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The GCC States: National Development Records

The GCC States: National Development Records
Communications and Transport 1860–1960
9 Volume Hardback Set Including Boxed maps

Cambridge Archive Editions
  • Date Published: October 1995
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
  • format: Mixed media product
  • isbn: 9781852076207

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  • This collection traces the development of the modern network of communications which makes light of the great distances involved in traversing the Middle East. From the first schemes to link India to Europe via a submarine cable through Muscat and Bushire in 1859, the documents detail a slow blooming of infrastructure in all aspects of communications: the development of deep water ports, shipping routes and navigational data; the growth of telegraph, cable, wireless and finally telephone systems, the press and broadcasting; the spectacular success of the railways in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; the creation of a reliable postal service; the improvement of roads and the 20th century expansion of motor transport, all creating links between and within the Gulf states.

    • Facsimile collections of key documents from archive sources
    • Previously unknown or fragmented material now available in a coherent collection
    • Carefully selected and edited for maximum value to researchers and scholars
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1995
    • Format: Mixed media product
    • Isbn: 9781852076207
    • Length: 6300 pages
    • Dimensions: 441 x 398 x 271 mm
    • Weight: 14.5kg
    • Availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
    • Paper: Printed on acid-free paper
    • Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
    • Resume


      As part of the three set series on the development of the GCC states this set contains documented evidence for the origins and expansion of communications services within the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia in the formative years of the 20th century.

      This collection traces the development of the modern network of communications which makes light of the great distances involved in traversing the Middle East. From the first schemes to link India to Europe via a submarine cable through Muscat and Bushire in 1859, the documents detail a slow blooming of infrastructure in all aspects of communications: the development of deep water ports, shipping routes and navigational data; the growth of telegraph, cable, wireless and finally telephone systems, the press and broadcasting; the spectacular success of the railways in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; the creation of a reliable postal service; the improvement of roads and the 20th century expansion of motor transport, all creating links between and within the Gulf states.

    • Historical Overview


      As part of the three set series on the development of the GCC states this set contains documented evidence for the origins and expansion of communications services within the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia in the formative years of the 20th century.

      The Inauguration of Communications Services

      ... can be said to begin with schemes to link India to Europe via a submarine cable connected to Muscat and onwards to Bushire in 1859. Following the failure of the first Red Sea Telegraph in 1860, a new line was proposed from Egypt to Aden, up the coast to Muscat and to Cape Mussandam (the Gwadur-Jask line) and was agreed in 1868. The second half of the nineteenth century brought about the establishment of wireless stations in the Mussandam peninsula (Oman) and later cable connections involved other sites, notably Bahrain and Kuwait.

      The Early Roads

      Routes and motor transport became a development matter in the 1930s. In the earlier part of the century the British had extensively surveyed the routes across the peninsula, as the World War I military handbooks betoken. From the mid-1930s, under pressure from oil development and broader political factors, there is a cumulative increase in planning and construction for motor transport. The Desert Locust Survey provided useful information on local routes connecting Saudi Arabia with the Gulf States at the end of World War II. Road building is well documented for Bahrain (the searoad or causeway scheme from 1929-48) and the Jedda-Mecca-Medina road in 1939-40.

      The Roles Of Cable & Wireless Ltd, Marconi & Other Companies

      Records concerning the telegraph, wireless and telephone services demonstrate
      the extensive involvement of European and British firms, such as Cable and Wireless Limited from 1934-47 (formerly Eastern Telegraph Company, formed 1872) and Marconi, which stemmed from Imperial and International Communications. An additional theme in the records is the vested interest and persistent efforts of the various oil companies in developing and expanding reliable telecommunications from the Gulf states to the outside world from the 1930s on.

      Postal Services at Muscat, Bahrain etc.

      The evolution of local postal services is traced in some regions in great detail; for instance Ibn Sa'ud's desire that the al Hasa region should avail itself of the Bahrain postal delivery is a sizeable topic, as is the prolonged attempt to establish a post office at either Sharjah or Dubai. However, despite the early beginning to services (Muscat had a Government of India post office in 1864) the records are strangely silent on most aspects of postal services. The nationalisation of postal services from 1947 is an important aspect of local development and is especially evident in records for Kuwait, Bahrain and the Trucial States.

    • Documentary Importance


      Material for this study is drawn chiefly from Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library, and from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office and War Office record classes at the Public Record Office, Richmond, Surrey.

      The documents published in this collection are reproduced in facsimile from papers in government files, and are therefore mostly in English. A certain number of documents have been preserved in Arabic. In either case you will read the authentic texts conveying the ideas, arguments and decisions by which history is made.

      While every effort was made to arrange the material by region or country, this was not always possible as some topics inevitably related to two or more areas: for instance, the planning of several routes from Kuwait through other territories, or Saudi Arabian postal services via Bahrain. Thus Volume 8, Inter-State Links, reflects these connections and interdependencies. Otherwise material is arranged firstly by the type of communication service, and then chronologically within each of the GCC states.

