, or unofficially

through contacts that you may have or

you can possibly through your library

through the interlibrary loan service,

okay so we'll talk about that. We'll look

at Yazmalar, which is a Turkish

national search engine search engine; Ideo-alkindi

search engine in Egypt for the Dominican Institute; the

Iranian National Library, if it's

cooperating; the Center for Islamic

Study in Istanbul; and Union Catalogue of

Manuscripts located in the UK called

Fihrist. So getting started to give you

these reference pointbs, let me share my

screen with you so that we can start

getting into these. Alright that's a

preview of what's to come.

Okay so this should be familiar to you

the UCLA Middle Eastern Studies Research

guide it's not

familiar to me unfortunately, I didn't write

this one, it's not mine, but I have made

reference to it in the past and this is

always a place where you can start with

your research, okay?

There will be digital collections linked

here. You will be able to look at recommended

reference sources that are both

subscription through the library, like

Index Islamicus and things that are more open access.

You'll even be able to find, I recommend this as well, the Arabic Almanac

and the various dictionaries. So literally you have

all these things already in your pocket

you would probably take these with you when you went to do your fieldwork.

So I strongly recommend taking a look at your

research guide and getting a sense of

where you can start from there. Usefully, the

UCLA Library also has put

together a guide on temporary expanded

access. This is very important; what libraries have been

able to do is get free trials to resources they would

not normally be able to afford and they

are usually good through this summer.

That's been my experience with

subscriptions or the trials that we've

been able to get at UT. This is not

guarantee that the library will be able

to acquire any of these resources in the

future. They are quite expensive we're talking about

e-resources especially anything that

requires a subscription rather than just

a one-time payment but with this

temporary access you can benefit from

these resources now, okay? And if you need to return

to it later you can always request that

from the library maybe you can get a

second trial because again these are

unprecedented circumstances that maybe

people need to take a second look so

publishers are going to be very

interested in letting you work with these

materials. So I would take a look at the

things that are offered here as

temporary resources, the things that you

can still exploit for your research. Also

linked here are Hathi Trust and the

National Emergency and yeah National

Emergency Library, which I will speak

about shortly.

But I just want you to know that you can

also use... you can also use my guide at

UT-Austin, it's publicly available, it's

perfectly fine to use mine as well. Be

aware that any links, for example, in

databases and indexes,

these are all going to be UT links so

you'd want to take that back to UCLA

library website and find your way to the

databases through there. But I do have a

tab on open access and freely available

resources and reference sources over

here on the right. I try not to privilege

one language over another so I try to

have representation from the main

languages in the leaf. And we'll be talking

particularly about this guide right here

Hazine's guide to online archives and digitized collections

and resources today. So you can find that on

my guide if you need a reference point in the future.

On my guide, as well, I like to link to

other major collections so, for example, Columbia,

Duke, Michigan's collections and Michigan in

particular this libguide is very

useful for manuscript research. If you're

doing any kind of manuscript research in

any of the languages of the Middle East, this is

a wonderful guide to go to and I did not

recreate this or attempt to do this at

UT, my research guide, because there's no

reason to reinvent the wheel. My

colleague, Evyn Kropf, has done an amazing

job at

Michigan putting this together so I

strongly recommend checking that out

if that is an area of research for you.

Alright so Hazine.

Hazine is a blog that is edited currently by

a graduate student at Princeton

University and fellow librarian

colleague of mine and so they collect

experiences at libraries and archives

throughout the Middle East and they like

to make lists. They have a lot of great


And the two that I want to highlight

today are the Online Archives, Digitized

Collections and Resources

for Middle East, North African, and Islamic(ate)

Studies and [A] Guide to Online Visual

Sources in Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic

Studies. And so these will be very useful

for you during this time but also in

general to get your research done.

