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Modern Middle East

Welcome to the research guide for your historical studies course in the modern Middle East.  The suggested databases are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section of the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC on-campus collection or by mail to distance learning members of the PHC community.  You may check the location and the availability of an item in the on-campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed here and through the library home page.

The research paper will focus on a particular event or phenomenon for which library research assistance may prove invaluable. Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu .


In the on-campus library


Many of the required readings and textbooks are on reserve and are available for 2 hour check out, in library use only, at the library circulations desk.  Additional suggested resources:

Oxford dictionary of the modern Islamic world, vols. 1-4, at Ref DS 35.53 .O95 1995.

The Arab Mind, by Raphael Patai, at DS 36.77 .P37 2007.

Middle East Patterns, 4th edition, by Colbert C. Held, at DS 44 .H418 2006.

From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman, at DS 119.7 .F 736 1990.

Hezbollah: born with a vengeance by Hala Jaber, at DS 119.7 .J224 1997.

History of the Middle East - DS 62.4 .M36 2004

Oxford History of the Middle Islam - BP 50 .O95 1999


Selected Journals


The Economist  (In print and online, 2001 to Present)

Current history: a journal of world affairs (In print, 2001-Present, Online 1988 to 2010)




Stratfor is a news analysis provider that covers political, economic, and military developments from around the world, including breaking news.

For specific and current information by country, check out the CIA's World Factbook and the BBC's Country Profiles.  Additionally the BBC, offers breaking news stories from the Middle East.

The JStor collection contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent 3 - 5 years for each title are not included in the collection.

ProQuest and Academic Search Premier provide access to thousands of current general and subject specific scholarly journal articles.

LexisNexis provides access to wide range of news (full-text newspapers) business, government, legal and reference information.

Internet Resources


Yale's Avalon Project provides access to many primary source documents related to historical developments in the Middle East in the 20th century.

Council on Foreign Relations is an independent research and policy analysis center focusing on complex foreign policy issues.  

Heritage Foundation as a conservative "think tank" provides research and promotes international policies inline with their values of individual freedom and strong national defense.

Brookings Institute provides research and formulates policy recommendations on a variety of issues including international conflicts. 

Center for Strategic and International Studies - Middle East Desk analyzes national security and foreign policy issues related to the Middle East.


Research tips

  • Search by subject:  Once you have located a potential source in the catalog, click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate a potential source, additional valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • If you are not able to find what you need in the on-campus or online collection, you may request an item through Interlibrary loan.  Instructions for obtaining an Interlibrary loan are available in the Library Services section of the library website.

For research projects in this course, the professor will assign his preferred citation format.  Citation help can be found  in the library and at  OWL .


Created: Thornhill, 2011. Reviewed and revised: Thornhill, 2012, 2013. Reviewed: Aikman/Thornhill, 2014