Cambridge Archive Editions

Near and Middle East Collection

Cambridge Archive Editions (formerly published by Cambridge University Press and now an imprint of East View Press) presents a wealth of historical reference materials from the 18th-20th centuries on the national heritage and political development of numerous countries. In the Near and Middle East Collection, Cambridge Archive Editions utilizes Britain’s rich history with Middle Eastern countries via its East India Company trade routes up through the Persian Gulf. The British archives have particularly deep veins of material on boundary formation, tribal relations, state development and political relations.

Near and Middle East Collection Titles

Note: Please inquire for pricing and availability.

Click on the titles below to view a description of the set.

Afghanistan Strategic Intelligence Records 1919–1970

4 volumes, 4032 pages; ISBN 9781852078553
Afghanistan Strategic Intelligence provides 4,000 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, and ends in 1970 with the country moving towards the deposal of King Zahir Shah and the establishment of the republic in 1973.


The Arab Bulletin 1916–1919: Bulletin of the Arab Bureau in Cairo

4 volumes, 1900 pages; ISBN 9781852070250
The Arab Bulletin was founded on the initiative of T. E. Lawrence to provide “a secret magazine of Middle East politics”. Lawrence edited the first number on 6 June 1916 and thereafter sent numerous reports to it, enabling readers to follow, week by week, the Arab Revolt, which ended Ottoman domination in the Arabian peninsula. All 114 journals are here published for the first time, with an introduction by the late Dr. Robin Bidwell.


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 early twentieth 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; Arab Ba’ath Movement; Moslem Brotherhood; Omani Revolution Council.


Arab Gulf Cities

4 volumes, 2900 pages; ISBN 9781852075408
In four volumes Arab Gulf Cities draws together key documents reflecting the history and development of the major cities of the Arab Gulf up to the 1960s. There is detailed coverage of Kuwait City; Manama; Doha; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah; and Muscat and Mattrah. The range of material in the volumes is extensive: covering economic, municipal and social development; topography; water resources, electrification and roadbuilding, although the amount of detail surviving in the historical record naturally varies from place to place. The work is edited and introduced by the scholar and author on Middle East travel and topography, the late Richard Trench.


The Arab League 1943–1963: British Documentary Sources

10 volumes, 6000 pages; ISBN 9781852076108
On 22 March 1945 the Pact of the Arab League States was signed in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Saudi Arabia. Its objectives were closer unity between members, the safeguarding of their sovereignty and coordinated political action. Here now in facsimile are the authentic documents of that time, and the following 20 years, following the aims and the progress of the main organ of Arab unity this century. Details include: the origins of the Arab League; its creation and inauguration; issues such as the boycott of Jewish firms and products; policy on Palestine; collective security; inter-Arab, and foreign, relations.


Arabian Boundaries: Primary Documents 1853–1960

30 volumes, 15500 pages, including 3 map boxes; ISBN 9781852071301
This collection makes available copies of the several thousand documents which have determined the territorial divisions of Arabia today. An appreciation of Arabia´s territorial history is essential for an understanding of contemporary political events in the region. Boundaries were originally defined by Britain to protect her interests in the area but it is the relatively new, independent states of the Gulf and the peninsula who have to live within this imposed territorial framework. This has not always been easy and boundary disputes remain a ready source of friction between many neighbouring states. To complicate the picture further certain boundaries in the southern peninsula had not been agreed at the time of publication (1988).


Arabian Boundaries 1961–1965

10 volumes, 6500 pages; ISBN 9781840972375
Arabian Boundaries 1961–1965 possesses a broader geographical scope than its forerunner, Arabian Boundaries: Primary Documents. It seeks to present the key documentation dealing with annual territorial developments not just within the Arabian Peninsula but other areas of the Middle East covered by existing Cambridge Archive Editions publications dealing with border and territorial disputes, namely Palestine Boundaries 1883-1947 and The Iran–Iraq Border 1840–1958. Material within this new series will also serve to augment that included within the CAE collection on the territorial affairs of Arabia, Arabian Boundary Disputes.


Arabian Boundaries 1966–1975

18 volumes, 11,000 pages, including 2 map boxes; ISBN 9781840972405
This 18-volume collection provides the most comprehensive record published anywhere of the negotiations, discussions and detailed consideration given over to territorial questions in the Gulf region in the critical 1966–1975 decade. Often more revealing than the actual agreements themselves are the policy discussions and debates that result in them. Here they are assembled for the first time.

The documents chronicle the most critical decade witnessed to date in the territorial evolution of the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf region, a wholly unique area in geopolitical terms. Nowhere else is there such a concentration of microstates and these overlie the world’s greatest concentration of hydrocarbon reserves, all within a semi-enclosed sea. The illuminating Foreign and Commonwealth Office record included here comprehensively charts the huge efforts made by Britain to get its territorial house in order by the time it left the region as protecting power in December 1971, but also provides unique insights into the major settlements of the era and their background:

• Maritime boundary agreements between Iran and its western Arab neighbours (1968–1975)
• The rescission of the Iranian claim to Bahrain (1969–1971)
• Consideration of the Lower Gulf islands dispute in the years leading up to the Sharjah–Iran Memorandum of Understanding over Abu Musa (1971) and the response to that settlement
• The disposal of the Buraimi question and Saudi Arabia–United Arab Emirates (1974)
• Iran–Iraq and the Shatt al Arab (1975)


Arabian Boundary Disputes: Historical, Political and Legal Dossier

20 volumes, 18000 pages; ISBN 9781852074005
Arabian Boundary Disputes is designed as an historical and legal dossier on the development of the international boundaries within the Arabian peninsula, and includes material covering the Arabian peninsula’s most critical territorial disputes: Iran–Iraq, Iraq–Kuwait, Bahrain–Qatar and Saudi Arabia–Yemen. Each boundary is documented from its origins in international diplomacy up to 1992. In order to broaden the historical perspective and, particularly, to bring the documentary materials as close to the present as possible, a wider range of international archival sources was used, and along with a wider geographical coverage and the inclusion of all pertinent contemporary materials, this differentiates Arabian Boundary Disputes from the earlier series Arabian Boundaries.


Arabian Treaties 1600–1960

4 volumes, 3000 pages; ISBN 9781852073404
This is the most convenient and comprehensive collection available of treaties and agreements relating to the Arabian Gulf and peninsula. Detailed research has been undertaken to find new material including regional, inter-state and local treaties as well as exchanges of letters with legal weight; international treaties; boundary settlements; and trade and development agreements including those for oil and communications. There is a selection of important international treaties followed by agreements relating to: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.


The ARAMCO Reports on Al-Hasa and Oman 1950–1955

Published by consent of SAUDI ARAMCO, 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.


Bahrain Government Annual Reports 1924–1970

8 volumes, 4000 pages, with many illustrations; ISBN 9781852070403
The reports cover five decades of unprecedented social, economic and administrative change in Bahrain. During the years of these reports the foundations of an education and welfare system were laid, together with the administrative infrastructure of today’s state. All these changes were reported on in detail by the Bahrain Government’s Advisor, Sir Charles Belgrave, in the reports up to 1956. The reports are here collated for the first time as a series from the first report in 1924 up to Independence in 1971. Each report includes a summary of revenue and expenditure for the year under review, together with budget estimates for the following year, as well as separate narrative sections and statistical summaries.


British Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction in the Gulf 1913–1971

1 volume, 300 pages; ISBN 9781852078409
This study presents an account of the exercise of extra-territorial jurisdiction by Britain in the Arab Gulf States during the period before they gained full sovereignty and independence. This work 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.


The Buraimi Dispute 1950–1961: Contemporary Documents

10 volumes, including map box, 8000 pages; ISBN 9781852074203
This companion work to The Buraimi Memorials provides the evidence of the original historical and contemporary political files to set alongside the official government submissions of the memorials. With one volume summarising the historical background from earlier records, key documents are assembled providing a broad perspective on events and conditions in the Buraimi Region in the post-war period. The chronological presentation of original records shows the cumulative build-up in the late 1940s and early 1950s of local incidents, tribal unrest, intrigue and political tension; including details of Saudi and British manoeuvres and diplomacy. The set is illustrated with a box of contemporary maps including Ibn Saud’s map of Arabia.


The Buraimi Memorials 1955

5 volumes, including map box, 2100 pages; ISBN 9781852070700
The Buraimi Dispute touches upon the historic sensitivities and national interest of the three adjoining domains of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Oman, and combines an ancient territorial dispute over a strategic oasis on key cross-country caravan routes, with the modern concern to control territory with oil-bearing possibilities. This publication provides the complete arguments submitted to arbitration by the Government of Saudi Arabia and by the British Government. The text of the memorials contains claims and counterclaims of tribal allegiance and the payment of tax as proof of sovereignty.


Development Plans of the GCC states, 1962-1995. Bahrain, Qatar

1 volume, 463 pages; ISBN 9781852075378
The first 241 pages of this 463-page volume present the Bahrain government’s Financial Plan for 1982-1985, followed by the Achievements of the Financial Plan 1982-1985. These pages are in Arabic, paginated right to left and in descending order, and contain over 100 tables and charts. The remainder of the volume contains a series of reports presented to the Qatari government in 1976-1977, starting with Industrial Development Plans in Qatar 1976 (Arabic) and followed by studies prepared by the British architectural and planning form Llewelyn-Davies: Summary of Qatari Planning Studies 1977 (English and Arabic); Summary of Long Term Plan: Doha 1977; Summary of Long Term Plan: Umm Said 1977; Report on the First Five Year Plan 1977. TheLlewelyn-Davies studies are illustrated by maps and charts, including a color fold-out Doha Development Plan, 1972-1992.


Development Plans of the GCC states, 1962-1995. Kuwait

5 volumes, 2500 pages; ISBN 9781840972344
Each of these volumes presents development and planning documents for Kuwait in Arabic and English. Volume 1: First five-year development plan, 1967/8-1971/2. Volume 2: Kuwait master plan and action area studies: Fintas-Egaila township final report 1971, traffic in Kuwait town final report, 1971. Volume 3: Studies for national physical plan and master plan for urban areas, 1971: introduction and national physical plan; structure plan for the urban areas; plan for Kuwait town and plan implementation; summary of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and statement of proposals. Volume 4: Statistical abstract for 25 years, 1963-1988; Kuwait in figures: 25 years of independence, 1986. Volume 5: annual statistical abstract, 1990-1991.


