Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What is Reference ?
Reference books such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and biographies help you find factual and background information about your topic.
Google and Wikipedia could be good places to start your search for general and initial ideas about your topic. But you will always have to use Library resources to get more credible information.
Modern Middle East: Selected Reference Works
Dictionaries and Handbooks
List of Online Encyclopedias
Oxford Islamic Studies Online (3 simultaneous users) A comprehensive online resource covering the history and culture of Islam. The main content features major Oxford reference works such as Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, and Oxford History of Islam. The database covers global Islamic history, people, politics, faith, concepts, practice, culture, customs, and much more. In addition to reference entries, the database contains biographies, primary documents, book chapters, interpretation and concordance of the Qur'an, images, maps, and timelines. It includes a "Learning Resources" area featuring study and teaching aids for the exploration of the field of Islamic studies in general. It has powerful search capabilities and can be searched by Era, topics, country, region, branch of Islam, name, birth, death, profession, movements, schools, and document type.
Limitation: 3 users at a time
Brill Online Reference Works
A collection of reference works published by Brill. The collection includes, but is not limited to the following titles:
Encyclopaedia Islamica A projected 16-volume publication, consisting of an abridged and edited translation of the Persian "Dāirat al-Maārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī".
Automatically updated whenever a new volume has been published. New content will be added every year in alphabetical order.
Coverage: 2008 to present
Note: from Brill Online Reference Works
Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition Offers access to 9,000 articles and reflects the first highly international collaboration of scholars in this field.
The scope of the Encyclopedia of Islam First Edition Online is philology, history, theology and law until early 20th century.
The encyclopedia was originally published in print between 1913 and 1936. The demand for an encyclopaedic work on Islam was created by the increasing (colonial) interest in Muslims and Islamic cultures during the nineteenth century.
Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures A compilation of essays on women and Islamic cultures in every region where there have been significant Muslim populations.
A multivolume reference work published by Brill Academic Publishers. This encyclopedia crosses history, geographic borders and disciplines and also reflects the latest research on gender studies and Islamic world. It covers a wide array of topics including family issues, body, sexuality, health, education, mobility, law, politics, arts and more. It also includes a bibliography of books and articles published in European Languages since 1993.
For more go to Databases, limit your search by subject to Islamic Studies. Or, search the Library Catalog, do a keyword search for "Islam" AND Encyclopedias or dictionaries AND Islam
Arabic Reference Sources
Selected Arabic Encyclopedias: