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  1. A Quest for Knowledge: The Basra Date Palm, the Botanical Garden in Bengal

    ... John Hayhurst Gulf History Specialist, British Library A 1787 letter requesting plants from the Persian Gulf for a newly established botanical garden in Kolkata illuminates the way in which the pursuit of scientific knowledge became part of the EIC’s glob ...

  2. Sir Thomas Reade: The ‘Nincumpoop’ Collector of Arabic Manuscripts

    ... Dr Jo Wright Content Development Curator, British Library How did a fourteenth century illustrated ‘Treatise on the Art of Riding and using the Instruments of War’ end up in the British Library’s Arabic manuscript collection? A ‘Nincumpoop’ of the Napoleo ...

  3. Births, Marriages, Deaths: Bahrain’s ‘Order in Council’ in Action

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Bahrain’s Order in Council gave the Political Agent the power to, on one hand, issue birth certificates, and on the other, to rule on capital punishment for convicted criminals. What links the birth, ...

  4. Journey through Afghanistan, 1860

    ... of this journal remain: the original, which was written by Pelly en route, and two ‘fair copies’. The first ... Government. His journal contains rich and fascinating descriptions of his experiences en route and includes ...

  5. Britain’s Ineffectual Efforts to Suppress the Slave Trade

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Great Britain abolished the slave trade in its Empire in 1807, yet not only did it persist in the Gulf into the latter half of the nineteenth century, it flourished amid ineffectual British efforts to ...

  6. Dusty Streets and Hot Music in Baghdad: Iraqi Maqam Music and Chalgi Ensembles

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library Kept alive until today by a very small number of chalgi Baghdad ensembles and through remaining shellac recordings, Iraqi maqam is a sophisticated musical genre from urban Iraq that develo ...

  7. U.S. Propaganda in Post-WWII Bahrain

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library In the immediate post-WWII period, despite British opposition, the U.S. sought to increase its influence in the Gulf by distributing propagandistic material in Arabic. In January 19 ...

  8. Air Crashes in the Gulf during the Second World War

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Britain and its Allies maintained supremacy over the Gulf’s airspace during the Second World War, but mechanical failure could quickly turn the tables, making crewmen dependent on the region’s local p ...

  9. Microtones: The Piano and Muhammad Al-Qubanshi – The First Congress of Arabic Music and Early Recordings from Iraq

    ... Rolf Killius Ethnomusicologist, Museum Consultant and Media Producer Thanks to the recording sessions at the first Arabic Music Congress in 1932 in Cairo, we can still listen to a selection of early Arabic music recordings. Additionally, several documents ...

  10. Country Profile: United Arab Emirates

    ... British Library Partnership Team An overview of the key moments from the history of interaction between the British and United Arab Emirates, as illustrated through the India Office Records. Originally known as sahil oman (coast of Oman) the area on the s ...

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