Watkins Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Working papers of Eric Watkins, foreign correspondent, chiefly relating to his career as a freelance journalist in Yemen, but including also material on Kazakhstan, Georgia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and the Middle East in general. Thecollection comprises draft and published articles and conference papers, interview notebooks with tape recordings and video cassettes of interviews, contracts with various newspapers, book reviews, leading personality reports for Republic of Yemen(Crown copyright, restricted until 2021), colour slides of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, black and white photographs of Kazakhstan and a small amount of printed material. Most notable is a complete set of YNS bulletin and YNS weekender , a daily news bulletin compiled by Dr. Watkins, May 1992-May 1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

Eric Watkins pursued an academic career at the University of California, San Diego from 1975-1980 and at King Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1980-1988 before turning to full-time journalism. As a freelance journalist,specialising in Middle Eastern affairs in general, and the Yemen in particular, he has written for the Financial Times , The Economist, Associated Press and numerous other English-language and Arabic newspapers and periodicals. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge (1988-1989) andhonorary fellow at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Durham since 1993. He is author of US policy unfolds , International Affairs , 72-73 (Oct 1996,Jan 1997), editor of The Middle Eastern environment: selected papers of the 1995 conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (Cambridge, 1995) and joint editor with E.G.H. Joffé and M.J. Hachemi ofYemen today: crisis and solutions (Caravel Press, 1997), and is a regular contributor to international conferences.


The papers are largely unsorted and are boxed in their original accession order.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Dr. Watkins, 1994-98.

Other Finding Aids

Brief accession lists.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk), and permission to produce photocopies must be sought first from Dr.Watkins. The responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


New material is regularly received.