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Thursday 21 January ,2021

The Emirates Library: Serving as the Nation’s Memory and Sharing it

The Emirates Library: Serving as the Nation’s Memory and Sharing it 

The Emirates Library, at the National Archives, is a specialized research library established in 1968.  The Library provides facilities for borrowing and circulation including access to electronic resources and photocopy services in line with local and international copyright laws.  The Library is focused on topics related specifically to the United Arab Emirates as well as the Gulf Region and other relevant topics.  The Library utilizes the Library of Congress Classification system.  In addition to its collections of print resources, the Library contains a press archive of local, Arab, and International newspapers and magazines as well as a collection of theses and dissertations.

Most of the Arabic titles the Library eagerly acquired, from the exhibition, are in line not only with the objectives of the National Archives but the requirements of academics and researchers conducting research on the history and heritage of the Emirates who patron the Library.  The aim is to provide more references and resources concerning the history and heritage of the Emirates and the Gulf Region.

The Library has worked to enrich its’ holdings with the most important historical books, series, dictionaries, etc., most prominently: Dictionary of Tools in Emirati Heritage; Al Ain: City of History and Civilization; Al Dhaid City: A Reading in History and Personalities; Zayed and the Objectives of Islamic Law; Al-Sana - Timeless Values Throughout the Ages; Liwa Through History; Emirates of the Coast: Memoirs of Julian Walker. Other significant holdings include: The Arabian Gulf through the texts of Portuguese Travelers and Historians During the Era of the Great Geographical Discoveries and the Portuguese Occupation of the Gulf, in three volumes; The United Arab Emirates: Difficulties of Establishment and Construction Components; Postal Services in the Emirate of the Coast; Glimpses of the History of Health and Medical Care in the Emirate of Sharjah; Trade in the Emirates of Old. Other books deal with the history and heritage of sister countries: The Kuwaitis: History and Occupations; Times, Places, and Personalities in Bahrain, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, in two parts; The Political and Commercial History of Oman and its Foreign Relations in the Islamic Middle Ages (749-1208 AD); Historical Views of Kuwaiti Figures, in two volumes; Ascribed Inscriptions Regarding Water and Irrigation in Ancient Yemen; The Bu Saids and the Family of Saud; Andalusian History from the Islamic Conquest to the Fall of Granada.

The Library has a keen interest in encyclopedias and in linguistic and general dictionaries and it has acquired a number of these reference works, most significantly: The Large Golden Dictionary; Dictionary of the Language of the Sharia, in four volumes; A Dictionary of Famous Women; Major Encyclopedia of World-Famous Persons, in twenty-four volumes.

It is noteworthy that the Emirates Library, part of the scientific and research program of the National Archives, provides visitors with services to take benefit from its’ rich and specialized collection. This includes thousands of distinguished premium print and electronic resources, which form integrated collections of references, theses, rare books, Arab and foreign periodicals, and online subscriptions to eBooks, and various databases. The Library contains a wealth of historical books, the most important books on the UAE and topics related to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It includes biographical books, atlases (including the largest atlas in the world), dictionaries, encyclopedias, original rare books, etc. Information resources in the library are in two languages, Arabic and English, augmented by materials in other major languages such as French, German, Farsi, Dutch, and Portuguese.

The Library is preparing for the launch of its digital repository project in 2021, which represents the first of its efforts to provide access to the Library’s various digital assets relating to government publications, rare books, periodical articles, and open access resources. In addition, the Library continues to contribute to the project, “Arabic Collections Online,” available free in the form of a digital repository of rare Arabic books on the internet via the link: http://dlib.nyu.edu/aco/ .