Skip to Main Content

Special Collections: World Resources

Welcome to the World Resources guide

This resource guide provides an overview of collections that may be useful for researching the people, histories and cultures in different geographical regions around the world. These regions include: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe (excluding the UK), the Middle East, North America and South America.

We acknowledge that 'the Middle East' is a problematic and Eurocentric term; however, no clear consensus has yet been reached regarding how best to replace it. Until a more accurate and appropriate phrase becomes widely recognised, the term is used here to describe the region spanning Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Resources relating solely to the UK are not included in this guide, as these comprise the majority of our holdings and more information about these sources can be found in our other guides. Many of the sources listed below were created by British people but relate to regions outside the UK. Several collections were created from a colonial perspective and some collections may contain offensive terms or terms that have changed meaning over time. In some cases these terms are included in our catalogue descriptions in order to provide information about the content and nature of the source. The inclusion of these terms does not reflect the views of the University of Exeter Heritage Collections and we apologise for any offence that may be caused.

To discuss our resources in more detail, please contact us at We also welcome your feedback on our approach to this resource guide, its content and the terminology used.

Accessing the Collections

Archives and rare books held by Special Collections are available to everyone. More information about accessing the collections can be found in our Visiting Heritage Collections LibGuide. Please note that there may be some restrictions on accessing and copying (including photography) material in the archives and books held by Special Collections in line with current data protection and copyright legislation. Always make sure to check the access conditions on the archive catalogue and email Special Collections before your visit for more information about specific restrictions.

Further Resources

The resources highlighted in this guide have been identified using our catalogues, but may not be exhaustive. You can search our archives catalogue and library catalogue with key word searches to identify further items of interest. More information on searching the catalogues can be found on the Search our Catalogues LibGuide. If you come across any other sources within our collections that you think should be included in this guide, we would be very pleased to hear about them.

Other resources available through the University of Exeter Library include the Arab World Documentation Unit {AWDU), the Ghana Collection and an online guide to digital primary sources, organised by geographic region. More information about these resources can be found at the end of this guide.

Contact Us or Give Feedback

University of Exeter LibGuide is licensed under CC BY 4.0