Bibliographies

Over time researchers have compiled various bibliographies of studies relating to Libya. The first bibliographies appeared over one hundred years ago and were an important part of the colonial attempt to define and produce knowledge about colonized lands. In fact, it was an Italian colonial bibliographer, Federico Minutilli, who was responsible for resurrecting the term Libia as a cover term for the three provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and the Fezzan that the Italian colonial project aimed to bring under its control. The purpose of this page is to make as many bibliographies as possible available to a wider audience.

Bibliographies about Libya

§1. Lambert Playfair, Bibliography of the Barbary States: Part I: Tripoli and the Cyrenaica (London, 1889).
The first such bibliography to appear, this work contributes to the European race to colonize the lands that later became Libya. Listed 579 books and articles in chronological order from Herodotus (!) to 1889, with an appendix describing 62 manuscripts obtained by the British Consulate in Tripoli. [PDF] [PDF]

§2. Federico Minutilli, Bibliografia della Libia (Turin, 1903).
The first work to bring back the old Roman geographical designation Libia, it listed 1,269 titles and purported to contain all published references to Libya from the invention of the printing press until 1902.

§3. Ugo Ceccherini, Bibliografia della Libia (Rome, 1915).
A continuation of the above, containing 3,041 titles on Libya published between 1903 and 1914—the incredible uptake being due to Italy’s drive to colonize Libya.

§4. R.W. Hill, Bibliography of Libya (Durham, 1959).
Conceived of as “a major project of research involving economic and social problems”, simultaneous to the discovery of oil in Libya. [PDF]

§5. Mohamed Murabet, A Bibliography of Libya: with particular reference to sources available in libraries and public archives in Tripoli (Valetta, 1959).

§6. Hans Schlüter, Index Libycus: Bibliography of Libya, 1957–1969, with supplementary material 1915–1956 (Boston, 1972).
Contained 4,418 entries covering the years since 1915 but without duplicating references mentioned by Hill, emphasizing publications since 1957.

§7. Hans Schlüter, Index Libycus: Bibliography of Libya, 1970–1975. Vol. I: Titles (Boston, 1975).
Listed 4,380 entries focusing on the years since 1970 but including references before that which were omitted in the previous volume or in Hill. Note that it is actually the second volume of the Index.

§8. Muhammad Alawar, A Concise bibliography of northern Chad and Fezzan in southern Libya (Cambridgeshire, 1983).

§9. Natasha Beschorner, Bibliography of Libya 1970–1990 (London, 1990).
Compiled as part of a SOAS research project on Libya in the 1990s led by J.A. Allan and K.S. McLachlan. Limited to mostly politics and economics and includes a number of newspaper and magazine articles.

§10. Nicola Labanca & Pierluigi Venuta, Bibliografia della Libia coloniale (1911-1920) (Florence, 2004). [Link]

§11. Adam Benkato & Christophe Pereira, “An annotated bibliography of Arabic and Berber in Libya” Libyan Studies 47 (2016).
A comprehensive (up to mid-2016) bibliography of studies about Arabic and Berber languages in Libya, organized by region. [PDF]

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