    • Arrangement of Volumes

      CONTENTS OUTLINE

      Volume 1 : Bahrain and Qatar
      Part One: Bahrain
      The establishment of telegraph, wireless, cable, telephone, postal and shipping services, 1902-1960
      Telegraph and Wireless Services, 1902-1960
      Telephone services, 1909-1955
      Postal services, 1928-1959
      Roads, routes and motor transport, 1929-1940
      Shipping and ports, 1914-1917
      The press, 1954
      Part Two: Qatar
      The establishment of telegraph, wireless, cable, telephone, postal and shipping services, 1934-1961
      Telegraph, wireless and telephone systems, 1935-1955
      Postal services, 1961
      Shipping and ports, 1937-1958
      Volume 2: Kuwait
      The establishment of telegraph, wireless, cable, telephone, broadcasting and postal services, 1901-1959
      Telegraph, wireless and telephone services, 1904-1959
      Broadcasting, 1952-1959
      Postal services, 1901-1933
      Volume 3: Kuwait
      Establishment of postal services, railways, roads and shipping services, 1898-1961
      Postal services, 1935-1959
      Railway projects, 1898-1942
      Road transport, 1939-1961
      Ports, harbours and shipping, 1937-1960
      Volume 4: The UAE and Persian Gulf Waters
      Telegraph, cable, wireless, telephone, broadcasting and postal services, 1859-1961
      Cable, telegraph and telephone services, 1859-1959
      Broadcasting, 1957-1959
      Postal services relating chiefly to Dubai and Sharjah, 1932-1947
      Volume 5 : The UAE, Oman and Persian Gulf Waters
      Part One: The United Arab Emirates and Persian Gulf Waters
      Postal services, routes, roads and shipping, 1906-1961
      Postal services, 1947-1960
      Roads and routes in the Trucial States, 1939-1961
      Persian Gulf Waters: lighting and buoying, shipping and navigation, 1906-1961
      Part Two: Oman
      Telegraph, cable, wireless, telephone, routes, roads and shipping in Oman, 1864- 1959
      Telegraph, submarine cable and wireless transmission facilities, 1864-1955
      Broadcasting, 1959
      Telephone installations, 1945-1957
      Postal services, 1921-1961
      Shipping, navigation and port services, 1872-1947
      Routes and roads, 1930-1940
      Volume 6: Saudi Arabia
      Development of railways, routes, roads, ports and navigation, 1904-1961
      Development of the Hedjaz Railway and other systems, 1920-1960
      Routes, roads and motor transport, 1904-1950
      Volume 7: Saudi Arabia
      Development of telegraph, wireless, broadcasting and postal services, 1961-1956
      Telegraph, wireless, broadcasting and postal services, 1916-1956
      Postal services, 1932-1939

      Volume 8: Inter-State Links
      Development of telegraph, wireless, postal services, motor transport, routes and roads, 1905-1960
      Telegraph, wireless and postal services, 1905-1947
      Motor transport, routes and roads, 1935-1960
      Volume 9: Maps

    • Key Documents

      MAPS

      01. Map of Bahrain Harbour showing the diversion of the submarine cable, undertaken in the CS Lady Denison Pender, 2 December 1935

      02. Middle East Cable network, 1943. Diagram by No. 4 Company, 3 GHQ Signals depicting routes under construction and connected routes

      03. Chart of Kuwait Harbour, prepared by the Naval Staff (I.D.) as regards defences etc. Produced under the Superintendence of Rear-Admiral J.A. Edgell, C.B., O.B.E., Hydrographer

      04. Detailed map of Wadi Mushi depicting the cable routes to Bushire and to Bundar Abbas, soundings etc. Lieutenant G.H. Bevan and Captain J.B. Eustace of the HMS Fox, at Henjam, 1906

      05. Map depicting camel tracks in the northern Trucial Oman, Jebel Faiyah - Jebel Hafit. Map based on a triangulation by N.R. Fallon and a plane table reconnaissance by A. J. Young during the season 1946-1947

      06-10. Maps to accompany the Military Report and Route Book on the Persian Gulf, General Staff, India, 1940 :
      06. Overview of Northern Arabia (map no. 1)

      07. Kuwait (compiled from Lt.-Col. H.R.P. Dickson's Map of Kuwait Hinterland and W.O. Sheets H. 38 and H. 39; map no. 2)

      08. Bahrain, Hasa and Qatar (map no. 3)

      09. Trucial Oman (map no. 4)

      10. Muscat and Oman (map no. 5)

      11. Arabic Map of the Imperial and Sacred Hejaz Railway showing the stations fixed upon

      12. Damascus - Mecca Railway. Plan made by Hajji Muklitar Bey, Technical Adviser of the Hejaz Railway, compiled by Captain (Artillery) Gumer Zekki and Lieutenant Hassan, 1902

      13. Map showing roads in Qatar Peninsula. Based on topography by Williamson and Pomvrol and triangulation by Sokol Offsky. Petroleum Development (Qatar) Ltd.

      14. Sketch Chart of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, showing the positions of the proposed lights, 1881, Letts, Son & Co. Limited, London

  • Editor

    A. Burdett

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