As Professor Kurzman said, it's not just

right now that we have these troubles.

without Throughout research in the

Middle East we have temporary to

permanent closures of libraries and archives,

we have travel restrictions, we have bad

politics that don't let us get visas to

go to different places, so there are

always obstacles that we're going to

encounter and so these digital resources

are always going to be key to that. So

this is good training, basically, for

having a backup and a very full research

profile for your work. So Hazine

mentions a couple of the broad sources

that I'm going to be talking about but

I'll let you all peruse this it's a huge

list it's fantastic it's broken down by

subject and area of study and format so

it's definitely worth a read. The Visual

Resources Guide is similar; this was put

together by another librarian colleague

of mine and we'll be looking at a couple

here. Some of these are open access, some

of them are not, it's kind of a mixture,

but UCLA should be

subscribed to those that are not open

access is a very common one. All

right, those are the areas for getting

started these are your reference points

okay? Now let's go and look at some more

specific what are all of these things

that have talked about I've mentioned in

passing here so far? Hathi Trust.

You've probably encountered Hathi

Trust in Google searches. Maybe not

so much through your library, but if you

put titles or authors into a Google

search, you've likely been redirected to

Hathi Trust at some point. I can tell you

that in general it is better to sign in

to Hathi Trust with your university

account because that will actually get you

access to more material. You can login

with this bright yellow login button up

here you just select UCLA from the dropdown menu and you'll be prompted to put in your usual

username/password information. What Hathi

Trust is doing right now is running an

emergency temporary access service, feel

free to read this if you'd like. It's a

lot of library speak but what's

important is that they have a how-to and

what it means to use this service ok? So

what they've done is they have all these

digitized works from many different

collections throughout North America

and they've been able to say, for example,

UT Austin you have one copy of Tafsir

al-Qurtubi so if you want to access that

through HathiTrust only one person can

check it out at a time because that

would be the equivalent of the print

experience in your library. Let's say you

have two copies of Tafsir al-Qurtubi,

okay then two people can check it

out at the same time. So essentially

you're checking out ebooks, scans of

print materials that are in your library

and they are still in copyright okay and

this is what's really important Hathi

Trust before this you can only

access out of copyright materials in

full text, now you can access in

copyright materials as well through this

check out emergency access service okay?

So what that means though is that if you're

trying to get to a text that you think

might be popular with your fellow

students just like you would at the


it might not be available when you need

it because somebody might have it checked

out okay? So there are pluses and minuses

to this but it's really great because,

for example, in the case of UT, I cannot

speak for UCLA but for UT, 40%

our collection has been digitized to

HathiTrust, so that means 40% of our print

materials we can still access even though the

library is closed up and we don't have

interlibrary loan service so that's

really cool and so especially if you're

working on these near-term goals of doing research at

North American libraries or just UCLA's

library you want to make your coms list you want to get all your secondary research done

HathiTrust expands your ability to do

that by giving you access to print

materials that are in your library

anyway. All right okay so the National

Emergency Library is a bit more general.

This is through archive.org and by the

way at any point if you cannot see what

I'm talking about because screen sharing on Zoom

is usually pretty good but if at any point you can't

just shout. The National Emergency Library expands our access to in

copyright materials as well okay.

Archive.org is a huge unending infinite

resource that many institutions use the

platform for their collections so you'll

find for example one of the Ottoman

collections from Duke University is on

here and that one's out of copyright it's fully

available it's all good

but now what they've done is they've

made more of the material in their

collections available that are still in

copyright okay and so what I did what

you can do with this I just went to the

Browse with this one but you can limit

by language because I just want to see

how much representation from Middle

Eastern languages might there be and for

the three main languages, Persian, Turkish,

Arabic there's almost 100 items like 85

items or so and so that was better than

I thought honestly for this emergency

collection. Persian actually had the most

more than Arabic or Turkish, which is interesting. So this gives you a sense of

what you might find

in the Emergency Collection but as I

said archive.org is a much larger

resource in general and it contains all

kinds of resources you can find all of

your Arabic dictionaries for example in

archive.org if you want to see the

print, experience it in sort of a

print like environment. So next are

some things that you should probably

already know about if you're working in

Arabic but maybe you're just starting

out or haven't had a chance to look at them yet.