Development Plans of the GCC states, 1962-1995. Saudi Arabia

14 volumes, 7000 pages; ISBN 9781840972368
The first 10 volumes of this collection are divided into pairs (English and Arabic) that cover the first five development plan periods in modern Saudi Arabia: 1970-1975 (Vols 1-2); 1975-1980 (Vols 3-4); 1980-1985 (Vols 5-6); 1985-1990 (Vols. 7-8); 1990-1995 (Vols. 9-10). Volume 11 contains achievements of the development plans, 1970-1990 (English and Arabic); fourth development plan: strategy (English and Arabic); fifth development plan: strategy; and fifth development plan : main features. Volume 12 contains the western region physical plan and development programme, 1973 (English and Arabic). Volume 13 contains a master plan report for Jeddah, 1973 (English and Arabic); and action area reports, 1974. Volume 14 contains more recent Jeddah action master plans: existing conditions of the metropolitan area, 1980; and revision and updating of existing master plan, 1980.


Development Plans of the GCC states, 1962-1995. Sultanate of Oman

4 volumes, 1700 pages; ISBN 9781840972351
Volume 1 contains the following sections: Development in Oman, 1971-1974; five year development plan, 1976-1980; follow-up report on first five year development plan (English and Arabic). Volume 2 contains the second five year development plan, 1981-1985 (English and Arabic). Volume 3 contains the third five year development plan, 1986-1990 (Arabic). Volume 4 contains the fourth five year development plan, 1991-1995.


Development Plans of the GCC States, 1962-1995. United Arab Emirates

2 volumes, 1100 pages; ISBN 9781840973242
Volume 1 contains the following sections: Abu Dhabi Island survey development plan and report, 1962; annual programmes for 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973; annual report for the year 1974, and annual development programme for the year 1975; development programme, 1976, general report; five year development plan, 1968-1972, summary and index; Dubai development plan review, 1971; economic and social development in United Arab Emirates, 1975-1980 (1982). Volume 2 contains the following sections: Balance of payments in Abu Dhabi, 1970-1974 (Arabic and bilingual statistics); general finance in Abu Dhabi, 1970-1974 (Arabic and bilingual statistics); investments in Abu Dhabi, 1970-1974 (Arabic with bilingual statistics); production in Abu Dhabi, 1970-1974 (Arabic with bilingual statistics); the Abu Dhabi Emirate economy in figures, 1976; directive document for the preparation of the economic and social plan.


Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East 1535–1956

2 volumes bound in 1, 750 pages; ISBN 9781852070779
This reproduction of Professor Hurewitz’s now classic work is designed “to unfold European diplomacy in and on the Near and Middle East in modern times”. His collection of documents covers more than 400 years, from the early (1535) Ottoman–French treaty, through Napoleon’s instructions to the French mission to Persia, and Treaties for suppressing Slave Traffic and Piracy, up to the modern period including the Sykes–Picot agreement for the partition of the Ottoman Empire, 1916 and a Soviet–Iranian exchange of notes in 1955. The work illustrates the history of diplomacy in the Middle East while recording the great events and cycles of Arab political development.


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

6 volumes, 4800 pages; ISBN 9781852078102; ISSN 1351-363X
This substantial collection 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. Although territorial claims predominate in the material, the selection covers the important conflicts and communications between the states.


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

7 volumes including map box, 4000 pages; ISBN 9781852075859; ISSN 1351-363X
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. 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. Volume 7 is a substantial set of maps demonstrating the boundary at different periods.


Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: The Lower Gulf Islands: Abu Musa and the Tunbs Dispute

6 volumes, 4000 pages; ISBN 9781852074906; ISSN 1351-363X
Disputes over the status of Abu Musa and the Tunbs dominate the maritime history of the southern Persian Gulf as recorded for the last hundred years in the archives of the Foreign Office and the British government in India. This series of volumes makes available for the first time the vital historical evidence pertaining to the status of the islands.

The issues involve Iran, the UAE, Abu Musa, the Tunbs, the lower Persian Gulf islands and the Strait of Hormuz. These volumes present balanced historical evidence on the long-standing dispute over island sovereignty, documenting successive Iranian claims and also the positions taken by the British government on behalf of the Qasimi shaikhdoms before UAE independence.


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

6 volumes, 5500 pages; ISBN 9781840972306; 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 rise of nationalism in Egypt and 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: the Saudi–Yemen Dispute

6 volumes, 4000 pages; ISBN 9781852074807; ISSN 1351-363X
These six volumes cover the period from 1802 to 1966 and provide the reader with a wide historical context in which to view the efforts to finalise the political map of the south-western peninsula. Any settlement finally reached between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, whether by direct negotiations, third-party mediation or arbitration, will need to take full account of a number of critical factors which have shaped the history of their borderlands: the nature, strength and relevance of historic claims; the allegiance of tribes; and the degree to which effective occupancy has been extended to the territory claimed by each state. Much useful information on these questions is provided in the records maintained by the British Government during their 129-year stay in Aden, selectively reproduced in this collection.


Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: The UAE: Internal Boundaries and the Boundary with Oman

8 volumes, including 2 map boxes, 4000 pages; ISBN 9781852075750
A definitive guide to the internal boundaries of the seven Emirates and the UAE–Oman boundary in a comprehensive collection of British documents covering the settlement of virtually all the onshore boundaries. The documentation from the 1949–1962 period is of particular importance because no boundaries in the area had been settled before 1949, while the majority of the onshore boundaries, both within the Trucial States and with Oman, were delimited by 1962. Certain boundaries are still being finalised [as at publication], as is shown by the announcement of agreement over the Ras al Khaimah–Umm al Qawain boundary, and by work done by Sharjah to physically demarcate its boundaries with neighbour Emirates. The Editor, Julian Walker, carries special authority as a former ambassador who has long been personally involved in the arbitration and delimitation of Emirates territory. Contained in the map boxes is a superb collection of maps, including the series of 1957–1960 sketch maps drawn by Mr Walker and made public here for the first time.


The Expansion of Wahhabi Power in Arabia 1798–1932: British Documentary Records

8 volumes, 5500 pages; ISBN 9781840972702
The objective of this collection is to use contemporary documents to depict the gradual spread of Wahhabism within the Arabian Peninsula. It covers the period when Wahhabism and its adherents, a proportion of the al-Saud of Najd, attempted to spread their power base and impose Wahhabism, while enduring numerous defeats and set-backs, but also waves of success. Ultimately it might be argued that the support of the British government was crucial from 1925 to 1932 for Ibn Saud’s eventual and ultimate defeat of the Akhwan revolts, in which one type of Wahhabism, that which endorsed constant and forceful territorial expansion, was itself defeated. However, this collection of documents is not presented as a history of the rise to power of the al-Saud, and the formation of the state of Saudi Arabia but instead is an attempt to focus on Wahhabism as the pivotal and driving force to that expansion.


Foreign Office Annual Reports from Arabia 1930–1960

4 volumes, 2400 pages; ISBN 9781852073459
This publication establishes the complete series of available Ambassadors’ Reports for the Arabian peninsula up to 1960. In 1930 the British Legation in Jedda was the first diplomatic post in Arabia to produce an Annual Report on Hejaz–Nejd. Thereafter, Annual Reports were sent from all British diplomatic representatives in Arabia, including Ambassadors, Ministers and the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf. Reports are found for Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Annual Reports cover all events of significance in each country, details of trade and economic activity and external relations with other Arab states, Britain and other powers.


Gazetteer of Arabian Tribes

18 volumes, 12000 pages; 6 tribal maps; ISBN 9781852077006
This gazetteer, after years of research, provides a magnificent collection of historical descriptions of Arabian tribes from British archival sources in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some 745 tribes are included, representing most of the major clans and families in the Arabian peninsula. From Iraq and Syria the geographic coverage includes Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to Oman, the Hadhramaut and Yemen. The records show territories and nomadic routes, tribal relations and allegiance, military strength, personalities and modern influence.

These 12,000 pages, supported by 6 tribal maps, provide the broadest array ever assembled of English language historical references concerning approximately 745 tribes, tribal confederations and clans in the Arabian peninsula. The editor has sought to provide substantial descriptive references on the tribes. He has included references to tribal movements where significant and to the irregular skirmishes between neighbouring tribes where they reflect changes within the balance of relations between those tribes. It is likely to remain the definitive research work for tribal history. From the eyewitness accounts of the Hijaz tribes riding into battle in 1917 to a social and political breakdown of the Jaburi tribe of Iraq, this gazetteer adds an important resource to the study of Arab history.


Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia

6 volumes including map box, 5000 pages, many photographs; ISBN 9781852070304
This is the most important single source of historical material on the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. Lorimer’s Gazetteer was compiled with the original intention of providing British agents and policymakers in the Gulf, India and London with “a convenient and portable handbook to the places and interests with which they are likely to be concerned”. Better documentation was regarded as an essential prerequisite to the strengthening of British influence in the area during a period of increasing international tension. The original edition was issued as a secret document by the British Government in India in 1908 and 1915. The range of the gazetteer is extensive and complex, with descriptive text supported by a variety of annexes and appendices, including historical analyses, texts of treaties and special essays on subjects of interest.


The GCC States: National Development Records: Civil Aviation 1920–1962

8 volumes, 5500 pages; ISBN 9781852074777
The documents tracing the early days of civil aviation in the Gulf region provide much new material on geographical, tribal, political and diplomatic aspects of Arab history. The coming of air transport to the remote Gulf and desert emirates has been a factor in the twentieth century transformation of an older way of life. The records reflect the relative independence and strength of Saudi Arabia from the 1920s, when Ibn Saud sought training facilities for his Hijazi air force, through to World War II and the Saudi–US agreement over the Dhahran air base. The end of World War II saw a rapid growth in international regulatory bodies and the affirmation of sovereign control by the Gulf States over their airspace.


