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The Arab Spring

Tools and tips for researching the Arab Spring, a series of protests and uprisings that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s.

Keyword Tips

"Arab Spring" is a Library of Congress subject heading, which means that many books on the Arab Spring--though not all--will have that phrase in the subject field of the catalog record.

Make sure to search in quotation marks so that you are searching "Arab Spring" as a phrase and not Arab AND spring as separate terms in a record.

To see which books at Tulane Libraries have been cataloged with "Arab spring" as a subject term:

1. Start at the Library homepage ( and select Advanced Search:


2. Do a SUBJECT search for "Arab spring" and select the LIBRARY CATALOG button at the top:

advanced subject search for Arab spring


3. To expand your results, switch to an ANY FIELD search so that you capture books that may not have "Arab spring" as a subject heading, but will have the term in the title, abstract, or table of contents:

advanced search for arab spring in any field


4. To narrow your results, include additional keywords, like a country name:

5. Remember to try other keywords than "Arab Spring," in case an item hasn't been cataloged with that subject heading, like the names of specific protests or revolutions (e.g. Tunisian revolution OR Jasmine revolution) or protests sites (e.g. Tahrir Square), depending on the country you are researching.

Recommended Academic Presses

When you find a book on your topic, take note of the publisher. The following are key presses that publish high-quality studies of MENA politics:

  • Cambridge University Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • Princeton University Press
  • Columbia University Press
  • Stanford University Press
  • Cornell University Press
  • Indiana University Press
  • Lynne Rienner Publishers
  • B. Tauris
  • Routledge (for more specialist volumes)

How to Find a Book in the Library Stacks

When you see a print book you're interested in, how do you retrieve it and check it out?

Think of the call number--circled below in red--as the 'address' of the book. 


Tulane Libraries use call numbers following the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Watch the below video from the Storms Research Center at the University of Valley Forge to learn how the LC system works.

And check out this video on using the MAP IT feature to find a book in our stacks:

When you find the book/s you're looking for, you can check them out on the 1st floor of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.

Other Ways to Discover Books

TU Library Search will only show you the books we do have. Google Books and WorldCat are two great databases for discovering books we do AND don't have:

What If Tulane Doesn't Have a Book I Need?

If Tulane doesn't have a book you need, register to use Tulane Libraries' Interlibrary Loan service, ILLiad.

ILLiad allows students, faculty, and staff of Tulane University to place Interlibrary Loan requests for materials from outside universities quickly and efficiently. 

Although it can take as little as a few days to receive an ILL request, please allow 10-14 days.

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