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NYU Abu Dhabi, Archives and Special Collections logo

Guide to the Frauke Heard-Bey and David Heard collection AD.MC.064

Archives and Special Collections, Library
New York University Abu Dhabi, C-2
P.O. 129188
Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi, Archives and Special Collections

Collection processed by Brad Bauer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 21, 2021
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Content Description

The Frauke Heard-Bey and David Heard collection consists of books, periodicals, government publications, reports, magazines, newspapers, and other printed material related to the history of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf region; the oil industry in the region, and government publications, collected by Frauke Heard-Bey and David Heard over the course of over five decades living and working in Abu Dhabi.

Most of the materials are connected with their professional and intellectual activities in Abu Dhabi, in particular with Frauke Heard-Bey's role as a historian, researcher and longtime employee of the Center for Documentation and Research in Abu Dhabi; and of David Heard's work with the Abu Dhabi Onshore Oil Company (ADCO) and later the Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC). As such, these materials can be consulted for the information contained within the individual files and publications, but taken as a whole, they also reflect the Heard-Bey's engagement with and interest in the growth and development of a number of different facets of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, including its cultural and intellectual life, government policy, legal system, economy, and the petroleum industry, among other areas. Accordingly, materials are loosely grouped into several broad areas, including:

Business and economy: Chiefly consisting of specialist publications reporting on and analyzing economic conditions in the UAE and the Gulf region, as well as publications from local chambers of commerce and other business organizations. Includes directories of businesses, statistical compendia, financial analyses, and guides to trade shows and exhibitions.

Cultural and general: This series comprises material of a more general interest and relevance to the cultural history of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, with an emphasis on publications from arts and cultural organizations, historical works about the region, and programs from exhibitions or events.

Education: Chiefly focused on higher education in Abu Dhabi, with publications from area colleges and universities such as the Higher College of Technology, and its constituent Abu Dhabi Womens and Mens Colleges, Zayed University and UAEU (United Arab Emirates University, in Al Ain), but also including materials and textbooks reflecting primary and secondary school curricula.

Government publications: Materials issued by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the government of the United Arab Emirates, with a few items from other emirates within the UAE as well. Includes runs of general and specialized statistical abstracts, compendia of laws and decrees (Official Gazettes), and annual reports of the Central Bank and Currency Board of the UAE.

Law: Primarily specialist publications about the legal system of the UAE, including serial publications and newsletters by private publishers or legal firms, meant to assist investors and companies in understanding and working within the legal system of the UAE.

Oil and energy sector: Annual reports, newsletters, directories and specialist publications, chiefly from Abu Dhabi-based petroleum and gas companies, such as ADCO (Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations), ADMA (Abu Dhabi Marine Areas), ADMA-OPCO (Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company), GASCO (Abu Dhabi Gas Industries, Ltd.), ZADCO (Zakum Development Company), and ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), the latter of which eventually absorbed most of these other companies. Also included are a smaller number of publications from foreign oil corporations active in the region, other energy utilities, and specialist publications.

Newsletters, press cuttings, and other periodicals: Largely comprised of press cuttings, newsletters and news digests about the region, including the Cyprus-based Arab Periodical Service (A.P.S.) and Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), the Washington-based electronic newsletter, GulfWire, and Abu Dhabi-based press clippings digest, PAVAC, but also including collections of press cuttings arranged in chronologic or thematic order. Press cuttings, usually from the local media in Abu Dhabi, are divided into chronological and thematic subseries, with the former having been assembled by David Heard, and focusing largely on the oil and energy sector, finance, and regional politics, and covering the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The thematic cuttings files, assembled by Frauke Heard-Bey, range from the late 1990s to the 2010s. Also included in this series are special issues and supplements to local newspapers (Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Emirates News, and The National), typically issued on the UAE National Day, Accession Day (during the lifetime of Sheikh Zayed) or in commemoration of anniversaries of other GCC countries. A smaller set of periodicals include individual issues of publications from the region, but otherwise, larger runs of periodicals are included in the series to which they are thematically related (such as business and economy, oil industry, etc.)

Other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries: Materials similar to those in the other categories, but produced by government agencies, cultural institutions, and other organizations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, or materials that focused on the GCC countries as a group.

Research materials and projects: The "research materials" component of this series may overlap with the series "Newsletters, press cuttings and other periodicals," but differs from it in that the material, originally housed in binders, included government documents, statistics, booklets, and ephemera, alongside cuttings from local and foreign newspapers. Most of this material dates from the 1960s and 1970s, and is especially strong with coverage of events leading up to the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. While several binders were arranged in chronological order, others were divided according to topics of interest to Frauke Heard-Bey, and this order has been maintained. The "projects" portion of this series contains materials gathered together based on specific research projects carried out by Heard-Bey.

Scholarly conferences, symposia, and publications: Materials related to academic or public policy conferences and symposia, including programs, papers, and notes taken by Heard or Heard-Bey while in attendance, but also publications geared for a scholarly or specialist audience on topics ranging from agriculture, animal husbandry, archaeology, art history, natural history, and regional geopolitics. Most of the conferences and symposia were hosted by organizations based in Abu Dhabi, including the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) and the Crown Prince's Court. Also included are extensive runs of specialist journals, including the "Bulletin of the Emirates Natural History Group;" "DAVO-Nachrichten," the publication of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient; and "Orient," the publication of the Deutsches Orient-Institut; among others.

Telephone directories: Produced by local telephone utilities in Abu Dhabi, as well as those issued nationwide, covering private and business phone numbers, primarily from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s. Also included, however, are a few telephone directories from the early 1970s, including early directories for the governments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.


This collection is grouped into loose categories, as determined by the processing archivist, and meant to reflect the various areas of activity of Heard and Heard-Bey. Items within these categories are arranged primarily in alphabetic order, by title or creator, or in chronological order.

The physical arrangement of materials is split between smaller format items, such as brochures, booklets, pamphlets, or single issues of periodicals, which are stored in archival file boxes, and larger runs of periodicals or books, which for the most part are stored on the open shelves. The former category of materials is listed by box and folder number in the archival inventory, while the latter materials have been given provisional sequential item numbers, which will be replaced by library classification numbers (Library of Congress numbers) once they have received full bibliographic cataloging.