The GCC States: National Development Records: Communications and Transport 1860–1960

9 volumes including map box, 6300 pages; ISBN 9781852076207
This collection traces the development of the modern network of communications which makes light of the great distances involved in traversing the Middle East. From the first schemes to link India to Europe via a submarine cable through Muscat and Bushire in 1859, the documents detail a slow blooming of infrastructure in all aspects of communications: the development of deep water ports, shipping routes and navigational data; the growth of telegraph, cable, wireless and finally telephone systems, the press and broadcasting; the spectacular success of the railways in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; the creation of a reliable postal service; the improvement of roads and the 20th century expansion of motor transport, all creating links between and within the Gulf states.


The GCC States: National Development Records: Defence in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia 1920–1960

12 volumes, 8000 pages; ISBN 9781852075002
These volumes establish a collection of primary documents relating to the evolution of regional and local defence resources in the six member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Throughout the period of the collection, from the 1920s to the early 1960s, the records reflect the independent status of Saudi Arabia, its lesser degree of military dependence on Britain and the extent of US influence. The documents examine local security issues in detail throughout the period, including facilities and arrangements during World War II. There is extensive information about the origins and development of local levy forces in Bahrain, Muscat and the Trucial States; and about the emergence of independent armed strength in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.


Historic Maps of Bahrain 1817–1970

69 maps with historical commentary; ISBN 9781852076757
This collection comprises 69 surveys, charts and plans of Bahrain, many in colour, including the complete island and surrounding waters and islands. The publication makes valuable maps available which were previously unknown or inaccessible. It begins in 1817 with the first ever mention of Muharraq on a map and finishes in 1970 with the last maps made before independence. It includes the first ever town plans of Manama and Muharraq to be compiled by the Government of Bahrain, and the first ever accurate land survey of the Hawar islands. There is also a detailed commentary on each map.


History of the Indian Navy 1613–1863

2 volumes, 1160 pages; ISBN 9781852073367
C. R. Low’s work has never been surpassed as a history of the maritime arm of India’s foreign policy. First published in 1877, it was out of print for many years, but it has remained the basis for studies of campaigns and exploration wherever the Bombay Marine operated. Its primary value now is in recording the history of the British presence in the Gulf – where the Bombay Marine served as police force, mail carrier, explorer, ethnographer, surveyor and (when necessary) strike force over three centuries.


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

13 volumes, 10,000 pages ISBN 9781840971958
This collection forms the first part of a series tracing the political development of modern Iran through contemporary documents. This selection is presented 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.

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 Developments. The Return of the Shah, 1954-1956

7 volumes; ISBN 9781139976008
This period of 1954-1956 is characterized by Iran’s robust responses to the major internal and external issues and crises which had beset the country in the immediate preceding years, in particular the repositioning of the oil industry as a state-sponsored entity which led to a dramatically improved economy, empowering Iran, especially in the context of relations with Britain, as well as western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the USA.

The return to normal relations with Iran marked a decline in British influence, despite the Baghdad Pact connection: the British Government was excluded from oil talks, other than those specifically dealing with the AIOC compensation issue. The Suez crisis of 1956, with its failed Anglo-American invasion, was not particularly criticised by Iran, but clearly marked the demolition of the British position as senior allies, coming at the end of nearly 150 years of the Anglo-Iranian connection.


Iran: Political Diaries 1881–1965

14 volumes, 12000 pages; ISBN 9781852077105
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.


The Iran–Iraq Border 1840–1958

11 volumes, including 2 map boxes, 5500 pages; ISBN 9781852071608
The Iran–Iraq boundary can be viewed as unique within the Middle East region, as it has long displayed the classic characteristics of a political frontier zone or a border march. This contrasts sharply with the twentieth-century framework imposed largely by European colonial powers elsewhere in the Middle East. Imperial conflict over the Zagros mountains and elsewhere in the Mesopotamian plain was a regular phenomenon in ancient times. The period under review covers three principal phases of diplomatic activity which have shaped the course of the Iran–Iraq boundary. Each has resulted in the signature of treaties defining or modifying the boundary.


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.

Presenting a documentary survey of the impact of Islam in the early- and mid- twentieth century with particular reference to its political and international dimensions, the intention is to make available to scholars a broad research base of primary materials for the modern period reflecting Islamic affairs and expansion in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. While such a project cannot be comprehensive, it is hoped that the wide range of geographical references will provide many starting points for further enquiry. 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, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781852078003
This set examines the progression of pan-Islamic organisations, movements and activists extant in the Arab states in the early twentieth 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: 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.


Islands and Maritime Boundaries of the Gulf 1798–1960

20 volumes, including 2 map boxes, 13500 pages; ISBN 9781852072759
This work is the single most important reference source for tracing the origins of contemporary maritime disputes in the Gulf – coverage includes Warba, Bubiyan, Hawar, Halul, Tamb, Abu Musa; in fact over 290 islands are indexed. It records the development of the continental shelf boundaries of the Gulf, the importance of the islands in determining baselines and oil concession boundaries, evolving state practice and Anglo-American negotiations, and explores Anglo-Arab, Anglo-Persian and Perso-Arab relations. The collection contains facsimiles of letters, reports, memoranda, sketches, charts and maps from a wide range of sources housed in the British Library (Oriental and India Office Collections) and the Public Record Office.


Israel: Boundary Disputes with Arab Neighbours 1946–1964

10 volumes, 7000 pages; ISBN 9781852076306
This documentary study focuses on the borders of the Palestine mandate and the State of Israel. The documents reflect two different types of border: those coinciding with the British mandate for Palestine, and the lines resulting from the war-won divisions of land following the 1949 cease-fire. The armistice lines followed the course of mandate boundaries with Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon with small modifications. The border between Israel and Jordan on the West Bank was based exclusively on an armistice line that had no geographical or historical foundations. However, as far as Israel and Jordan were concerned, the differences in alignment between the mandate boundary of 1921 and the 1949 armistice line only became apparent in the run-up towards their boundary settlement.


Israel Political and Economic Reports 1948–1953: Israel under the Premiership of David Ben Gurion 1948–1953

7 volumes, 4,000 pages; ISBN 9781840973105
This set is the first in a series of collections of British political and economic reports on Israel. The 4400 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 post of Defence Minister as well as 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. This was one of the most important periods in the history of the Middle East and the Jewish people in particular. The documents are written by British civil servants working in Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem and show the difficulties faced by the new administration in its relations with its Arab neighbours, the US and UK governments and international bodies like the United Nations.


Israel Political and Economic Reports 1954–1955: Israel under the Premiership of Moshe Sharett 1954–1955

6 volumes, 4100 pages; ISBN 9781840973303
This project is the second in a series of collections of British political and economic reports on Israel. It examines the premiership of Moshe Sharett, second Prime Minister of Israel (1954-55) in this crucial period as Nasser comes to power in Egypt, and the US and UK governments work together behind the scenes on the “Alpha” project, to try and bring peace to Palestine, while within Israel the tensions increase with regard to its neighbours Egypt and Syria.

In these volumes the despatches, letters and telegrams that were received by the Foreign Office in London originated from many sources: the Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulates-General in Jerusalem and Haifa provide the majority; but documents also originated from British Embassies in countries adjacent to Israel (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt) and other interested Middle Eastern states (such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran). The internal papers of the Foreign Office are useful for the tracing of the development of future British policy, or for the exposition of the current policy, and where more detailed information was required, this was provided by the Foreign Office Research Department.

The recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee are reproduced, in particular the report of April 1955 which discussed British military options in the event of Israeli aggression – the necessity of abiding by the UK/Jordan defence agreement being the reason for this policy decision. These discussions about possible military action against Israel are echoed in Treasury papers on possible economic sanctions against Israel.


King Abdul Aziz: Diplomacy And Statecraft 1902–1953

4 volumes, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781852078850
These papers necessarily reflect British diplomatic interests, but also provide the most continuous source available of reports and commentary on local events within the territory of the present Saudi Arabia. They reflect the methods, policies and diplomacy employed by Abdul Aziz in extending and then consolidating the Saudi state. The records trace his relations with Arab rulers as well as with Britain, other European powers and the United States. This work illustrates particularly well the rise to power of Abdul Aziz and his concern to build his own prestige and establish a unified kingdom.


King Abdul Aziz: Political Correspondence 1904–1953

4 volumes, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781852077051
Contains Arabic and English text. This publication presents, for the first time, an extensive collection of personal correspondence, letters to neighbouring Arab States and to foreign governments, from and to the Saudi leader over half a century. The first items date from the years after his fabled recapture of Riyadh in 1902, when Abdul Aziz emerged as Amir of Nejd. The last letters are from the year of King Abdul Aziz’s death, 1953. The correspondence reflects the evolution over 50 years of the status, authority, style and statesmanship of King Abdul Aziz. The documents are in the original Arabic, sometimes with contemporary English translations; a minority are in English in the original.


Kuwait Political Agency: Arabic Documents 1899–1949

13 volumes, 8000 pages; ISBN 9781852074401
The Arabic texts preserved in these files form a rich and interesting source for reading and research. The volume and range of material is extensive, including correspondence between Gulf States Rulers and their respective political agents and much material on affairs of state as well as legal, commercial and domestic matters. There is frequent correspondence with Ibn Saud, throwing light on relations with the Nejd and the emerging Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The collection constitutes a valuable research resource for Kuwaiti, Saudi and Arab Gulf history, reflecting the development of the region, relations with rulers, and local and tribal information. This work makes available the mass of material in the Arabic language from the files of the British Political Agency, Kuwait preserved within the India Office Records in London.


La Nation Arabe 1930–1938

4 volumes, 2430 pages; text in French; ISBN 9781852071004
A virtually complete set of this rare journal has been assembled from surviving originals. This most influential journal of Arab political opinion was created, inspired and sustained by the famous Arab activist, Amir Shakib Arslan. Published in French from Geneva, it was banned from French North Africa in the 1930s, but widely read in Arab and European capitals. La Nation Arabe is a remarkable and important document in the history of Arab–Islamic politics.