One of them is Arabic Collections Online

this is a project of NYU Abu Dhabi and some other

organizations and it has full text of

Arabic works at a number of institutions

that are out of copyright and so this

can be very useful if you're working on

things that are older print materials

especially anything from the [title missing] for example

you're gonna find a good amount of

material here.

The only issue from my perspective as a

librarian the only issue from my

perspective is that this is not

full-text searchable it has not been

OCR'd, so you have to read it like a book unfortunately.

That should be the benefit of online resources from and about the Middle East

is that we get some OCR out of it and we can then do full-text searching

you can mostly do that in HathiTrust for example

and some things on archive.org depending on how the PDF was uploaded and what they

did to it but unfortunately that's going

to be a drawback here but there's some

really classic standard pieces here like Kitab

al-bukhala, for example, right so this is a great

resource if you're doing Arabic. It's

obviously bilingual interface as

well which is just really cool a great


The second one is a Library of Arabic

Literature this is another NYU project

and this one's a little bit funky

because you have so it's also Arabic

English interface and the books are also

Arabic English usually facing

translation so the Arabic is all freely

available online in PDF okay if you want

just the Arabic editions they're all

here all the ones that have been

published for them.

Now if you want the translations you

have to go to JSTOR and to be honest I

didn't check for UCLA I'm going to

assume you have this but you might not

because it's a separate product that you

have to buy within JSTOR but these are

also available in JSTOR are the

translations okay so you kind of if you

want to have both the Arabic and English

together you're gonna have to have these

two tabs open with the Arabic PDFs

on one side and the JSTOR PDFs of the

English on the other but that is all

accessible online, which is great because again these

are some real classics on a variety of

topics between law, history and

literature. Alright so those are the near

term goals you know if you need kind of the

standard literature that you would have got at UCLA

Library anyway or for those who are not associated with UCLA,

at your institution things you would have

expected to find on the shelf those are

some ways that you can still get to some

of that material. It may be in the future

that libraries in

North America will start for example a

pickup service you can order books and then you pick them up

that's a possibility I'm not saying it's

happening anywhere but it's a possibility.

Or scanning for interlibrary loan

requests or scanning from the collection

itself may resume but all of that is

negotiation of safety for library

employmees of course who would have to

do that work

and we obviously don't want to put

anyone in unnecessary danger by starting

out those services too early, too soon so

those are things to keep in mind that

might be possible in the future. All

right so the medium-term goals we're

just gonna look at some of these they're

probably familiar to you but let's take

a look anyway the Qatar Digital Library this has

been a partnership between Qatar and the

British Libraryand they've digitized a

number of the collection in Qatar and

made the available online. These are mostly

handwritten but there's still some print

in here as well. So this is much like Arabic Collections

Online but a lot of it is handwritten

some early print it's going to skew

towards Gulf Studies but you might be

surprised as well what you'd find in

here so I would not rule it out. I just

did a search for Nasafi who is one of

my favorite scholars and it's got some

interesting things that aren't quite

related to him not the Nasafi that

I was looking for Umar Nasafi but Ahmad al-Nasafi,

which is great to but not the one I was looking for so

just bear that in mind that these might

offer some aspect of your research but

not entirely okay? Then Noorlib is an

Iranian resource and you can search

by title throughout full-text etc. and

but it's best if you make an

account to be able to actually view the

items. I've had varying

success with items being either open or

paid to view them so it's kind of here

and there. Some institutions have been

able to work out subscriptions to this,

which is great but it is a wonderful

resource for Iran based or Persian

language materials so, for example, Tafsir

an-Nasafi sorry you're gonna see Nasafi

a lot in this today he's my go-to guy right now. This one is

at least partially available usually it gives you the first page and then

you have to sign in and you can see there

multiple volumes here that they've

scanned so it's kind of similar to

Arabic Collections Online but also

adding the Persian element, which is useful. Then for

those who are doing Ancient Near East, I

don't know if any of you on the call

right now are doing Ancient Near East but

the Digital Archive for the Study of

Pre-Islamic Arabian Inscriptions is an

incredible online resource if you're

doing anything pre-Islamic epigraphy

etc. and so these are mostly browsable

you just click through to you know which

area, language you want to be looking at

and because these are corpora they've

built it into a corpora analysis tool

essentially so you can start doing

searches and building your data but you

can also look at the objects as well if

you need the images. This is a very

useful resource for that as well.

