ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-350-3 Extent: 8 volumes, 5,250 pages, including 1 map box
Author: Chief Editor Penelope Tuson, former head of Middle East archives, British Library (Oriental & India Office Collections). Assistant Editors: A. Burdett, E. Quick. Published: 1993
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
The early modern history of Bahrain is one of independence until the Portugese occupied from 1521–1602 and then the Persians, though not continuously, until 1782. In 1783 the Persians were expelled from Bahrain by the Utub (Uttobee or Utbi) tribe from central Arabia, whose leading family, the Al-Khalifas, became the independent Sheikhs of Bahrain and have ruled Bahrain ever since, apart from a brief period before 1810.
The documents in this collection date from the early 19th century when the British empire was expanding and was particularly anxious to defend its position in the Persian Gulf to prevent the French, Germans and Russians from encroaching on the British position in India. The collection contains the key documents needed to follow the development of the State of Bahrain from 1820–1960. In fact, the first document is a retrospective dated 1844, by Lt. Kemball, Assistant Resident in the Persian Gulf describing the history of the ‘Uttoobee tribe of Arabs of Bahrein from 1716 to 1844. The documents include details of the war with Muscat 1828; relations with the Wahhabis; civil war in Bahrain 1840–1847; war with Qatar 1867–1868; the destruction of Zubarah 1878; Turkish and Persian claims to sovereignty; the respective rulers Shaikh Isa bin Ali, Shaikh Hamad, Shaikh Salman and the future Shaikh Isa bin Salman al-Khalifah; administrative and constitutional reform, 1955; and the multiple effects of the oil boom. The final volume is a map box containing historical maps and genealogical tables.
Material has been arranged within each volume according to broad subjects including internal political affairs, social and economic development, regional and international relations. Within these general divisions documents are presented chronologically. Highlights from the volumes:
Volume 1: 1820-1868
Volume 2: 1868-1892
Volume 3: 1892-1923
Volume 4: 1923-1932
Volume 5: 1932-1942
Volume 6: 1942-1950
Volume 7: 1951-1960
Volume 8: Historical maps and tables