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Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library

Cambridge Archive Editions Documents*

Digitized Collections

Document sets with digital access are described below. Click on the title of the collection to access its contents. Click here to see the full list of digital titles we subscribe to, available on the publisher’s platform.

Print Collections

The print collections described below are all available in the Global Resources Center located on the 7th floor of Gelman Library, Room 708. Please inquire at the GRC service desk for assistance locating the document sets.

Digitized Collections

British extra-territorial jurisdiction in the Gulf, 1913-1971 

This study presents an account of the exercise of extra-territorial jurisdiction by Britain in the Arab Gulf States during the period before the Gulf States gained full sovereignty and independence. It provides a valuable analysis of the working of the British Court System in the Arab context. The material is based on the author´s original research among the juridical records of the British Court for Bahrain and on interviews with judges and lawyers of the period.

Minorities in the Middle East : Kurdish communities, 1918-1974  

These volumes of original despatches, correspondence and reports record aspects of the Kurdish situation starting from the period following the First World War. Although the Kurdish peoples are numerous, their aspirations for unity and independence have been repressed by the dominant regimes in the region, effectively minoritising the Kurds within a group of established states. Since the end of the First World War the former Ottoman Kurdistan has been administered by five sovereign states: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the former Soviet Union. In 1918 Kurdish hopes for an independent Kurdistan provided for by the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) were quashed by the constitution of modern Turkey, founded by Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), and by the division of Kurdistan between Turkey, Syria and Iraq by the French and British, formalised in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Minorities in the Middle East : Muslim minorities in Arab countries, 1843-1973  

These four volumes, concerning Muslim minority communities from 1843 to 1973, consist of contemporary political despatches, correspondence and reports composed by British diplomats, some of whom were resident in the country under debate. The papers are written very clearly from a British perspective but this authoritative voice of government allows us an insight into high politics at a time when the British were inextricably involved in the government of the Middle East. What is also evident, from even a quick reading, is the extent to which the position and treatment of minority cultures is a central consideration in achieving peace and good governance. Perhaps inevitably the material concerning minorities is partial and unsatisfactory in some ways, but taken together these volumes provide a continuity of evidence for how little has changed from historical to modern times.

Minorities in the Middle East : religious communities in Jerusalem, 1843-1974 and minorities in Israel

In these four volumes the selection of documents combines to give an overview of the interplay within and between the different faiths existing in Jerusalem. The 2400 pages contain documents exploring the treatment and position of the diverse religious minorities within Jerusalem and more generally in Israel after 1948. Historically, relations between Muslims and non-Muslims have varied according to political events. Within the confines of Jerusalem and its environs the many different claims of the main faiths of Islam, Judaism and Christianity to parts of the city have exacerbated the effects of the political climate. Furthermore, struggles for rights to minority worship within the State have been diverted as rivalries between churches, particularly within the Christian church, have divided congregations.

The slave trade into Arabia, 1820-1973 

In tracing the massive effort made to stop the sea trade, it is hoped that this collection of documents will also convey the scale of the diaspora out of east Africa. It includes naval reports and diplomatic records to convey both the actions that took place and the background political guidance on which this was based; interviews with captured slave dealers, informants and freed slaves as well as correspondence between British officials and their counterparts; and documentary evidence of the efforts made to monitor and deter the slave trade.

Print Collections

Afghanistan strategic intelligence: British records, 1919-1970

Afghanistan Strategic Intelligence provides 4000 pages of primary research materials which reveal both the strategic significance and the characteristics - political, military and tribal - of Afghanistan 1919-1970. Many of these aspects will be seen to be unchanging and will provide an historical perspective likely to assist the understanding of recent events.

The collection begins with material describing the Third British-Afghan War of 1919, which led to the establishment of Afghan independence. There is coverage of coups and instability within the ruling family from 1919 to 1933; increased influence and sustained presence of the USSR; continuous evaluation by the British of the Russian threat posed for the integrity of Afghanistan and implications for the defence of India; relations between Afghanistan and neighbouring tribes including on the Northwest Frontier; the activities in Afghanistan of anti-imperialist agents and groups. The collection ends in 1970 with the end of the available documents but with the country moving towards the deposal of King Zahir Shah and the establishment of the republic in 1973.

