The Archives du Maroc is Morocco’s newest public archive and offers scholars the opportunity to delve into previously overlooked material. The Archives hold those records of the French Protectorate that remained in Morocco following independence, as well as a smattering of holdings from the pre- and post-Protectorate periods.
The library became one of the richest Ottoman archives in the world in 1931 when it acquired millions of Ottoman documents from Turkey. Today, the library’s Oriental Department contains more than 160 sijills, 1000 registers, 1,000,000 individual documents, and thousands of manuscripts, from all the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The library is truly a hidden gem for scholars of the Middle East and the Balkans.
Located on the grounds of the National Garden in the Topkhane district of Tehran, the library and museum are a must-see not only for researchers but also anybody visiting Iran’s capital. While the museum holds an extensive collection of various artifacts, coins, artworks and carpets, the tens of thousands of Islamic manuscripts, many of which are rare and some unique, make the library one of the largest depositories of its kind in Iran.
The Museum of Textbooks or “Matḥaf al-Kitāb al-Madrasī” is a unique resource for historians interested in education, not only in Jordan, but also in Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The museum is located on the grounds of the secondary school for boys in Salt, approximately twenty miles from Amman and houses textbooks used in Jordan, but written and published throughout the region. These textbooks mainly date from the 1920s through the present but also include a few Ottoman-era works, as well as documents relating to Jordanian education, particularly at the Secondary School for Boys.
The Bosniak Institute in Sarajevo was a foundation established to promote the development and preservation of the cultural wealth, history and identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Institute offers a large, multi-themed library, a manuscript and rare books collection, an archive and various special collections such as those of postcards and audio records.
The Archivo General de Simancas (AGS) is the primary central archive of the Hispanic Monarchy for documents from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, although it also holds documents dating from the medieval period. It is located in the fifteenth-century castle of Simancas in a small village of the same name, ten kilometers from Valladolid. It is a valuable repository not only for the study of early modern Iberian empires, but also for North Africa and the Mediterranean.
Dar al-Mahfuzat al-ʿUmumiyya is an important Egyptian government archive despite the fact that few people know of its existence. Today it is best to describe it as the Registry and Property Records Archive of the Egyptian Finance Ministry. Located in Cairo, its documents, containing much more than property-related information, are significant for the administrative and urban history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Egypt.
The Institute for Oriental Studies in Sarajevo (Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu) is a public research institution dedicated to the study of the Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages and literatures, both in general and, more specifically, for Bosnia’s Ottoman past. It was formerly one of the most important institutions for conducting research on the Ottoman heritage of the former Yugoslavia, although today, regrettably, it is better known for its most tragic fate: it was burnt down to the ground in 1992. Despite this, it still contains a modest collection of manuscripts and documents in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, and Bosnian, all of which have been digitized, and two collections of reference literature.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, known as the JDC, is an international Jewish philanthropic organization started after the First World War to assist Jewish refugees in Eastern Europe and Palestine. With records of activities in over ninety countries dating from 1914 to the present, the JDC Archives are a significant resource to understand not only American Jewish relief efforts abroad, but also Jewish social, cultural, political, and economic conditions around the world. Middle East specialists will find this archive particularly useful for conducting research on Jewish history in the Middle East and North Africa in the second half of the twentieth century.
Gazi Husrev-Begova Biblioteka is the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts and documents in the Balkans. Located on the premises of the mosque complex of the same name in Sarajevo, the well-catalogued collection and brand new library is one of the premier locations for the study of the Ottoman Empire in general and the Balkans in particular. At the beginning of 2014, the library will officially open a state-of-the-art building to researchers and the general public.