Land Legislation in Mandate Palestine

9 volumes, 5500 pages, including 1 map box; ISBN 9781840972603
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 primary documents involved. 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.

The set consists of the texts of the major pieces of legislation that governed the rural land regime in Palestine between the years 1918 and 1948, as well as the key reports and memoranda produced by British officials during that period. These reports show governmental attempts to understand and control the rights that governed access and management, in some cases details of which exist only in government archives, and a number of which are less well known than they ought to be. Political questions concerned with the dynamics of Jewish land acquisition are also clearly highlighted in relevant laws and memos but overall, the collection provides a broader perspective on land rights, and pays particular attention to continuities with the Ottoman past and some comparison with other colonial contexts.


Memoirs of Baghdad, Kurdistan and Turkish Arabia 1857

[Records of the Bombay Government, No. XLIII]; 1 volume, 500 pages including 30 maps and plates; ISBN 9781852070991
Memoirs of Baghdad is a nineteenth-century original with a new preface by the late Dr R.M. Burrell, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The volume includes six important historical, archaeological and geographical essays covering Baghdad, the Nahrwan canal and large parts of Kurdistan, the topography of Nineveh and the old course of the River Tigris. Also included are some 30 maps and plates, many in colour, most notably the large ground-plan of Baghdad. The author and surveyor, Commander J.F. Jones, was in the Bombay Marine for nearly 25 years, was Political Agent in Bushire from 1855 to 1862 and had an important role to play in the British invasion of southern Persia in 1856.


The Middle East Intelligence Handbooks 1943–1946

5 volumes, 3180 pages, approx. 1260 photographs and 335 maps; ISBN 9781852070601
The function of the intelligence handbooks, which were compiled by the British Foreign Office, was to inform British officials engaged on diplomatic duties in foreign countries about every aspect of the country in which they were resident. They provide a full, splendidly illustrated, geographic encyclopaedia of the culture and civilisation of each country, including over 1,200 photographs.

Each volume describes the history, administration and public life of the country concerned: Iraq and the Persian Gulf; Western Arabia and the Red Sea; Palestine and Transjordan; Syria; Persia. Economic geography, agriculture, trade and communications are dealt with in detail. In volumes also designed for naval and military intelligence, particular attention is accorded to the coasts and topography, but there are also street plans and photographs of every significant town as well as of the archaeological sites.


Military Handbooks of Arabia 1913–1917

10 volumes, 5140 pages including map box, numerous photographs; ISBN 9781852070809
These handbooks are the documents of a lost continent – the Arabia of the old tribal way of life: scattered settlements, remote oases and uncertain tracks across the desert, an Arabia irrevocably altered by World War I and the oil revolution. Intelligence handbooks were compiled for the use of British officers for military purposes. The handbooks were compiled partly on the basis of existing authorities such as Lorimer’s Gazetteer, earlier travel records and recent military intelligence, and partly from what was called “native information”. They provide detailed descriptions of the regions, settlements, routes and inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf. Originally all these documents were classified secret. They are now made available to historians and researchers as richly detailed surveys of a land and a culture.


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: Druze Communities 1840–1974

4 volumes, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781840971651
These four volumes consist of original political despatches, correspondence and reports, which describe events affecting the Druzes of Syria and Lebanon from the time of Ottoman rule under Bashir II, through the Turkish rule of Lebanon under the double kaimakamship, the 1860 massacre of the Christians and the tensions in the aftermath that persisted through to the occupation of Lebanon by the French and British during World War I.

The documents also record the period of the French Mandate, and events leading up to the Druze Rebellion of 1925. The final volume tracks the history of the Druzes in the mid-twentieth century from the perspective of Anglo-French relations up to and during the Second World War, noting the power struggles of the leading Druze families, and going on to describe the situation in the Jebel Druze, the Druze position with regard to Palestine and Israel, and finally the position of the Druze communities within Israel.


Minorities in the Middle East: Jewish Communities in Arab Countries 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.


Minorities in the Middle East: Kurdish Communities 1918–1974

4 volumes, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781840971606
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. These original despatches, correspondence and reports chart the modern history of the Kurds in the Middle East, starting from the period just after the First World War. 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. The result has been almost a century of rebellion by, and repression of, the Kurdish communities.


Minorities in the Middle East: Muslim Minorities in Arab Countries 1843–1973

4 volumes, 2400 pages; ISBN 9781840971804
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, 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

4 volumes, 2090 pages; ISBN 9781840971255
The documents explore 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 to Islam, Judaism and Christianity to parts of the city have exacerbated the effects of the political climate. Furthermore, struggles for rights to minority worship with in the State have been diverted as rivalries between churches, particularly within the Christian church, have divided congregations. This selection of documents gives an overview of the interplay within and between the different faiths.


Neglected Arabia / Arabia Calling 1892–1962

8 volumes, 4600 pages, with photographs and an index to all volumes; ISBN 9781852071103
The complete run of the journal of the Arabian Mission of the Reformed Church in America. The journals of the Arabian Mission are much more than the chronicle of Christian missionary activity: over a 70-year period this publication is the mirror of social, medical and educational development in the Gulf States. Neglected Arabia (later called Arabia Calling) is an indispensable source for medical history in particular, with extensive information on the incidence of disease and methods of treatment. An historical aspect of particular interest is the development of the relationship between the missionary stations and the local communities, including direct contacts with the ruling Shaikhs, who behaved with great courtesy and tolerance.


Oil Concessions in Five Arab States 1911–1953

12 volumes, 7000 pages; ISBN 9781852072100
Today the modern economies and socio-political structures of the Arab Gulf states are so dominated by the petro-chemical industry that it is difficult to conceive of a time before oil. Oil Concessions in Five Arab States presents a documentary record of the negotiations between Arab Gulf Rulers, the oil companies and the British government, including the texts of the first land-based oil concession agreements for Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman. It provides detailed evidence of the secret processes of negotiation, the rivalries, the personalities, the commercial and diplomatic considerations, and the economic and political transformation of the Gulf states.


OPEC: Origins and Strategy 1947–1973

6 volumes, 4400 pages; ISBN 9781840970906
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

16 volumes, 11500 pages; ISBN 9781852075576
Close reading of the material collected here reveals that the British Government considered the administration of Palestine in great detail but ‘the whole period was bedevilled by the incompatibility of the aspirations of the Jewish settlers and the rights of the Arab inhabitants. This is the 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. It constitutes a collection of British administrative reports and associated documents, including extensive material hitherto unknown and unpublished, such as the Mandate Reports for 1940 and 1941. Other seminal documents reproduced here are the series of pre-Mandate reports of 1918–1923, the Mandate and Departmental Annual Reports from 1923 to 1947/8, the extensive Survey of Palestine 1946/47 and the final papers covering the termination of the Mandate in 1948. This collection is the only research source available as an integral series.


Palestine Boundaries 1833–1947

4 volumes, including map box, 2500 pages; ISBN 9781852071752
The aim of the present work is to provide, in a single source of reference, copies of those historical documents that 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 the extent of solid international agreement on the delimitation of Palestine boundaries in the past. The collection is supported by a fourth volume containing fifteen maps, including the map showing the boundaries of Palestine in the French proposals of March and June 1920, the Sykes–Picot line and the Meinertzhagen line; and the map showing the boundary between Syria and Palestine, signed by Lt.-Col. Paulet for the French Government in 1922 and later removed from the report on the boundary.


Persian Gulf Administration Reports 1873–1957

11 volumes, 7700 pages; ISBN 9781852070106
The bland official title “administration reports” conceals the true value of the series, which is a mine of information on the development of the modern Gulf. British officials appointed to the area in the nineteenth century were often scholars of high repute and many of their appended monographs have since become a vital source for historians of the region. They range from S. B. Miles’ biographical sketches of the rulers of Muscat and E. C. Ross’ “Memoir on Nejd” to notes on the pearl industry, date cultivation and fisheries which contain information still sought after by regional planners. As British involvement in the Arab Gulf states increased so did the range of material included in the reports. Oil exploration is chronicled from the early years of the twentieth century as are the subsequent social and economic changes brought about by its discovery. Education, particularly in Bahrain, is regularly reported on as well as developments in health and medical care.


Persian Gulf and Red Sea Naval Reports 1820–1960

15 volumes, 11000 pages; ISBN 9781852074500
This publication establishes for the first time a virtually complete series of reports of British naval activity in the waters around the Arabian peninsula during some 140 years. Extensive and painstaking research was required to locate and organise this mass of information, much of it scarcely known hitherto, on maritime and coastal aspects of Arab history. The naval reports form a superb and henceforth indispensable source work for research on difficult subjects such as piracy and the slave trade. The Naval Reports cover the activities both of the Royal Navy and of the Indian Navy until its dissolution in 1863. The three original functions of British maritime policy in Arabian waters are made manifest in the Reports: while avoiding commitments on land among disputing tribal factions, the Navy sought the suppression of maritime aggression, the expansion of peaceful trading and the exclusion of competition. The Reports make clear both the benevolent and the harsher aspects of British naval intervention in past times. During the two World Wars detailed operations reports are submitted. In the 1950s the changing circumstances of the modern period are reflected in successive assessments, including the re-organisation of the Arabian Peninsula Command in 1960.


The Persian Gulf Gazette and Supplements 1953–1972

6 volumes, 3900 pages; ISBN 9781852070908
The Persian Gulf Gazette was instituted as the administration of British interests in the Gulf entered a new, and final, phase of direct involvement in government. It provides a detailed research source for the study of commercial and political life in the Gulf, in sections covering each state: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the Trucial States and Oman. The following policy directives of the Foreign Office to the Political Resident in 1953 reflected the changing British role – perhaps more accurately than was realised: harmonise with US policy; maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia; resolve territorial disputes; encourage co-operation among the Gulf States.