Arab Dissident Movements, 1905-1955

4 volumes, 3000 pages; ISBN 9781852076801

These four volumes contain a detailed study of activist movements and personalities, researched from the British records relating to 20th-century subversive groups and individuals in the Middle East. The coverage includes major categories such as Arab nationalists and pan-Arabists with aspirations to Arab unity; specifically territorial activists; and anti-régime dissidents.The many groups referred to include: Society for Arab Revival (1906); Young Turks (1908); Lebanese Revival(1908); Al-Fatah (1909); Reform Society of Basra; Arab Revolutionary Society (1914); Palestine Arab Party; Todamun al-Akhawi; Druse rebels; Shakib Arslan; the Liberation Society; Iraq Independence Party; ArabBa’ath Movement; Moslem Brotherhood; Omani Revolution Council.

ARAMCO Reports on Al Hasa and Oman 1950-1955​

Published by consent of SAUDI ARAMCO, William Mulligan and F. S. Vidal

4 volumes including map box; 1200 pages Volumes 1 and 4 are in both Arabic and English; ISBN 9781852072254

[Prepared for ARAMCO’s Research Division by William Mulligan, F. S. Vidal and George Rentz. ] During 1949 the Arabian American Oil Company resumed and prosecuted with vigor the work begun some ten years earlier of exploring the eastern reaches of the Province of al-Hasa. It was thought desirable that information on the geography and inhabitants of the region should be accumulated and embodied in a comprehensive survey. Since agreement had not then been reached by the Governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi regarding their common boundaries, special attention was given to the territory of Saudi Arabia abutting on the Peninsula of Qatar as well as its territory abutting on the hinterland of Abu Dhabi in the region of the Trucial Coast.

Iran: Political Developments 1941-1946 : British Documentary Sources: Iran Under Allied Occupation​

13 volumes, 10,000 pages; ISBN 9781840971958

Editor: A.L.P. Burdett

This collection has been selected with the intention of examining in detail the political developments within Iran and the changes in Iranian policy that resulted from movements in the balance of power during the Second World War. It forms the first part of a forthcoming series tracing the political development of modern Iran through contemporary documents. The period 1941–1946 is a significant and complex one. These key documents draw together despatches, letters, telegrams, reports, minutes and records of meetings from many disparate British Government files to give a full record of Iran during the period of World War II, detailing Iran’s relations with Great Britain, the Soviet Union, Turkey and the USA during this critical period.

Iran: Political Diaries, 1881-1965​

14 volumes, 12000 pages; ISBN 9781852077105

Advisor: Dr. R.M. Burrell; Editor: R.L. Jarman

A key source work for modern Iranian history: this comprehensive series of British political reports not only provides an insight into the complexities and conflicts of Persian politics, but also closely reflects the changing nature of the relations between Britain and Persia. In 1881, when the first of the diplomatic reports reproduced in this work was written, Persia was being ruled by its 4th successive Qajar Shah, Nasir al-Din. He had come to the throne in 1848 and his was to be the longest reign of that dynasty, being brought to an end by an act of assassination in May 1896. When this series of volumes ends in 1965, the second Pahlavi Shah was still on the throne, but an important religious leader, Rouhalla Khomeini, was writing his first lectures on the theory of Islamic government.

Iraq Administration Reports 1914-1932​

10 volumes, 5500 pages; ISBN 9781852073602

This title is a comprehensive series of British administration reports for Mesopotamia (Iraq) from the outset of World War I up to the independence of Iraq. It includes accounts of the British campaign against the Turks in Iraq (including the siege of Kut) 1914–1918, the administration of the vilayets of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul up to 1920; also the complete series of administration reports under the British Mandate over Iraq 1920–1932, including the final report submitted to the League of Nations. These reports provide vital historical background to recent and current events in Iraq, especially concerning regional and tribal affairs, agricultural organisation and civil administration.

