Near and Middle Eastern Studies reflects an interest lying principally in the fields of language, literature, history, philosophy and culture. It should be noted that the modern (1800-) history, politics, economics, etc. of the Middle East and North Africa are the responsibility of the Middle East Centre Library of St. Antony's College.
Hebrew and Jewish Studies is stronger in the biblical and traditional areas; however there is limited coverage of the modern period, avoiding duplication with the Middle East Library which, in concerning itself with the State of Israel, collects material relating to Zionism but not to the Jews of the diaspora in general.
The reference section is on the ground floor of the library. This collection is classified by a special scheme. There are also Minor Collections of books on general Semitics, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian and Georgian studies. Again reference works are on the ground floor. The Hebrew Muller Library at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies has additional collections.
The South Asian Collection in the Library basement caters essentially for students of Sanskrit in the Honour School and consequently shows greater strength in the classical periods of Indian history and culture, although efforts are made to maintain an adequate collection of grammars, manuals and dictionaries of the major modern languages of India. The reference section is on the ground floor of the library.
The Korean Collection is steadily expanding courtesy of a project sponsored by the National Library of Korea. A 'Window on Korea' has been established in the Library for students to read open shelf material and previously closed stack Bodleian reference material.
The card catalogues have been superseded by SOLO (for works in western languages) and by the allegro Japanese catalogue for material in Japanese. The latter is searchable both in original script and in transliteration; instructions are to be found near the terminals and on the 'help' screens provided. The holdings of the Bodleian Japanese Library are indispensable to students of Japan. Besides rich collections on the whole field, it maintains a loan collection on modern Japan which is essentially complementary to that of the Oriental Institute Library.