And then last but not least with these

medium-term goals looking for digital

materials is Archnet and this is

obviously about architecture in the Middle East

and I just did a search for the Suleymaniye in Istanbul

and it's pulled up a number of images of

the mosque of the Suleymaniye and other

related mosques and then also documents

related to the mosque itself. This is I

Damascas... so magazine articles related to it so it's not just

images but also architectural and

drawings and information as well as

related text strongly recomment that and that's all open

So thinking of long term goals, which kind

of in some cases it combines with the

medium-term goals we want to be able to

plan for our fieldwork in the future if

we can't do it this summer maybe we can do it next

summer or perhaps during the year if

things get better but otherwise we want to be

prepared and there are a number of

resources that'll help you with that.

Yazmalar is the Turkish national manuscripts and other

national heritage collection search

engine and you can see it's all first of

all you can put it in English and this

is something a caveat I have to give for

most of the Turkish websites you can

maybe put it in English but not

everything will convert over to English so

you're still going to have to either

know Turkish or use Google translate to get

through this but you can't get through it.

The second thing you need to know about

most all of them right now

Turkish search engines you need to do

the spelling the transliteration in the

Turkish form

and there may be of a difference of

opinion in Turkish how to transliterate

various names especially if there are

any vowels involved that can be change

there changing at all on that so you

want to search multiple times with your

keywords in different permutations of

what they could be okay thankfully Nesefi

is pretty straightforward

general agreement on what the vowels are

and sure enough it brings up the Nesefi I was interested in

and you can click through to see the record

for the material including any notes

about its size and type and you'll see

again this is this was not translated

into English so you all need to take

this to Google Translate if you don't

know Turkish but it is where you can get

some references and

references here to those to manuscript

catalogs theoretically you should be

able to see the images here I always

have this like mixed results with that

if it says display you should be able to

see it sometimes when you have an

account with them it works a little bit

better and you can order things and I

know people who have successfully

ordered materials to be sent to them in

the US either by email or on a CD so

that's worth checking out and trying

it's also something that once those

libraries open up again in Turkey you

might be able to ask friends who are in

Turkey to help you out if you can

identify the Shelf number right right

here like these for the manuscript then

you can have to go and request for you

and send it to you and compensate them

accordingly but another useful search

engine is Library the Dominican Institute for Oriental

Studies in Egypt and this is a

relatively new catalog

I'm going to do something more modern so

you can see more of what this

resource offers and this again is for

planning purposes to let you know what's

in the Dominican Library in Cairo and

what could you possibly do there if you

were able to go there in person. So here

we're talking about nationality

nationalism. etc. Lots of French works

obviously you can choose a language we

can limit to Arabic if we wanted and

with all these websites you have to

give them a second they're travelling

a long distance to get to you to get you

your information but that will limit us to anything that has

Arabic content in it so it's very

similar to what you'll find

and your UCLA and other North American

libraries as well.

These are mostly just records I think

it's very just very limited online

availability in my experience with this

one it's mostly just records this is a

planning catalog okay to be able to see

what could you access if you were able

to go there all right I promise I've only got a few

more left but these are all important for

you to see the Iranian National Library.

I think this is one that many people

don't think to go to especially if they

do Arabic. The Iranian National Library obviously

has a lot of Persian materials but also

has a lot of the Arabic classics and

fantastic editions of them as well and

they're often fully available online so

this one could actually fall under

medium-term goals too in case you can't

get a visa to Iran in the future. I've

done my search for Nasafi again here

and you'll see I was able to get some

good results with that just to give you

an example let's take a lot

that's gonna ask me to sign in okay so

this is another one like Noolib where

you're going to want an account but this

one is excellent because they

just have so much I'll show you the

Turkish Islamic Studies Center in

Istanbul - it's similar it's so

impressive how much Islamicate

material they have so the very least you

can get the catalog record if you sign

in and make an account I won't show you

right now you can also access the full

text materials some of them are open access

some of them are not so it's kind

of a mixed bag. Alright this is the Turkish Islamic

Studies Center in Istanbul it's also now

a university called 29th of May

University and it used to be much

simpler but they've really expanded

their offerings this is incredible here.