Iraq: Defence Intelligence 1920-1973​

6 volumes including map box; 4000 pages; ISBN 9781840971002

The documents and supporting maps in this collection explore the central role of Iraq in both the politics of the Middle East and the formation of government policy in the West from 1920–1973. The volumes cover Iraq’s strategic and military history from the beginning of the British Mandate in 1920, through independence in 1932, the death of King Feisal and accession of King Ghazi, the Second World War, the overthrow of the monarchy and the death of King Feisal II and his Prime Minister Nuri Al-Said, the regimes of Qasim and then Aref, and through to the “bloodless coup” of 1968 which consolidated the Ba’ath Party in power. Saddam Hussein, Vice President of the Revolutionary Command Council, appears in the final documents of this collection.

Islam: Political Impact, 1908-1972 : British Documentary Sources​

12 volumes, 8000 pages; ISBN 9781840970708; with accompanying map

This collection begins, in 1908, with the revolution of the Young Turks in Turkey and carefully details the effects which spread outward from this seminal event. Their revolutionary idea of using Islam as a vehicle for modernization began the greatest revival of the Islamic faith since that faith began despite the apparent irony of the demise of the Caliphate and the secularisation of Turkey in the mid-1920s. The concurrent rise of King ibn Saud and the Wahabis in the Arabian peninsula, created a powerful debate between different views of modern Islamic faiths, states, and rulers. Included in the documents are diplomatic correspondence, departmental minutes, letters and reports both internal and to foreign governments, telegrams, summaries and briefings.

Islamic Movements in the Arab World, 1913–1966

4 volumes, 2,000 pages; ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-800-3

This set examines the progression of pan-Islamic organisations, movements and activists extant in the Arab states in the early 20th century, particularly in the Hijaz (Saudi Arabia), Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and most of the Maghreb states, together with the involvement of Islamic institutions in regularising and interceding in aspects of both religious and secular life. The contents include primary source material on: early fundamentalist (Wahhabi) support for King Abdul Aziz from 1913; repercussions following the end of the Caliphate, 1920s; the World Islamic Conference in Mecca, 1926, opened by King Abdul Aziz; plans for a Pan-Islamic League, 1919; pan-Islamic activity in Jerusalem; Islamic propaganda missions to the Maghreb states; Saudi proposal for an Islamic pact; records of numerous Islamic conferences from the 1930s to the 1960s. 

Israel Political & Economic Reports, 1948-1953: Israel Under The Premiership Of David Ben Gurion, 1948-1953 

7 volumes, 4,000 pages; ISBN (13) 978-1-84097-310-5

This project is the first in a new series of collections of British political and economic reports on Israel. It examines the first premiership of David Ben Gurion and the British relationship with the new Israeli State, which was an important one, given the former British Mandate in Palestine. These 4000 pages are the collected British government political and economic reports on the State of Israel from its creation in May 1948 to the end of the first Premiership of David Ben Gurion. Ben Gurion, regarded as the "Father of Israel", held the posts of Defence Minister, and Prime Minister, during the first 5 years of the Israeli State, throughout the War of Independence, the first wave of immigration, the implementation of mass settlement, development projects and the signing of a reparations agreement with Germany: one of the most important periods in the history of the Middle East and the Jewish people in particular.

Land Legislation in Mandate Palestine

9 volumes, 5500 pages including 1 map box; ISBN (13) 978-1-84097-260-3 

A great many books have been written on the subject of Jewish land-settlement and the Arabs, or the land question in Palestine, but rarely does one have the opportunity to access the original documents among which the research has been made. This new collection of original documents from Cambridge Archive Editions allows scholars to form their own opinions on this most controversial, and critical, series of events.

Minorities in the Middle East:  Christian Minorities 1838–1967

10 volumes, 6500 pages; ISBN 9781840971859

These ten volumes consist of original political despatches, correspondence and reports covering: Christian communities in the Levant 1838 to 1955, in overview, and the affairs of the Assyrian communities 1880 to 1951, the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Jacobite, Chaldean and Syrian Catholic communities, and Protestant communities in the Levant and Iraq, in particular, with further detail about the Maronite communities in the Levant 1841 to 1958, and Coptic Christian communities in the Levant and Egypt 1917 to 1967. These volumes also cover the Jeddah murders of 1858 and 1895, and the treatment of Armenians in Turkey and the Levant, including the Armenian massacres during the First World War.

