University of Manchester, Department of Middle Eastern Studies Archive

Scope and Content

Extant archive of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies (1985-2004). The records comprise departmental board records for 1995-2004 (earlier minutes believed lost), teaching committee minutes for 2003-2004 only, and some recent administrative files relating to teaching and research.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Department of Middle Eastern Studies was established in 1985, in succession to the Department of Near Eastern Studies. The Department ultimately derived from the Department of Semitic Studies, had, in effect, existed from the appointment of Professor Hope W. Hogg in 1903). In the post-1945 period, the subject coverage expanded from Semitic Studies to include Persian, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Mesopotamian Studies, as well as Middle Eastern history. Departmental staff were also involved with editing The Journal of Semitic Studies, established at the University of Manchester in 1955. At various times, the Department helped run the inter-disciplinary seminar series on Old Testament Research, and on the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Department taught as its main undergraduate degree the B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies which included options in Arabic, Hebrew, Akkadian, Persian and Turkish and the subject areas of Jewish, Islamic and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and Middle Eastern History. Students were required to take at least one language option as part of this degree. Joint degrees were also offered with religions and theology, linguistics, and European languages. The Department also ran a number of postgraduate degrees, including the M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies.

The Department was part of the Faculty of Arts, although it also had links to the former Faculty of Theology. In 2000 it formed a joint School with the Department of Religions and Theology. Currently, Middle Eastern Studies is part of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures


  • DMES/1 - Departmental Board minutes
  • DMES/2 - Teaching Committee minutes
  • DMES/3 - Administrative files

Access Information

Access conditions apply to the use of this archive. Please consult the archivist for further information. Review of materials may be required before any access is granted.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives by the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures in 2010.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.


Further accruals possible.

Related Material

The Faculty of Arts archive will contain information relating to curriculum and examination matters for this department (FAR). Annual reports (1903-1996) can be found in the Reports of Council (UOP/2) ; general prospectus information in the prospectuses collection (primarily the Faculty of Arts handbooks).

The Vice-Chancellor's archive contains several files relevant to the earlier history of the Department. these include:

  • VCA/7/86 - Department of Semitic Studies 1934-1950
  • VCA/7/251 - Arabic Studies, 1935-1951
  • VCA/7/414 - Oriental Studies, 1954-1969
  • VCA/7/428 - Department of Semitic Studies, 1952-1970
  • VCA/7/585 - Department of Arabic/Near Eastern Studies, 1951-1963

The archive of the Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society includes records of the Department of Semitic Studies' Seminar in Old Testament Research 1945-1959 MEO/5, and the (incomplete) records of the Advisory Committee on the Journal of Semitic Studies can be found in USC/62.

Geographical Names