MELCom International 2017

Die ‚MELCom International 2017‚ wird vom 3.-5. Juli 2017 an der University of Cambridge stattfinden. Der Call for Papers ist bis zum 24. Februar 2017 offen. Das Programm ist hier verfügbar.



First Circular:

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

The Board of MELCom International is glad to announce that the 39th annual conference will take place over three days, from Monday 3rd July to Wednesday 5th July 2017 (inclusive), atthe Cambridge University Library  (, England. It will be organised by our colleague Yasmin Faghihi, Head of the Near and Middle Eastern Department of the Cambridge University Library. Our host is also planning to organise an excursion on Thursday 6th July 2017.

This year, the 39th MELCom International conference will coincide with the 50th anniversary of its mother-association: Melcom UK.  Melcom UK, the MELCom International Board and our host Yasmin Faghihi, Chair of Melcom UK, have agreed to organise a joint meeting, where founding and long-standing members of Melcom UK will join us to celebrate the jubilee.  It will be the occasion to reminisce and ponder on the achievements over those fifty past years, but also project us in the future with their help and that of our newer members in the UK and all over the world.

As previously, the conference sessions will be dedicated to the following topics:

  • Librarianship, collection development and acquisition policies
  • Cataloguing policies and practices
  • Catalogues and bibliographies
  • Electronic resources and digitisation projects
  • Digital humanities & Middle Eastern collections
  • Cooperation projects between libraries holding Middle Eastern collections
  • History of libraries, ownership and readership
  • Manuscripts, rare books and documents
  • Current issues of information science in Middle East area studies

…and any other aspects within related fields of Middle Eastern librarianship.


 All those interested in participating in the conference either as a speaker or as an attendee are required to fill the Pre-registration Form online before Friday 24th February 2017 : this form is available on the MELCom International’s website under the Conferences’ tab (Conferences > Forthcoming (2017) > Pre-registration). As from last year, all preliminary registrations will ONLY be processed through this online form.

Those wishing to present a paper during the conference are invited to insert an abstract (10-15 lines) in the box available for that purpose on the online registration form. The Scientific committee will examine the submissions and make its choice.  Candidates will be notified if their proposals have been accepted or not by the secretary of MI.  Please note that the working languages of MELCom International are English and French only.

For any further information about the registration process, please send your enquiries to the Secretary at

Requests for grants: MI can afford to provide a couple of modest grants every year in order to help colleagues, either new to it or unable to get financial support from their institutions, to attend the conference. If you wish to apply, please forward your request to the Secretary at no later than Friday 24th February 2017. Your request will be examined by an independent Grants committee. Grantees are requested to present a paper at the conference.

MELCom International is an organisation open to all those interested in its scope. For more details, please visit our Website.



The second circular and firm booking form, to be released in March 2017, will contain more details with regard to accommodation, travel and other practical information, the academic programme and visits to institutions.  They will be addressed only to those who have expressed their interest in joining the event by pre-registering online before 24th February 2017. The information communicated by the subsequent circular may be available earlier and if so, it will be posted on the MELCom International website which you are kindly asked to check regularly.

Note regarding entry visa to the United-Kingdom: Those who need letters of invitations to obtain an entrance visa to the United-Kingdom should write to the local organiser (Yasmin Faghihi, as early as possible, as delays are bound to occur between the hosting University International Office and the requester’s own country embassy or consular service.

The United-Kingdom is not in the Schengen Zone but still in the EU (so far), and citizens of the EU/EEA do not need a visa to enter the United-Kingdom.  Please check with your nearest British consular mission or embassy for more details concerning the visa regulations applying to your citizenship. You will also find more information on the UK Home Office website:

Conference fees: The conference fee of €35 for individuals and €80 for commercial participants will be collected in Euros during the registration morning in Leiden. Cheques are not accepted. Students enjoy free admission.

For indicative purposes only, the accommodation fees in Cambridge vary from 70 € to 120 € per night ; the excursion should cost  around 40 € per person, and the traditional conference dinner would come at €35.

Please bear in mind that participants have to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements and meet their own expenses.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Cambridge next July,

Sara Yontan, President
Dominique Akhoun-Schwarb, Secretary
Farzaneh Zareie, Treasurer