They have you can search across all the

manuscript libraries much like Yazmalar

but I think more accurate in some

ways than Yazmalar I prefer using

this search engine and you can also

search in their collections of Ottoman articles,

documents, all sorts of other articles on

Turkish history, literature, culture, and

arts, and then private papers and private

archives of various important figures as

well and then this one I think is

important for secondary research if you

do read Turkish the Divinity School

journals, articles, so let's do this one

so what it'll do it will take you to a

page where you can you can choose any of

those differents search areas so

Türkiye Kütüphaneleri VT will let

you search across all the manuscript

libraries Nesefi

and so this is again much like Yazmalar

it's telling you which library

collection is located in these are all

manuscripts and you'll be able to at

least take down that information if not

also find a way to request that

manuscript if you need it. It's an

incredible nationalised resource of

material that all this has been

centralized because these manuscripts

may not all be located in Istanbul they

look at all over the country that you

could search across all of the national

libraries locations. All right last one

is Fihrist so this is Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World all located

in the UK. I did my Nasafi search again here it

automatically went to the people

category and so here I'm able to see

what titles they have under his name,

subjects associated with him and then

specific manuscripts that are attributed

to him and where they are located. These

do not link to full-text or to images

this is a union catalog so it's just

going to be the record information but

you can use this to plan if you ever do

need to go to the UK to do manuscript

research research or if you're able to

request them from these UK libraries

request copies, which should be possible

possibly even through interlibrary loan

services you at least have all of the

bibliographic information that you

need to do that it's extremely important

because a lot of the important

manuscripts and editions are located in

the UK so on that note there just a few

more general tips one you're going to

have a lot of bibliographic information

especially if you're doing a lot of

planning for fieldwork. I recommend using

a citation manager like Zotero to

organize all that information. Zotero

would be able to take this website and

just scrape all the

information and produce a record for you

in your Zotero library so you

don't even have to like enter it in

manually or anything like that.

I'm happy to consult with you if you

want to get started with Zotero but it's

also very easy to learn from the website

zotero.org. Secondly if all of this is

failing for you and you really just want

a PDF of text that you know should be

available and may be fairly common go to Google

put the text title in in the original

language with PDFs in English after it

and hit search and you will likely find

what you're looking for. It may not be

the exact edition that you want but

somebody's probably put it up somewhere.

When you see those search results

pay attention to the message boards

where people discuss the editions

discuss the different links to PDFs of

these works online and what's available and who is posting what. And then

lastly don't hesitate to check out

Facebook and academia.edu. These informal

networks of sharing information can be

crucial for finding these very rare

tidbits of information, for example, I

have a faculty member who's working on

Jews in Egypt and there is a Jews in

Egypt Facebook page and it's in Arabic

and it's primarily Egyptian Muslim

scholars who are working on the Jewish

community in Egypt but they have access

to incredible private archives and they

post these things and they will answer

your questions and they will get things

for you and share materials with you so

it's worth trying to find these groups

and entering that kind of collaborative

collegial atmosphere internationally

online to find your resources. Alright so

I know we've been through a lot and I'm

way over time and I apologize for that but I

really wanted to give you guys some good

highlights. All this is available through my research guide,

UCLA research guide, Hazine blog

you can find all of these different links again

and I am available to you, my other

Middle East librarian colleagues are

available to you, we don't just work for

the people at our universities we help

anybody who comes to us.

so thank you very much. Thank you very

much this have been incredibly wonderful

presentations very, not only informative,

but inspiring and so we're very grateful

to both of you for for accepting our

invitation and and providing us with

these inspiring talks. Thank you very