The Persian Gulf Historical Summaries 1907–1953

4 volumes, including map box, 920 pages; ISBN 9781852071059
The summaries were prepared in 1907, 1928 and 1953 as British government documents to provide a continuation of Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman & Central Arabia up to the mid-twentieth century. The summaries give both an historical account and a political assessment of events and personalities in the Gulf during and after the two World Wars. The object of the compilations was to provide the background to current problems in the Gulf States, and precedents which, it was hoped, might be of use in dealing with future problems. The reports were once the indispensable companions of British Foreign Office and diplomatic staff.


The Persian Gulf Pilot 1864–1932

8 volumes, 2600 pages; ISBN 9781852071806
This series of guides to navigation was issued by the Admiralty, London, for a range of maritime areas including the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf Pilot provides a progressive survey of the Gulf coast viewed from the seaboard side. Particular attention is paid to navigational hazards, including weather, water depths and islands; the regular shipping channels are described and in the later editions illustrations of coastal profiles and views of particular locations are included. The documentary interest of the Pilots lies in their detailed descriptions of coastlines and communities of 50 and 100 years ago, most of which have altered beyond recognition. The Pilots go into great circumstantial detail about local conditions of life as well as the geography of the coastline and shipping features.


The Persian Gulf Précis 1903–1908

8 volumes, 3200 pages; ISBN 9781852070007
Alongside Lorimer’s Gazetteer, J.A. Saldanha’s Persian Gulf Précis series stands as a separate and unique, but complementary, source of reference, indispensable for any serious study of the area. Over the period 1600 to 1853 each geographic area is dealt with separately, from Oman through the Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, parts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and along the Persian coast to southern Iran. General subjects, including the arms trade, slave trade, commerce and communications, naval affairs and international rivalry, are included in supplementary volumes.


The Persian Gulf Trade Reports 1905–1940

8 volumes, 3250 pages; ISBN 9781852070502
In the early years of the century most of these annual trade reports were edited and made available to the general public in the form of parliamentary papers. Certain issues, however, were classified as confidential and were not made available to the public even in summary form, for example the pre-World War I Kuwait reports. Complete sets such as this are, therefore, extremely rare and form an essential research tool for the study of the economic and social development of the Gulf in the twentieth century. There are two volumes each for: Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat, and Bushire.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Aden 1899–1967

16 volumes, 13200 pages; ISBN 9781852077402
This 13,000 page collection brings together for the first time the detailed reports on what was happening in the British controlled territories of Aden and its hinterland from the beginning of the twentieth century to the end of British rule in November 1967. It provides a unique guide to events as they happened on a monthly, weekly, or even a daily basis. The reports were based on first-hand observations by British officials on the spot or on information supplied by informers and travellers from the interior. They covered not only Aden and the Protectorate but the Imamate of the Yemen, the Tihama, and the Asir (now in Saudi Arabia). This information was then sifted and analysed before being passed on to the British authorities in India or London and was the basis on which British Policy in the Gulf was made.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Iraq 1920–1965

8 volumes, 5000 pages; ISBN 9781852078652
During the years covered by these diaries, the history of Iraq can be split into three distinct phases – firstly, until 1932, when it was under the mandate administration of the United Kingdom; secondly, from independence in 1932 until the revolution in July 1958, when it was a monarchy; and lastly, from July 1958 until 1965, when there was a republican form of government.

The beginning of this collection in November 1920 is dictated by events – that is, when the recently-arrived British High Commissioner, Sir Percy Cox, began a series of Fortnightly Intelligence Reports that was to continue uninterrupted until the end of 1932. The ending of this collection in 1965 is an artificial one and is dictated by the public accessibility of British Government official documents. This publication creates, for the benefit of scholars, an orderly series of political reports for Iraq in a single 8-volume set.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan 1920–1965

10 volumes, 7860 pages; ISBN 9781852077358
The various different types of report gathered together in this collection capture in great detail the convulsions wrought within the old land area of Palestine by the developments at the end of World War I, in particular the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917; the Anglo-French Declaration of 7 November 1918 and the recommendations of the King–Crane Commission of 28 August 1919. Once formulated, the idea of a national home for the Jewish people, created without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities, was impossible to contain. The difficulty inherent in the realisation of such an idea is the subject of the forty-five years of history captured here. After the creation of Israel the volume of British records diminishes as the new Government of David Ben Gurion takes over the task of recording its own development. However, the British annual reports for this later period remain invaluable as a continuous historical commentary.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Persian Gulf 1904–1965

24 volumes, 13000 pages; ISBN 9781852077266
The political diaries offer a superb primary resource to historians. These volumes comprise the periodical political reports and intelligence summaries prepared by British political officers stationed in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Trucial States and Muscat, as well as in Bushire, Bandar Abbas and elsewhere on the Persian (Iranian) side of the Gulf. The great value of the Diaries lies in their frequency and their detail, creating a cumulative, consistent and reliable historical record. The Diaries pass through a number of different formats and series over the years, but the backbone of the collection is the sequence of Residency Diaries running through most of the period. The local agents’ reports have been included wherever they have survived, for example from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Trucial States and Muscat. The earlier reports contain extensive information concerning the Persian side. From around 1925 the growing importance of the Arabian side was reflected in the separate series of Arab States Newsletters included here.


Political Diaries of the Arab World: Saudi Arabia: 1919–1965

6 volumes, 2800 pages; ISBN 9781852077303
This work absorbs and adds to a title previously published by Archive Editions – The Jedda Diaries 1919–1940. The two additional volumes (5 and 6) bring the Diaries from 1919, when reports began, to 1965. The Diaries provide an on-the-spot account of local events in the detailed and disciplined format demanded by the British Foreign Office, and cover political events in Saudi Arabia, diplomatic analysis and interpretation, foreign relations, home affairs, civil administration and development, tribal affairs, economic affairs and local personalities. The value of the Diaries lies also in their frequency and their detail, creating a cumulative, consistent and reliable historical record.


Records of Bahrain 1820–1960

8 volumes, including map box, 5250 pages; ISBN 9781852073503
These 8 volumes present a key selection of facsimile original British government documents detailing the history and development of Bahrain between 1820 and 1960. The set includes a map box containing 12 maps dated 1828–1955, including three sheets of the table of the Ruling Al Khalifah (‘Utbi) family of Bahrain. These British records are of particular interest because the British were in the unique position of being at the heart of government in the Gulf states. They administered Bahrain’s foreign and defense affairs through treaty relations from as early as 1820 and, despite a 1913 convention acknowledging the independence of Bahrain, right up to the British withdrawal in 1971.


Records of Bahrain 1961–1965

5 volumes, 3750 pages; ISBN 9781852077907
The events of 1961 to 1965 include the death of Shaikh Salman bin Hamad, and the succession of Shaikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifah; a threatened coup d’état in 1962; some attempts at internal administrative reform, particularly of the Bahrain Administrative Council; expansion of Muharraq airport and assessments of its strategic significance in the Gulf; the award of Halul to Qatar as part of the Bahrain–Qatar seabed dispute; the discovery of oil in the joint Saudi–Bahrain marine area Fasht bu Saafa; commercial development at Jufair and Mina Sulman; currency reform and the issue of national stamps. In 1965, events became violent, with demonstrations at Muharraq by dissidents who were being supported by Iraq and tolerated by Kuwait. The internal criticism of the regime was echoed internationally by the Arab League, which demanded that Bahrain sever its connections with Great Britain.


Records of Bahrain 1966–1971

6 volumes, 4876 pages; ISBN 9781840971705
In this collection the documentary evidence of history is selected and arranged from important archival sources to provide a comprehensive introduction to the origins and development of the State of Bahrain. It includes documentation on boundary and sovereignty issues including relations with Persia and Persian claims, relations with Qatar, with particular reference to Zubarah and Hawar, and relations with Saudi Arabia. It also covers: important contributions to the published historical records on tribal movements, regional rivalries, relations with the British, economic growth, political development, Al-Khalifah rule and succession.

The British records are of particular interest because the British were in the unique position of being at the heart of government in the Gulf states. They administered Bahrain’s foreign and defence affairs through treaty relations from as early as 1820 and despite a convention acknowledging the independence of Bahrain agreed in 1913.

For the years 1961 to 1971 the intention was to compile all the pages relating to the history and development of Bahrain for this period, therefore the key events are covered in greater detail than in the earlier collection. The events of 1961 to 1965 include the death of Shaikh Salman bin Hamad, and the succession of Shaikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifah. The years 1966-71 are of particular interest to researchers because of the intense political and diplomatic activity engendered by the announcement of the British, in 1968, of their intention to withdraw from the Gulf States by 1971.

The three sections of the Records of Bahrain series combine to create a large collection which offers historical evidence for the political, economic and social evolution of Bahrain. Such evidence improves our understanding of the modern political position of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.


Records of Dubai 1761–1960

8 volumes, with map pocket 5000 pages; ISBN 9781852078454
The Dubai Municipality, conscious of the special status of Dubai as an international commercial and financial centre requested Archive Editions to research and publish this original project. Here are eight volumes of primary documents relating to the origins, rise and development of the city and emirate of Dubai, now one of the leading commercial centres of the Arab world. Original papers from the British Government archives provide detailed accounts of affairs of state and events within the ruling family, treaties applicable to the Ruler of Dubai 1820–1906, detailed descriptions of Dubai from the nineteenth century, tribal histories going back to 1761, inter-Arab relations and relations with the USA and with Iran, oil exploitation and commercial activities, and civic and administrative development up to 1960.


Records of the Emirates 1820–1958

12 volumes, including maps, 8250 pages; ISBN 9781852072308
These 12 volumes present a key selection of facsimile original British government documents detailing the history and development of the United Arab Emirates from 1820 to modern times. The set includes a map box containing 10 maps dated between 1826 and 1956, and a set of the genealogical tables of the ruling families of the seven Emirates. The collection offers historical evidence for the political, economic and social evolution of the seven Emirates. It includes internal and external frontier negotiations and questions of island sovereignty, constitutional and military developments; the Trucial States Council and the Trucial Oman Levies, municipal development, banking, medicine, and air travel. Such records complete the historical background to the extraordinary evolution of the Emirate, from desert subsistence economies to modern city states.


