Since 2002, the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has maintained a library of Afghanistan-specific materials to support its research. The library received its first major donation from the Society of South Asian Studies, formerly known as the British Institute of Afghan Studies (BIAS).

BIAS, established in Kabul in 1972, had undertaken a number of archaeological projects and supported British scholars conducting anthropological and ethnological fieldwork in Afghanistan. When the Institute was shut down in 1981, their collection was put into storage in the British Embassy. In 2003, the Institute agreed to donate an estimated 3,000 books and off-prints about Afghanistan and the region to the AREU Library. A condition of the donation was that the collection should remain in Afghanistan and be available for all researchers to use.

Thanks to the combined efforts of Bob Knox, Carla Grissmann, Nicholas Sims-Williams and Jonathan Lee in arranging the donation of the collection to AREU, this collection is available to researchers in Afghanistan. AREU Founder and Director from 2002 to 2005, Dr. Andrew Wilder, with financial support from UNAMA, agreed that AREU would re-house and catalog the collection, provide staff to catalog those and provide funds to expand the holdings.

Today, AREU’s growing collection of over 20,000 books and periodicals includes Afghan government publications to date, publications about Afghanistan produced by NGOs and relevant publications from UN and donor agencies. The library also has collections of rare materials, including the Official Gazette (Rasmi Jaridah, Statistical Handbook of Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s annals, and Afghan laws dating back to the 1920s).

AREU publications in English, Dari, and Pashto are provided for free to libraries around the country.

AREU acknowledges the role of Royce Wills for his dedication and hard work of more than 10 years in putting in place the AREU Library.

Visit AREU Library

The AREU Library is fully searchable online and can be accessed here. A visit to the AREU Library will provide access to internet connectivity, photocopies of materials, and pdf files.

The AREU Library is closed on public holidays. No materials can be borrowed.

Library visits can be arranged by emailing

Shahr-I-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan

9:30-12:30 and 13:00-16:00 (08:00-13:00 during Ramadan)

Sundays through Thursdays