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Research Guides

Modern Arabic Biography: Home

Information on how to find biographies of modern Arab individuals.

Catalog searches -- Subject Headings

The best way to find biographical dictionaries or biographies of specific modern Arabs is to search the catalog using subject headings.  If you are working in the UW-only Catalog, change the default “Keyword” in the first box under Search to: “LC Subject”.  If you are working in the Worldcat interface, precede your search by: "su:"  "su:" forces Worldcat to search your phrase within subject headings instead as a group of separate keywords.


For individuals, use the formulas:



Name – Bio-bibliography


Nasser, Gamal Abdel


Bio-bibliography means the book will contain not only a biography, but a full bibliography of the person's works.  Few exist for the Arab world, but those few are very useful.


For biographical dictionaries, use these headings as a starting point.


Authors, Arab – Biography

Authors, Arab – Bio-bibliography

Arab countries – Biography

Arabs – Biography

Lebanon - Biography (for Lebanon, substitute the region, i.e. Middle East, country, region within a country, i.e. Amil Mountains, Lebanon, or city of your choice)

Muslims – Biography

Poets, Arab – Biography

Politicians – Lebanon (substitute geographical entity) – Biography


The last two examples represent the category of “Profession” – Geographical entity – Biography.  Feel free to substitute other professions.

Specific Biographical Works

Campbell, Robert B., 1926-

Aʻlām al-adab al-ʻArabī al-muʻāṣir : sīrah wa-sīrah dhātīyah / iʻdād Rūbirt B. Kambill al-Yasūʻī

al-Ṭabʻah 1

Bayrūt, Lubnān : al-Maʻhad al-Alamānī lil-Abḥāth al-Sharqīyah, 1996

2 v. (1420 p.) : ports. ; 25 cm

Szref, szstx  PJ7521 .C36 1996


Contemporary African writers / edited by Tanure Ojaide.

Detroit : Gale Cengage Learning, c2011.

xxiv, 432 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Dictionary of literary biography ; v. 360

Szref  PN41 .D484 1978 v.360


Crosshatching in global culture : a dictionary of modern Arab writers : an updated English version of R.B. Campbell's ‪"Contemporary Arab Writers" / edited by John J. Donohue and Leslie Tramontini.

Beirut : Orient-Institut der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft ; Würzburg : Ergon in Kommission, 2004.

2 v. ‪(xxiii, 1215 p.) ; 24 cm.

Szref, szstx  PJ7521 C76 2004


Essays in Arabic literary biography / general editor, Roger Allen.

Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 2009.

3 v.  ; 25 cm.

Vol. 3 covers 1850-1950

Szstx  PJ7521 .E87 2009 v. 3


Moss, Joyce, 1951-

African literature and its times / Joyce Moss, Lorraine Valestuk

Detroit : Gale Group, c2000

xlv, 544 p. : ill. ; 29 cm

Boref, szref, taref  PL8010 .M65 2000


Moss, Joyce, 1951-

Middle Eastern literatures and their times / Joyce Moss

Detroit : Thomson Gale, 2004

liii, 585 p. : ill., ports. ; 29 cm

Szstx, ugstx  PJ307 .M67 2004


Twentieth-century Arab writers / edited by Majd Yaser Al-Mallah and Coeli Fitzpatrick.

Detroit : Gale Cengage Learning, c2009.

xxii, 391 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Dictionary of literary biography ; v. 346

Szref  PN41 .D484 1978 v.346