Complete five-part handbook series

Arabian American Oil Company. American Employees Handbook Series. Part I-V.

[New York?], Aramco, 1950.

4to. 5 vols.: (4), I-(IV), 52 pp., final blank leaf; (6), 51 pp., final blank page; (6), I-(IV), 73 pp., final blank page; (8), 61 pp., final blank page; (6), 36 pp., final blank leaf. With numerous black-and-white photographic illustrations as well as several colour-printed illustrations, maps and charts in the text. Contemporary printed wrappers. Spiral binding.


First edition. The complete five-part handbook series prepared by the Arabian American Oil Company for the benefit of their staff as operations began to expand after WWII. Intended "for the purpose of simplifying and facilitating the spreading among Aramco's American employees of general information", the booklets were "designed to give [...] information about the Aramco enterprise itself and about Arabia and the Arabs which will help employees understand the reason behind Aramco policies and objectives" (vol. I, p. II f.). Although intended for the instruction of Aramco's own employees, the series "attracted widespread interest outside the company and the demand of copies was so great that two years later, in January 1952, a revised hardbound edition was published" (Nawwab). This revised second edition combined the five original booklets into two volumes. Subsequent editions in a single volume appeared in 1960 and 1968.

Part I discusses the history of oil production and the role of the United States, in particular the evolution of Aramco oil exploration in Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the company's pioneering role in the country. Part II describes the work and life of Aramco employees in Saudi Arabia. Parts III-V provide some background on Arabia and the Middle East, including information on the Saudi government, the Arabian culture and customs.

Apart from refineries, tanks, drilling operations, oil wells, the city of Jeddah, the Dammam oil field, Dhahran Camp, the Ras Tanura refinery, and the construction of pipelines in the desert, the photographs include pictures of royal visits to Aramco operations, showing King Ibn Saud and Crown Prince Saud in Dhahran in 1947, as well as the Sheikh of Bahrein in 1939, mosques and scenes of the Hajj, life at the Dhahran expats' camp, local farmers and fishers, as well as Arabian hospitality and wildlife. Further, the illustrations comprise charts showing the changes in U.S. consumer demand between 1908 and 1948 and U.S. production increase from 1859, as well as maps of the American interest in the Middle East and a world map displaying oil reserves and the inter-regional movements of petroleum in 1948.

Brief inscriptions in Arabic to title-page or final blank. Bindings a little soiled. Interior crisp and clean.

OCLC 922093248 and 922093246. Nawwab et al., Aramco and its World, V.

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