Minorities in the Middle East:  Jewish Communities in Arab Count 1841–1974

6 volumes, 3870 pages; ISBN 9781840971200

This group of six volumes covers the arrangements and conditions for Jewish communities living under Islam throughout the Arab world from 1841–1974. The first two volumes study the position of Jews during the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Later volumes consider conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt and the Maghreb states: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The documents reflect the acknowledged historical generalisation that the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule. However, the situation changed abruptly in 1948 with anti-Jewish feeling increasing after the founding of the Israeli state, and succeeding years saw dramatic reductions in Jewish communities in the Arab world as emigration to Israel and elsewhere proceeded apace.

Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: Iran in the Persian Gulf 1820–1966

6 volumes, 4,800 pages; ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-810-2 

The Arabian Geopolitics series, of which this is the fifth, sets out to examine the key issues in the political evolution of strategic regions of the Arabian Peninsula. It explores the historical background to contemporary developments in political and territorial authority. It highlights the interaction of inter-state relations and claims, traditional trade and tribal activity and the extent to which natural resources dictate national claims.

This substantial collection, of almost 5000 pages in 6 volumes, focuses on political relations in the Persian Gulf region between Iran (Persia), Britain and the Arab states of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, during the period when Britain, through her special treaty provisions with the Arab states, maintained an active presence in the area. Regular reports of events follow the initiation of diplomatic relations between Britain and Persia in the early nineteenth century, and the creation of treaties with the Arab shaikhs from 1820. Territorial claims predominate in the material, but the selection covers the all the important conflicts and communications between the states. 

Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: The Red Sea Region: Sovereignty, Boundaries & Conflict, 1839 - 1967

6 volumes, 5500 pages; ISBN 978-1-84097-230-6; ISSN 1351-363X

This 5500 page collection documents the political and territorial changes within and between states bordering the Red Sea, or linked with it, including islands and European colonies. Although the dates chosen inevitably reflect the British provenance of the records, corresponding as they do with Britain’s acquisition of Aden in 1839 and departure from it in 1967, the collection is much more than this. It is a study of Ottoman influence; European encroachments and the building of the Suez Canal; erosion and collapse of Ottoman sovereignty, consolidation of European presence, and the rise of nationalism in Egypt and Arabia; instability post 1914–18 War, European rivalry in Arabia, the Italo-Ethiopian Crisis, and the Red Sea in the Second World War, the Suez Crisis and the waning of British influence in the region post World War II

Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: South-West Arabia: Saudi Arabia–Yemen Dispute

6 volumes, 4,000 pages; ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-480-7

The Arabian Geopolitics series is a series of documentary studies that examined the key issues in the political evolution of strategic regions of the Arabian Peninsula. It explores the historical background to contemporary developments in political and territorial authority. It highlights the interaction of inter-state relations and claims, traditional trade and tribal activity and the extent to which natural resources dictate national claims.

This 6 volume set contains documents illustrating the origins of political and territorial authority, and the course of inter-state relations and claims, traditional trade and tribal activity in the area of the Saudi-Yemen border. The editor, Richard Schofield, is Deputy Director of the Geopolitics Research Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and editor or author of numerous studies on Arab boundary questions.

Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: The Iraq–Kuwait Dispute 1830–1994

7 volumes, 4,000 pages, including 1 map box 

This publication provides primary source materials relating to the history of the two separate, and seemingly contradictory, territorial claims that successive Iraqi governments have maintained with respect to the state of Kuwait and its territory.

For the first four volumes the Editor´s aim has been to guide the reader through all the relevant, publicly-available documents which have shaped the evolution of the international boundary between Iraq and Kuwait, from Ottoman times to the recent operations of the United Nations. In volumes 5 to 6 of the collection attention is paid to the emerging international status of Kuwait, Britain´s role in this process and Ottoman and Iraqi claims to the sovereignty or suzerainty of Kuwait. Within the lengthy contents lists which preface each volume of text, expert and detailed commentary is passed on the significance of each phase in the documented history of the Iraq-Kuwait dispute. These contents lists also cross-reference the maps included within the map box.

