|ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-325-1
Extent: 10 volumes, 5,200 pages, including 1 map box
Editor: Chief Editor P. Tuson, former head of Middle East archives within the British Library (Oriental & India Office Collections). Assistant editors: A. Burdett, E. Quick. Published: 1992
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish. The front cover carries the Saudi crest.
The collection is prefaced with an introductory volume which provides an historical background to the main series of documents. The origins of Saudi power are illustrated by selections from early European accounts of the Wahhabi religious reform movement in the eighteenth century, documents on the political development of the Saudi dynasty and official British summaries of events in Najd and Al Hasa in the nineteenth century.
The volumes detail the creation of Saudi Arabia from the struggle for supremacy in Najd and Al Hasa in the early years of the century, to the conquest of the Hijaz in the 1920s and the formal proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Regional relations with Kuwait and the Gulf states, with the mandated territories of Iraq and Transjordan and with the southern neighbouring states of Yemen and Asir are also included.
From 1932 onwards the development of the Kingdom’s oil economy as well as its internal and external political relations are traced through a wide range of archival documents. During the late 1930s and the 1940s, Saudi Arabia’s stance as a neutral power caused it to be assiduously courted by both the allied and axis powers. After the war relations with the Americans became much more important although the British competed strongly to remain in control of arms procurement and defence supply.
In the late 1940s Saudi Arabia was a powerful voice in support of the Palestinians during the partition of Palestine. The death of King Abdulaziz in November 1953 was a blow to the country but the new King Saud was supported by his father’s advisors and in particular by Emir Faisal.
Throughout the entire 22 volumes there is an overall structure of subjects covered such as the affairs of the royal family, foreign and internal affairs, economic, civil and social development, defence policy and territorial negotiations and disputes.