Clientele: Primary clientele are faculty in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, but there are additional users in the departments of History, Classics, Comparative Literature, History of Art and English.
Existing collection: ECS 3+ LANG: W
Holdings of the core scholarly literature of the field are reasonably solid from the mid-19th century to the late 1970's, including standard reference works and full runs of all major journals and of many major archaeological reports series. Much of this material has not been superseded and is still being used actively today. Coverage declines abruptly after ca. 1980, with major gaps in monographs, journals and report series. Many important monographic series started after 1980 are absent, as are reports of major excavations and catalogs of major museum collections. This is the case with publications from all major European countries. Publications from present day Middle Eastern countries, especially in the respective vernacular languages, are hardly represented at all.
Current collecting: CCI 3 LANG: F
Available resources are insufficient to acquire more than a very limited selection of currently published literature, let alone any retrospective material. As a result, existing gaps are perpetuated and new ones continually formed. Priority is given to maintaining the existing base of serials and monographic series. Remaining funds, if any, are used to purchase monographs relevant to known research interests of the current faculty, meaning more attention is being paid to ancient Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia and less to ancient Egypt, Iran and Arabia. No new series have been started for a number of years, which greatly reduces the overall utility of collection since most important new research in this field is published as part of series, either monographic series or archaeological excavation reports. Acquisitions are limited to materials in Western European languages. Although some important material is published in Arabic, Turkish and Persian, especially reports of excavations by Middle Eastern archaeologists, it is considered of lower priority and almost never bought because it is sometimes difficult to obtain and relatively few Cornell users can read these languages.
Subjects covered: LC classes; BL 1500-1700, DS 41-66, DT 57-93, PJ 1001-2199, PJ 3101-40.
The collection covers all aspects of the civilizations of the non-Israelite Ancient Near East, from prehistoric times to , depending on the area, the Greek, Roman or Islamic conquest. Covered are archaeology, epigraphy, language & literature, religion & mythology, government, society and economy. Geographically coverage extends to: (1) Egypt, including adjacent African areas showing strong Egyptian influence (e.g Nubia, Sudan) (2) Levant, including all non-Israelite cultures that existed in what is now Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and Jordan. (e.g Ugarit, Ebla, Phoenicia) (3) Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylonia etc.) (4) Ancient Iran, including Iranian culture in any parts of present day Afghanistan and the Caucasus. (5) Arabian Peninsula. (6) Anatolia, including all non-Greek cultures (e.g Lydian, Hittite).
Virtually all of the information about ancient Near Eastern cultures is derived from records - written or artifactual - which have come to light as a result of archaeological excavations. Since most archaeological work, as well as the interpretation of the finds, has been done by West European and North American scholars, publication has also been centered there. In order of importance, Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States have been the leading centers of scholarly publication. The second tier consists of the remaining West European countries, along with several Middle Eastern countries: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Beyond that, there is modest activity in a few other countries, notably Japan and Australia.
1. Writings on the culture and civilization of ancient Israel and the Jews, including Bible and Holy Land archaeology: collected by Jewish Studies bibliographer.
2. Ancient Near Eastern music; collected by the Music Library.
3. Ancient Near Eastern art : collected primarily by FAL, but some may be in Olin, especially if it is part of archaeological series.
4. sub-Saharan Africa, North African cultures unrelated to ancient Egypt, African prehistory.
5. Armenia, Afghanistan, Caucasus and Central Asia unless part of pre-Islamic Iranian culture.