Records of the Emirates 1961–1965

5 volumes, 3000 pages; ISBN 9781852077655
This comprehensive collection of facsimile original British Government documents details the history of the Emirates between 1961 and 1965; the key events are covered in greater detail than in the related collection for 1820–1960. They include: inter-emirate boundary questions, which were increasingly disputed as the position of oil deposits became clearer; OPEC became involved when Sheikh Shakbut of Abu Dhabi refused to sign the 50-50 agreement; the relocation of Ras-al Khaimah, which was being submerged, was addressed with funds from Kuwait and Abu Dhabi; in 1964 the Arab League Mission visited, as did the Arab League Gulf Committee in 1965, and caused a flurry of diplomatic activity on the part of the British, who wished to remain central to the foreign policy of the Emirates; and Iran was involved in a dispute over territorial waters with Ajman fishermen operating out of Kuwait.


Records of the Emirates 1966–1971

6 volumes, 4000 pages; ISBN 9781852078904
This publication provides facsimile copies of the key documents reflecting the development of the United Arab Emirates from 1820 to modern times. The collection offers historical evidence for the political, economic and social evolution of the seven Emirates. The files include numerous translations and Arabic originals of correspondence with the Sultans. These sources are augmented by the reports of semi-diplomatic missions, maps and narrative descriptions of the Indian Navy’s qualified surveyors, who began charting the Gulf waters in 1820 and whose work provided a vast body of new information on the Gulf in the mid-19th century.

After 1947 archival material on the Emirates is drawn largely from the Public Record Office in London, in particular from its Embassy and Consular files and its Foreign Office records. These documents continue the economic story through oil concession negotiations, prospecting rights and surveys up to the first oil strike in Abu Dhabi in 1958. They include internal and external frontier negotiations and questions of island sovereignty; constitutional and military developments; the Trucial States Council and the Trucial Oman Levies; municipal development; banking; medicine; and air travel. These volumes establish a complete historical background to the evolution of the Emirates from desert shaikhdoms to the modern federal union in 1971.


Records of the Hajj: the Pilgrimage to Mecca

10 volumes with maps and pilgrimage certificates, 6000 pages; ISBN 9781852074302
The contents of this publication have, almost without exception, been selected from primary sources, such as the correspondence of rulers, diplomats and leading authorities on Islamic history and philosophy. On the one hand there are extracts from Varthema, Burckhardt, Richard Burton and other travellers; on the other, huge quantities of highly interesting despatches and memoranda prepared by diplomats and agents sent to the area to monitor events and promote their Government’s interests. Of outstanding value are the lengthy comprehensive Pilgrimage Reports that were, until the 1950s, prepared annually by British political staff assisted by Muslims sent specially to Mecca as observers. These have been reproduced in their entirety. As for the last thirty years – as for the thirty years prior to publication – the period in which such records are withheld from view – the Editor has made careful selections from recent publications and combined them with media coverage including the text of important broadcasts from Riyadh and Tehran.


Records of the Hashimite Dynasties

15 volumes, 10000 pages; ISBN 9781852075903
The story of the Hashimites dates back over fourteen hundred years to the lifetime of Hashim, great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (d. 632 A.D.) and grandfather of Abbas, the forerunner of the Abbasid Caliphs. Most Muslims accept this lineage and it is this traditional consensus that legitimised the ascendancy of the Hashimites in the Holy Land for over six centuries, until their expulsion by Ibn Saud in 1925. This work is an encyclopaedia of authentic historical documents, tracing in detail through fifteen volumes the destiny of this most ancient and distinguished family in the Middle East.

Records of the Hashimite Dynasties concentrates on the modern period and provides the reader with a detailed study of the convergence of Hashimite and British interests that led to the Arab Revolt during World War I and the establishment of Hashimite rule in Iraq, Jordan and, briefly, in Syria following the defeat of Turkey.

Many hundreds of documents are collected and made public in this extensive work, many of them previously hidden or scattered in obscure archives, some of great political importance and all of historic interest.


Records of the Hijaz 1798–1925

8 volumes, 5000 pages; ISBN 9781852076559
This important regional study provides historical research materials on the Hijaz province before its incorporation into the modern Saudi Kingdom. This work is therefore an essential complement to companion works on Saudi and Hashimite history. Records of the Hijaz addresses aspects of Ottoman rule, Turkish–Arab relations, administration under Egyptian occupation, and power struggles within the Hashimite family. Political, commercial, regional and tribal affairs are all covered and there is extensive material on the main cities of Jeddah, Yenbo, Mecca and Medina. The work uses hitherto little-known records from the nineteenth century, including recently released intelligence reports on the activities of the Sharif of Mecca in the 1880s. Records of the Hijaz establishes a firm research base for a turbulent and uncertain period of Hijazi history.


Records of Iraq 1914–1966

15 volumes, 13700 pages; ISBN 9781852078201
Records of Iraq 1914–1966 makes available an extensive collection of primary documents for the study of the formation and development of the modern state of Iraq. The purpose of this publication is to provide scholars, diplomatic personnel and political analysts with a comprehensive vision of Iraqi history, based on the evidence of authentic papers from British Government archives. There is a huge amount of material extant and these 13,700 pages represent an expert selection. A schedule of documents is given in each volume.

Contemporary reports, comment and analysis are used to describe the principal events of the period, including: the establishment of the monarchy and the Iraqi constitution in the 1920s; the activities and succession of Kings Faisal I, Ghazi and Faisal II; the activities of the Regent, ´Abd al-Illah; the numerous seizures of control of the government and successive cabinets; the events leading to the 1958 overthrow of the royal family; the rise of the Ba´ath party.

In addition there is much material on the influence of regional factors, such as the Arab-Israel conflict, the Baghdad Pact of 1955 and the Suez Canal debacle of 1956. The volumes reflect the progress of internal development, including civil administration, transport, economics and petroleum affairs. In particular there is information on the treatment of minorities, including the Assyrians, the Yezidis, Jews and, running throughout the collection, on the Kurdish question.


Records of Jerusalem 1917–1971

9 volumes, c. 6000 pages, including map box; ISBN 9781840970050
Taking the history of Jerusalem from post-Ottoman control this study provides a detailed account of the most interesting and ancient of cities over the course of the twentieth century and during, arguably, its most turbulent period. Although it is impossible to disentangle such material entirely, an attempt has been made to provide research resources specific to Jerusalem and exclude material relating to Palestine in general.

After 1917 arguments over the administration of the city and the Holy Places involve not only the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths per se, but there is also frequent internal dissent, and the historical record provides evidence of issues between Latin, Greek, Ethiopian, Armenian and Russian Orthodox; of concern from the Vatican about their religious orders and the election of patriarchs; and of mutual opposition between Islamic and Jewish religious practices. In response to the arguments the documents describe various attempts to ensure the protection of Jerusalem, such as through its “internationalisation” or the creation of a trusteeship. From these despatches the historic picture of life in the city can be reconstructed, with its political and religious tensions, and its social problems of poverty, health and water supply.


Records of Jordan 1919–1965

14 volumes, 10000 pages; ISBN 9781852076450
This significant document collection describes in detail the creation and development of today’s Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan. The earliest documents relate to the British Mandate to administer what was termed Transjordan, and the problems of establishing the boundaries of Transjordan, in particular the tensions between Ibn Saud and King Abdullah over Ibn Saud’s claims to Aqaba and Ma’an. Detailed records are included on the effect of the refugee population on political stability and on the impact that Jordan’s relatively moderate position vis-à-vis Israel had on her relations both within her own population and with powerful neighbour states. The accession of King Hussein and key events such as the creation of the United Arab Republic and the fall of the monarchy in Iraq in 1958 are crucial to the understanding of the political position in which Jordan stands today and give this publication topical relevance to the continuing Middle East peace process.


Records of the Kurds: Territory, Revolt and Nationalism, 1831–1979

13 volumes, 9000 pages including map box; ISBN 9781840973259
These nine thousand pages of facsimile documents trace early insurgencies directed by the Kurdish people against regional and metropolitan powers, and their interrelations with neighbouring tribes and other ethnic groups at historical flash points, from the origins of nationalist sentiments through a series of disparate revolts in the nineteenth century, and then on to a larger, more cohesive and discernible nationalist movement launched in the aftermath of World War I. They concomitantly depict the extent of territories pertaining to the Kurdish ‘homeland’, the use of the term ‘Kurdistan’ generally refers to an agreed geographical area, not to a legal or political entity. Kurdish populated territory evolved over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with some regions becoming entrenched, others subject to constant flux. The map box provides illustrations of the changing territory, or those sections subject to alterations and contestation.


Records of Kuwait 1899–1961

8 volumes including map box, 5000 pages; ISBN 9781852072001
These 8 volumes present a key selection of facsimile original British government documents detailing the history and development of Kuwait from 1899 to modern times. The set includes a map box containing 11 maps dated between 1910 and 1956, including a table of the Al Subah (‘Atbi) Ruling Family of Kuwait and a table showing the descendants of Mubarak I (ruled 1896–1915). In compiling this work, the editor has selected documents focusing on Kuwait itself – on the events that occurred there and on the lives of the people in the region, including international trade, oil negotiations, Islamic affairs, tribal affairs, labor movements, boundary questions, and the role of the Al-Sabah family. The work is intended to function as an aid to scholars and Gulf Arabs, in the absence or unavailability of relevant Arab records.


Records of Kuwait 1961–1965

6 volumes, 3200 pages; ISBN 9781852077754
These 6 volumes present a comprehensive collection of facsimile original British Government documents detailing the history of Kuwait between 1961 and 1965. The intention of this collection was to compile all the pages relating to the history and development of Kuwait for this period; therefore, the key events are covered in greater detail than in the collection for 1899–1961.


Records of Kuwait 1966–1971

6 volumes, 4200 pages; ISBN 9781840970159
Installed in an imposing Agency overlooking Kuwait harbour, Britain’s Political Agents, earlier this century, were conspicuous figures – ostensible friends of the shaikhs and notables, but strangers and ‘infidels’ to most Kuwaitis. Their correspondence and reports form an impressive memorial and perform a new function, in the absence or unavailability of relevant Arab records, in helping to understand Kuwait’s national development and international relations. Taken together these documents – reports, letters, memorabilia, personality profiles, reports and diplomatic correspondence – offer invaluable insights into all aspects of Kuwaiti life including oil negotiations, Islamic affairs, labour movements and boundary questions. The collection includes previously unpublished letters in Arabic, with translations, from former rulers of Kuwait.

Since the original set of Records of Kuwait, ten more years of documentation have become publicly available and additional volumes have been compiled to 1971. These include documents describing the foundation of the National Assembly and the new processes of government; the role of the Prime Minister and the changing role of the Amir; the emergence of a radical ‘opposition’ to the government; and Kuwait’s pioneering work through the Arab Fund for Economic Development.


Records of Oman 1867–1960

12 volumes, including map box, 7500 pages; ISBN 9781852071202
These 12 volumes present a key selection of facsimile original British Government documents detailing the history of Oman between 1867 and 1960. The records from 1867 to 1947 are largely derived from the British Library Oriental and India Office Collection. The records from 1948 to 1960 are primarily derived from the National Archives, Kew. The set includes a map box containing 14 maps and tables dated between 1837 and 1948, including a Genealogical Table of Descendants of the Imam Ahmad Al Bu Saidi, and a Table of the Principal Descendants of Imam Ahmed bin Said.


Records of Oman 1961–1965

5 volumes, 3500 pages; ISBN 9781852077600
The years 1961 to 1965 saw a political struggle take over from the armed conflict of the 1950s. Alhough the rebellion in the interior had been suppressed, the Imamate brought to the United Nations their claims of oppressive government and alleged public hostility to Sultan Said bin Taimur. However, in 1961, a resolution in support of a separate independence for Oman failed, despite the support of a number of Arab states that dissapproved of the close links Sultan Said bin Taimur maintained with the British Government. In 1963, a UN Commission refuted the Imamate’s claims against Sultan Said bin Taimur, but a committee was formed to study the problem. In 1965, it submitted its report and a UN resolution was finally drafted which included the recommendation of “the elimination of British domination in any form.”


Records of Oman 1966–1971

6 volumes, 4200 pages; ISBN 9781840970401
This is the definitive document collection on the history of the Sultanate. Until the mid-twentieth century, the Sultanate of Oman was largely unknown to the outside world. Only the town of Muscat had regular links with other countries and it was often cut off from its own hinterland by internal unrest. The British Consul was the link between the reigning Sultan and the British authorities, and they met frequently and exchanged letters on all manner of subjects. For these particular historical reasons, the records of the British political officers remain virtually the sole source of continuous information on the modern development of the Sultanate. These letters are in Arabic until the reign of Saiyid Said bin Taimur (1932–1970). All the Arabic texts are accompanied by contemporary English translations.

The years 1961–1965 saw a political struggle take over from the armed conflict of the 1950s, and the Imamate took their claims of oppressive government and alleged public hostility to Sultan Said bin Taimur to the United Nations. By 1965 a UN resolution was formed which recommended “the elimination of British domination in any form”.

The period 1966–1971 is of particular interest because of the coup d’état that saw the deposition of Sultan Said bin Taimur and the accession of his son Sultan Qabus bin Said. This collection of documents quite clearly reveals that even in his first two years of government, Shaikh Qabus was determined to create a modern Arab state in place of what he had regarded as an insular and reactionary régime.


Records of the Persian Gulf Pearl Fisheries 1857–1962

4 volumes, including map box, 2000 pages; ISBN 9781852076054
The pearling fleets centred around Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat and the Trucial States were the great traditional industry in the Persian Gulf. Their rise and fall over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is explored in one of the most interesting historical collections on Gulf history. This collection focuses on the hundred years between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, when the traditional pearling industry reached its peak and began its abrupt decline. The documents show clearly the impact of the twentieth century on pearling: the more lucrative arms traffic, the introduction of cultured pearls, the threat of mechanised diving, a Government of India ban on pearl imports in 1947–1948, and, from the late 1940s, alternative work in the oil industry.


Records of Qatar 1820–1960

8 volumes, including map box, 4500 pages; ISBN 9781852073008
Records of Qatar makes available in a single set of volumes the most important documents and maps to mark the history of Qatar from 1820 to modern times. The documents are selected from British political archives and are facsimiles of the contemporary reports, letters and memoranda written by British political representatives in the Gulf during a century and a half. The files include numerous translations and Arabic originals of letters from the Shaikhs.


Records of Qatar 1961–1965

5 volumes, 3170 pages; ISBN 9781852077808
These 5 volumes cover events concerning Qatar from 1961–1965. The intention with this collection was to gather together all the relevant documents so that the level of detail covering the events is much greater than in the set covering 1820–1960, although the time period is much shorter.


Records of Qatar 1966–1971

4 volumes, 3400 pages; ISBN 9781840971750
This collection makes available the most important documents and maps for the history of Qatar from 1820 to modern times. The documents are selected from British political archives and are facsimiles of the contemporary reports, letters and memoranda written by British political representatives in the Gulf. The files include numerous translations and Arabic originals of letters from the Shaikhs. The records show how the turbulence of the nineteenth century, with Qatar at the mercy of tribal migrations and invasion and occupation by the Wahhabis and the Turks, is replaced in the early twentieth century by increasing stability and territorial integrity, permitting the administrative development of the modern state. Included in the collection for 1820–1960 are historic maps.

Some important themes run through the collection for 1961-1965 including the disagreement over the succession; mounting financial difficulties; internal pressure for reform of the administration; issues around the creation of an Advisory Council under the chairmanship of the Ruler; territorial disagreements and problems of internal security.

The collection covering 1966–1971 saw the end of Qatar’s 150 years as a British Protectorate and its emergence as an independent sovereign state. It also details the coup d’état of 1972 in which Sheikh Khalifah bin Hamad al-Thani deposed his cousin Sheikh Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani; negotiations with Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain centering on land and sea boundary disputes; developments in the petroleum industry and the associated development of a more modern urban infrastructure.


Records of Saudi Arabia 1902–1960

10 volumes, including maps, 5200 pages; ISBN 9781852073251
Records of Saudi Arabia 1902-1960 traces the evolution and development of the Saudi state from the momentous reconquest of Riyadh in 1902 by ´Abd al-´Aziz bin ´Abd al-Rahman bin Faisal al Sa´ud, Amir of Najd. The collection offers historical evidence for the creation of Saudi Arabia – the capture of Riyadh, the conquests of Al Hasa and the Hijaz, the occupation of Taif, Jedda, Mecca and Medina, and the proclamation of the Kingdom. It includes many original letters of King Abdulaziz and illustrates the political, social and economic changes which in just over half a century transformed the desert amirate into one of the richest countries in the world. The early years of this collection contain the key events, including a retrospective volume covering the nineteenth century, and aim to give a wide base of information from which further research will be stimulated.


Records of Saudi Arabia 1961–1965

6 volumes, 3500 pages; ISBN 9781852077709
This is the second in the series of three titles that combine to create a large collection offering historical evidence for the creation of Saudi Arabia, and illustrating the political, social and economic changes which in just over half a century transformed the desert amirate into one of the richest countries in the world. The period 1961 to 1965 includes details of the illness of King Sa’ud, his power struggle with Prince Faisal and the eventual accession of King Faisal; the death of Yusuf Yasin; boundary disputes, including those at Buraimi, Khor al-Odaid and the boundary with Yemen, sometimes exacerbated by the demands of the oil industry; the intervention of the United Nations in the Buraimi dispute; Saudi-Jordan defense and economic agreements; and UAR aggression against Saudi Arabia, particularly the poor relations between Cairo and Riyadh.


Records of Saudi Arabia 1966–1971

6 volumes, 5000 pages; ISBN 9781840970852
The origins of Saudi power are illustrated by selections from early European accounts of the Wahhabi religious reform movement in the eighteenth century, documents on the political development of the Saudi dynasty and official British summaries of events in Najd and Al Hasa in the nineteenth century. The volumes trace the evolution and development of the Saudi state from the momentous reconquest of Riyadh in 1902 by Abd al-Aziz, Amir of Najd, through the struggle for supremacy in Najd and Al Hasa in the early years of the century, to the conquest of the Hijaz in the 1920s and the formal proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Regional relations with Kuwait and the Gulf States, with the mandated territories of Iraq and Transjordan and with the southern neighbouring states of Yemen and Asir are also included.

The period 1961 to 1965 includes details of the illness of King Saud, his power struggle with Prince Faisal and the eventual accession of King Faisal; the death of Yusuf Yasin; boundary disputes including those at Buraimi, Khor al-Odaid and the boundary with Yemen, sometimes exacerbated by the demands of the oil industry; the intervention of the United Nations in the Buraimi dispute; Saudi–Jordan defence and economic agreements; UAR aggression against Saudi Arabia, particularly the poor relations between Cairo and Riyadh.

The events of the period 1966 to 1971 reveal a tumultuous period in the history of Saudi Arabia: the exile of King Saud; the war with Yemen over Asir and other disputed territories; the concerns for security engendered simultaneously by aggression from the United Arab Republic in support of Yemeni insurgents and from the Arab–Israeli War of 1967; unresolved territorial contests with other Gulf states; and increasingly complex negotiations over petroleum rights through OPEC.


Records of Syria 1918–1973

15 volumes, 12000 pages; ISBN 9781840971408
Records of Syria is a collection of documents researched from the British National Archives, covering the modern period. It includes documents regarding: issues arising from the proposed Sykes–Picot Agreement, 1916; the seizure of Damascus from the Turks in 1918; Arab government and King Feisal; French occupation, the French Mandate and the struggle for self-government; Druze rebellion 1925/26; the proposed Franco-Syrian Treaty, 1936, and the failure of the French to ratify it; the Free French and General de Gaulle; the French imprisonment of the Syrian Government, 1943; the bombardment of Damascus and the final break with the French; Independence in 1946 and the ensuing political instability; Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din Bitar and the creation of the Ba’th party; Antun Sa’ada, executed in 1949, and the Parti Populaire Syrien; reactions to the war with Israel, 1948, including the coup bringing Colonel Husni Zaim to power; the rise of the Ba’th Party and union with Egypt in 1958; Communism and relations with Russia; the Arab–Israeli War, 1967; the struggle for power between the Ba’th and the progressives 1968–1971; the final coup d’état which brought Hafiz al-Asad to power.