OPEC: Origins and Strategy 1947–1973

6 volumes, 4,400 pages; ISBN (13) 978-1-84097-090-6 

This collection of documents is a selection of official British government records pertaining to the creation of OPEC in 1960, and the activities of precursor and related bodies and events from 1947. The volumes cover OPEC’s major meetings from 1960–1973, the reactions and evolving policy decisions on the part of British officials, diplomats and politicians at every level, as well as British interaction, co-operation and differences with the United States and the European Community, through the records of the Cabinet, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Fuel and Power, Prime Minister’s Office and the Treasury. British records are naturally dominated and informed by the relations with the major domestic oil companies, BP and Shell, through which many of the records tracing OPEC’s activities were obtained. 

Palestine and Transjordan Administration Reports 1918-1948

ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-557-6 16 volumes, 11,500 pages.  Published: 1995   

This 16 volume work presents a comprehensive collection of British administrative reports and associated documents, including extensive material hitherto unknown and unpublished. The series includes the pre-Mandate reports of 1918-1923, the Mandate and Departmental Annual Reports from 1923-1947/8, including the unpublished Mandate Reports for 1940 and 1941, the extensive Survey of Palestine 1946/47 and the formal papers covering the termination of the Mandate in 1948.  This is an essential research source for information on British administration in Palestine and Transjordan, on the continuous tensions of the period between the Arab and Jewish populations, on civil disorders and the eventual unworkability of the Mandate.

Palestine Boundaries 1833-1947

ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-175-2  4 volumes, 2,500 pages, including 1 map box.  Published: 1989 

The aim of the present work is to provide, in a single source of reference, copies of those historical documents which cumulatively defined the geographical and political limits of Palestine up to the end of the British Mandate in 1947. The work is intended to establish an objective historical base, taken from the records, for understanding the evolution of the territorial idea of Palestine before the modern era. The collection is also intended to demonstrate the extent and limits of responsibility, particularly British and French, for territorial decisions, and likewise the extent of solid international agreement on the delimitation of Palestine boundaries in the past.  Documents were selected in the main from the Foreign Office and Colonial Office series of files in the National Archives, London. Supplementary material from official British sources comes from the India Office Library and Records, London. A selection of key papers is included from the Archives Diplomatiques, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Quai d´Orsay, Paris. The collection also makes use of a good part of the Jennings-Bramly private papers lodged with the Royal Geographical Society, London. This collection was edited by Ms Patricia Toye whose sudden death in October 1994 is a loss felt by all researchers and historians of the boundaries of the region. Volume I includes a historical preface by Ms Toye and a scholarly introduction by J.C. Hurewitz, Professor of Government Emeritus at Columbia University, New York.

Ruling Families of Arabia: Documentary Records of the Dynasties of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman

12 volumes, 7,500 pages, including 1 box of family trees; ISBN (13) 978-1-85207-310-7

Archive Editions presents 12 volumes of previously unpublished despatches, diplomatic correspondence and political reports concerning the origins, evolution and legitimacy of the dynasties ruling in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. Included are key documents illustrating the role of Kuwait´s ruling family, Al-Sabah, and the background to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990. There is extensive coverage of the Hashimite Royal House of Jordan and historical aspects of the Palestine problem. Much of the documentation is made up of memoranda on ruling family affairs; genealogical tables; confidential profiles and biographical data on emirs, shaikhs, kings and sultans; and Arabic originals of letters since the eighteenth century but there are also reports on the policies of the ruling families regarding dissident Islamic groups and popular demands for political reform.  

Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel 1839-1972

ISBN (13) 978-1-84097-050-0  10 volumes, 8,000 pages.  Published: 2004 

These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland. Material is relatively sparse in the 19th century and volume 1 is rather an historical volume covering the rise of Zionism, including the work of Theodor Herzl and the first Zionist Congress at Basle, ending in 1916 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The bulk of the material, volumes 2 to 8, relates to the years 1916-1948 when the Zionist debate raged, the movement became factionalised, split, and eventually, partly because of events surrounding World War II, achieved its goal of the creation of Israel. Volume 10, like volume 1 ranges over a greater number of years in less detail, covering the period after the creation of Israel in 1948 to the most recent releases by the British government from 1972, when the main question for Zionism, perhaps, was whether it still had a role to play beyond the inception of the State.

*All descriptions are taken from the publisher's website.

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