Gertrude Bell Archive at Newcastle University Library and on open-access

By Mary Fisk|July 2, 2014|Archival collections, History, Middle East, Central Asia & Islamica|0 comments

Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926) was a pioneering traveller whose deep interest in the language, culture, history and archaeology of the Near and Middle East led to her involvement in military intelligence in the area during the First World War and in its aftermath to play a leading role in the creation of the modern Iraqi state.

She was also Honorary Director of Antiquities in Iraq and established the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

Newcastle University Library possesses a large collection comprising both Gertrude Bell’s personal library of books on Arabic and Persian languages and the history of Arabia and the Near and Middle East, along with photographs, correspondence and diaries. The originals of these are accessible from the Library’s catalogue or the Special Collections (

The Library has made a selection of material from the Archive available on open-access

  • Photographs taken between 1902 and 1917 (these are mainly recording Gertrude Bell’s travels to Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but also include photographs of India, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Indonesia)
  • Transcripts of personal correspondence
  • Transcripts of personal diaries

Click here to look at the open-access content and to find out more about the Gertrude Bell Archive 

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