Records of Yemen 1798–1960

16 volumes including map box, 12000 pages, prints and photographs; ISBN 9781852073701
Five years of research, including privileged access to ancient and fragile archives now closed to public view, make it likely that this publication will remain unrivalled as the definitive source work for the history of Yemen. The work provides scholars, administrators and diplomats with an extensive reference collection of primary documents on political and social development. Early volumes reveal the legendary fascination of ‘Arabia Felix’, the later volumes show the political instability after World War II that was to lead to the departure of the British in 1967.

For much of the modern period the volumes provide evidence for the development of the Imamate in the north, the Aden Colony and Protectorate in the south, the impact of the British and Ottoman empires, and the complex political relations between Sana‘a and Aden. The documents trace the ferment of conflict and shifting allegiances between the tribes. Negotiations, treaties on boundary affairs and Saudi–Yemeni flashpoints of the twentieth century are examined in detail.


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

12 volumes, including box of family trees, 7500 pages; ISBN 9781852073107
Despite current political intrigue and unrest, the Arab ruling families continue to dominate the financial and social régimes in the Gulf States and Arabia. By retaining de facto control over the oil revenues of their respective states, they exert a pivotal force in the politics of international trade and the workings of the world’s money markets.

This publication contains twelve volumes of previously unpublished despatches, diplomatic correspondence and political reports concerning the origins, evolution and legitimacy of the dynasties ruling in the Gulf States, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The volumes present a coherent background detailing treaties, correspondence and agreements explaining the origins, composition and the nature of the régimes currently in power. The famous names covered in the volumes include the House of Saud, the Hashimite royal families of Jordan and Iraq, the Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the Al-Khalifah of Bahrain, the Al Bu Said of Oman and the Al-Thani of Qatar. In the UAE the Al-Nihayyan, the Al-Maktum, the Al-Qasimi, and the dynastic affairs of the shaikhdoms of Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Qawain are examined.

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.


Saudi Arabia: Secret Intelligence Records 1926–1939

8 volumes, 6300 pages; ISBN 9781840970258
This eight-volume set is taken from a record class of Foreign Office counter-intelligence files more recently released by the British Government. It gives superb insight into the day-to-day running of the modern Saudi state under its founder King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud in his most exciting period of rule. The documents themselves are a combination of British secret memoranda and British military intercepts of internal Saudi Arabian telegraphic communications such as those between King Abdul Aziz and his commanders in the field. Such direct correspondence from King Abdul Aziz to his most trusted personnel has previously rarely been seen.


The Saudi Green Book 1934; Relations between Saudi Arabia and the Yemen

1 volume, 500 pages; ISBN 9781852073237. Contains Arabic and English text.
This edition makes available the original Arabic text of the famous so-called Saudi Green Book issued by the Saudi Government in April 1934, regarding relations and conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, followed by the English translation prepared at the British Legation at Jeddah in the 1930s. This is a key document for historical study of relations between Ibn Saud and the Imam Yahya, and of tribal and territorial claims in the Tihama and Najran regions.


The Slave Trade into Arabia 1820–1973

9 volumes, 7000 pages; ISBN 9781840971309
Historical analysis of slavery and the slave trade is extensive for the traffic from the west coast of Africa to North, Central and South America, and recently some publications have addressed ‘Islamic slavery,’ especially its social history, as well as aspects of the trade as it affected the Ottoman Empire. However, these monographs do not analyse in any detail the sea trade towards the Arabian littoral. One reason for lack of analysis of the Arabian trade may be because there is no single large community of slave descendants in the former Ottoman Middle East, as there is in the United States and the Caribbean. 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.

These nine volumes contain the original political despatches, correspondence and systematic naval reports which relate meetings with Sultans and chieftains, interviews with captured slave dealers, informants and freed slaves; correspondence between British officials, and with their Ottoman, Egyptian, French, Italian and Arab counterparts; firmans from the Sublime Porte; bilateral and multinational conventions and treaties, which little by little began to lay down an agreed international framework aimed initially at modifying, then gradually containing, and eventually, only after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, aiming at total suppression of the slave trade.


Survey of the Shores and Islands of the Persian Gulf 1820–1829

1 text volume and 4 map boxes; ISBN 9781852071905
Edited by A. S. Cook, Map Archivist at The British Library: Oriental & India Office Collections, this work reproduces the first complete survey of the Gulf coast, carried out by the Bombay Marine in the 1820s. The survey comprises contemporary textual descriptions, maritime charts, harbour maps and handpainted water-colour coastal views. The text and the harbour plans provide the first British portrayal of coastal settlements including Muscat, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain, Kuwait, etc. The collection includes 20 paintings in watercolour of the Coast of Oman and the Trucial States painted by Lt. Houghton from on board ship during the survey. Previous surveys were incomplete, omitting much of the Arabian coast; later surveys were partial revisions. The text volume includes a contemporary account of the survey; a plan for conducting the survey; sailing directions for the Gulf, 1836; and other contemporary descriptions of navigation, the islands and the coastal settlements. The four map boxes contain 54 charts and views. The charts have been reprinted as faithfully as possible to their original size and colours.


Survey of Western Palestine 1882–1888

In association with the Palestine Exploration Fund; 10 volumes, 3760 pages with colour plates, and 3 map boxes including 50 archaeological plates and 26 maps; ISBN 9781852078355
One of the great standard works of reference for Middle East studies this comprehensive work was the first detailed survey of the area that used to be known as Western Palestine: the whole country west of the Jordan from Tyre in the north to Beersheba in the south was submitted to the surveyors’ scrutiny – every town, village, saint’s tomb, sacred tree, and heap of stones was meticulously recorded. The area surveyed in the 1870s includes modern day Israel, the southernmost part of Lebanon and Jordan as far as the River Jordan. The Islamic archaeology of Jerusalem and the countryside is also meticulously surveyed. Ruined cities, buildings, tombs, and interesting sites were all excavated, drawn, or photographed: place names, geological and natural history specimens, as well as antiquities, were collected, and casts of inscriptions were made. The 50 black and white printed plates created to record these finds are included in this collection.

The survey covered 6000 square miles and included a set of 26 highly detailed maps of great historical significance – indeed, in the areas unaffected by modern development they are still valid. This edition encompasses the original maps and plates, and the nine text volumes. The Survey was intended to include at a later date Eastern, Southern and Northern Palestine. In fact only one volume on Eastern Palestine was published, and has been included here.


Treaties and Engagements Relating to Arabia and the Persian Gulf

1 volume, 350 pages; ISBN 9781852070762
Treaties and Engagements, or ‘Aitchison XI’, must be counted alongside Lorimer’s Gazetteer and the Persian Gulf Historical Summaries, among the small number of standard reference works on the history of the Persian Gulf. The attractions and value of Aitchison’s work are several. The original documents cited go beyond the formal treaties drawn up by the British Government, and include numerous undertakings made by local Rulers, many being translated from the Arabic. Aitchison prefaces each section with an historical essay on events, causes and inter-relationships which the subsequent treaties and undertakings reflect.


Turkey and her Arab Neighbours 1953–1958

1 volume, 250 pages; ISBN 9781852078416
Unlike most of Cambridge Archive Editions’ collections this work is an academic monograph and is the only major published study in English of Turkish–Arab diplomatic and political relations following World War II. This study traces Turkey’s relations with her Arab neighbours, Syria and Iraq, and to a lesser extent with Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, during the period of the formulation and eventual collapse of the Baghdad Pact. The study shows that Turkey repeatedly attempted to improve her relations with the Arab world after 1945, in the search for security against the perceived Soviet threat, and as such reveals the correlation between the Cold War concerns of the Great Powers and the national policies of the Middle East states.


US Presidential Papers concerning Saudi Arabia 1941–1962

1 volume, 400 pages; ISBN 9781852076658
This collection contains US State Department papers on Saudi Arabia from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s drawn from the National Security files and the private presidential office files of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. These documents are particularly interesting as they represent direct correspondence between heads of state and although some are heavily censored it is possible to discern different styles of leadership beneath the layers of protocol.


US Records on Saudi Affairs 1945–1959

8 volumes, 6000 pages; ISBN 9781852076702
These volumes are prepared from confidential US State Department central files, from records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and from other US Government archives in Washington DC, and in some places remain censored. The period of coverage traces defence development post-World War II and the close strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US in the light of American interests in the Middle East up to 1959. This period covers the Suez crisis and the creation of the United Arab Republic, deteriorating US relations with Iraq and Egypt especially over Israel and sees some of the most exciting diplomatic activity of the last century.

US records are of particular importance in the light of the renewed instability in the Middle East and the special relationship that Saudi Arabia has traditionally had with the USA. This publication provides an important historical record seen from the American diplomatic viewpoint and represents a useful counterbalance to material drawing on British views of strategic issues in the Middle East.


Water Resources in the Arabian Peninsula 1921–1960

2 volumes, 1000 pages; ISBN 9781852077952
The discovery and development of local water resources is an important theme in the history of Arab states. These volumes draw together the surviving historical records on the water resources of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Trucial States and Oman. Material has also been included on the Jeddah water scheme in Saudi Arabia. A great bulk of the material relates to the intense period of prospecting for water in the 1950s, particularly in the Trucial States, but also in Doha and Muscat, and to the the political issues of the 1950s of Kuwait deriving water from the Shatt al-‘Arab and the question of her dependence on Iraq.


The Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel 1839–1972

10 volumes, 8000 pages; ISBN 9781840970500
These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland. Material is relatively sparse in the nineteenth 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.

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