Papers relating to the village of Arrabeh, Palestine

Scope and Content

This is a small collection of detailed documentation on the village of Arrabeh near Jenin, Palestine, covering the period 1850-1950. It includes financial, agricultural and genealogical records, as well as maps, photographs and card indexes. The collection contains: Arabic manuscripts, Arabic and Osmanli manuscripts with Romanized transcription; notes and commentaries on many of the manuscripts; records of interviews; genealogical and occupational tables based largely on records of interviews; reproductions and transcriptions of maps, tables and other land records; reproductions and transcriptions of vital statistics records; references, citations, notes and comments on British and Jewish archival material relating mainly to the Mandate period; references, citations, notes and comments on other literature; miscellaneous notes; photographs of Arrabeh c1971.

Administrative / Biographical History

The village of Arrabeh is situated near Jenin, Palestine. This village was at one time the focus of a historical power centre, and was cradle of the 'Abdul Hadi family. The land where the village is situated is now part of the Occupied Territories.

This archive of data about the village was compiled in the period 1968-1972 by Ya'akov (aka Hardwin) Firestone, who originated from the village before moving to the USA. The field work conducted between 1968-1971 was focused on the social and economic history of the rural district of Arrabeh. The research was funded by National Defense Foreign Language Fellowships and a grant from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Firestone began work on a PhD dissertation (history and Middle Eastern studies, Harvard University), entitled 'The role of institutions in the adaption of a Rural Community to the economic transition: land holding, population movement and agricultural development in the Arab hill country of Western Palestine, 1880-1945'. Although the planned PhD was never completed, Firestone is known to have been based at Harvard University in 1975 and at the University of Maryland in the 1980s.

His publications include: 'The doctrine of integration with France among the Europeans of Algeria, 1955-1960', Comparative Political Studies, July 1971; 'Production and trade in an Islamic context: Sharika contracts in the transitional economy of Northern Samaria, 1853-1943', International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 6 (1975); 'Land equalisation and factor scarcities: holding size and the burden of impositions in Imperial Central Russia and the Late Ottoman Levant', Journal of Economic History, vol. XLI, no. 4, Dec 1981

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 17 April 2004 and encoded into EAD 1 June 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Donated by Ya'akov Firestone, and transferred to the Library from the USA c1994, via members of the Islamic Studies department, University of Exeter.

Related Material

Not known.


'The land-equalising musha village: a reassessment', Ottoman Palestine 1800-1914: Studies in economic and social history, 1990, ed. Gad G. Gilbar; 'Crop-sharing economics in Mandatory Palestine', Middle Eastern Studies, 2, no. 1, Jan 1975, and no. 2 May 1975; 'Production and trade in Mandatory Palestine: Sharika contracts in the transitional economy of Northern Samaria, 1853-1943', International Journal Middle Eastern Studies, 6, 1975