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Urban Middle East [HIST338]

Historical Atlases and Other Map Sources

S1 H6

Historical Atlas of Islam: Atlas historique de l’Islam

Includes historical maps of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and other major cities in the Arabian Peninsula. This atlas is located in the atlas cases.

S1 F7

Historical Atlas of the Middle East

Includes historical maps of the layout of numerous cities.

J4 B4

Historical Atlas of Jerusalem

Chapters relevant to the Middle Ages include:Jerusalem in the Embrace of the Muslim Crescent (638 - 1099); Jerusalem, Capital of the Crusader Kingdom (1099 - 1260); Jerusalem Restored to Islam - Mamluks (1260 - 1515); and Jerusalem Under Ottoman Rule (1515 - ).

In addition to city maps, plans, and diagrams at various stages in history, there are line drawings of architectural features, photographs of artifacts, and descriptions of city events providing the political, social, and religious context of each time period covered.

J4 G5

Jerusalem History Atlas

Regional maps covering Jerusalem and the Conquests of Islam, Crusader March to Jerusalem, Jerusalem: Holy City, City of Pilgrimage since 1000 BC, Jerusalem and the Jewish Search for a Secure Haven 1000-1600 AD and Return of the Jews to Jerusalem 1200 - 1841.
City maps of Jerusalem include Crusader Jerusalem and Mamluk Jerusalem.

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Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection [UT at Austin]

Check out the City Maps, Country Maps, and Historical Maps sections on the Website for a wide variety of city maps on this site and links to maps on other sites.

Background Reading

Encyclopaedia of Urban Cultures: Cities and Cultures Around the World

  • Material drawn from the Human Relations Area Files [cultural anthropology]
  • General articles on urban issues such as health, migration, urban spaces, and the declining city and articles on specific regions including "Urbanization in the Middle East" on pp. 70-79.
  • Individual city articles include information on attractions, origin, infrastructure, cultural and social life, quality of life, and future
  • Each article is accompanied by a bibliography

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East & North Africa

  • Brief city articles tracing urban development to current day accompanied by bibliographies of additional resources on each city

Encyclopaedia of Islam 2nd ed. 12 vols. 1960.

Comprehensive encyclopedia with authoritative articles on the Islamic cities that focus on the pre-modern period. Each article is accompanied by a bibliography, many of which indicate the consultation of non-English primary sources. Some maps. Historical


Cultural Atlas of Islam

Maps, timelines, and illustrations of all aspects of Islamic culture. Chapter on Spatial Arts provides pictures, plans, and schematics of urban areas, complexes and mosques. Historical

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Search Strategies for Finding Books



Search the Combined USMAI Catalog . Begin at the Cook Library Home page and click on USMAI Catalog.

For those books focused on a particular city, search the city name as a subject beginning with. Do not add other words, as it is difficult to know specific search terms that might cover your areas of interest. Subheadings including buildings, structures..., conservation and restoration, description & travel, history, reconstruction, social life &customs, urban renewal could all have bearing.

For books on Islamic architecture, in general, that might provide useful information, try a subject word/s search using.....islam* and architecture.

NOTE: For images of a city's architectural landmarks and some maps, try the research database ARTstor . Go into the Advanced Search, type in the name of a city, and select Classification : Architecture & City Planning on the right side of the screen. Check ARTstor Quick Guide for hints on using this database of images.


For a review on how to request a book from another University System of Maryland library [USMAI Catalog], watch this short video.

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ArchNet Digital Library

  • Architecture, planning, landscape design issues with a focus on Muslim culture and civilizations maintained by Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]




  • Provides a collection of images of the Middle East from " original phototgraphs, post cards, historical documents and art objects from Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt"....some dating back to the mid-1800s
  • Search by keyword or browse by city, religion, people, design & architecture, or historic event
  • See the detailed search for additional options

Urban Heritage and Conservation [Global Development Research Center]


Organization of World Heritage Cities

  • Not all middle eastern cities are covered, to see the list click on Cities
  • This site is marginally useful for the basic facts, history and layout for each city covered
  • Not all links provided are useful as they often lead to commercial concerns and Wikipedia

United Nations Education Science Culture Organization

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Ismail Serageldin's Web Site

  • This author writes on world urban issues and cultural preservation of cities
  • Check the Reference Files tab for a list of various publications, speeches and presentations, among them, some on urbanization
  • Alexandria is the topic of numerous publications
  • Check for books in the publications section in the USMAI Catalog
  • Historic Cities and Sacred Sites: Cultural Roots for Urban Futures is available in Google Books

Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East [Publication of the Middle East Institute]

  • Deals with the issue of historic preservation vs. modernism in Middle Eastern cities



International Council on Monuments and Sites: Charters, Documents, Conventions

  • Provides full text of important ICOMOS documents and international standards focused on cultural heritage and preservation of historical sites and monuments

Blog on architecture publications

  • Books, Publications, Issues of Interest to the International Planning, Architectural, and Design Community
  • Maintained by Ashraf Salama, a professor of architecture at University of Qatar

Cultural Heritage search engine

  • List of international organizations dealing with preservation and conservation
  • Type the name of a city into the search engine

MIT Islamic Architecture

  • Links to images of Islamic architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere
  • Visit the Dome image collection

Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture [Harvard University]

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Using Online Databases to Find Articles

The following online databases are available only through the Cook Library Home page.
You will be asked to sign in with your 14-digit barcode if you are off campus.


Historical Abstracts, Art Abstracts, and Academic Search

Click on databases from the Cook Library Web site. Click on Historical Abstracts , and once in it, click on choose databases and add Art Abstracts and Academic Search. You may choose to add Index to Jewish Periodicals, Humanities Abstracts and/or Social Sciences Abstracts, or whatever seems relevant, which may provide some additional relevant sources for your search.

  • Click on the Advanced Search link
  • Type a city name and change Select a Field to SU Subject Terms
  • Type other words in box below. For example, type.... city planning or public spaces or architecture...and seach as SU Subject Terms
  • Combine city planning or conservation or restoration or reconstruction or public spaces or architecture or urban renewal with additional terms, such as heritage or historic or cultural
  • Try different words, look at subjects assigned to articles in your results list to find appropriate subject terms to use in your search
  • To limit to academic articles, check the box on the Advanced Search screen next to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Journals

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JSTOR provides full text access to a selection of journals from their first issue up to four years ago. Coverage complements the more current coverage of databases published by EBSCO.

Suggestions for searching:

  • Go to SEARCH in JSTOR. Click on Advanced Search.
  • Type in the name of a city with some terms like city planning or a combination of words separated by the word 'or' that you think will give you a list of relevant articles
  • If results are off target, try scrolling down Advanced Search page to select journals in a particular field (e.g. Architecture & Architectural History, Geography, History, Middle East Studies)
  • In the Advanced Search screen, under Limit by Type, check off Article, to eliminate book reviews and editorials

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The URL for this document is http://pages.towson.edu/sara/urban_mideast.html

Home / Class Resources sfn 3/26/2010