All posts in Collections

07 Sep

Toubia and Letitia Hachem rare book and manuscript collection donated to AUB

In Collections,News and Announcements by AUB Libraries / September 7, 2017 / 0 Comments

This article was published on the AUB Website, by the Office of Communications: 

The American University of Beirut (AUB) is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Toubia and Letitia Hachem rare books and manuscripts collection to be housed in the University Archives and Special Collections Department of Jafet Library. The gift represents years of meticulous collecting by a bibliophile and art and book connoisseur. Toubia Hachem was born in Beirut, graduated from Bonaventure University in New York, did his graduate work in history at the University of Chicago and taught at AUB and then Loyola University, Chicago. He established a successful travel agency in Chicago and became a global airline executive. He never lost his passion for history; particularly theological history. Letitia Hachem studied art and is an artist. She encouraged Toubia’s collecting passion and taught him about the art world resulting in a huge collection.

Mr. Hachem’s three daughters describe their parents’ passion for books and reading. They particularly remember their father’s excitement with each new acquisition of a rare book, “He was a history professor with a special interest in French and Russian history and philosophy, but most of his knowledge was directly attributable to his life as an avid reader. He also had a deep understanding of Middle Eastern affairs, grounded in his love of history.”  The Hachem collection will live on at AUB to further feed the passions of scholars for generations to come, and will advance and strengthen the mission of AUB as a distinguished center of research, dialogue, and humanism in the region.

The Hachem Collection consists of approximately 3,000 pieces dating from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. Collection highlights include stunning examples of religious manuscripts in various formats and sizes. A wide array of geographic provenance, printing houses, disciplines, historical periods, languages, and topics are covered by the collection, as well as a broad range of formats, e.g. manuscript codices and rolls, miniature and big Qurans, folios, “pocket” books, Qurans inscribed on palm leaves, and early imprints of the Bible with ornate covers. In general, the Collection illuminates the practices of manuscript production in workshops located throughout the Russian, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Balkan regions, and early (16th-century onwards) European printing and publishing practices.

Several exceptional pieces await review by Jafet Library staff, notably a Syriac Bible from the 16th or 17th century, and a number of ornate one-by-one meter Qurans. Examples of early European imprints include a translation into Latin of Ibn Hayyan’s Alchemy, which is a testimony to the transfer of knowledge from the Arab world to the European Renaissance. Texts from Nubia, Abyssinia, Egypt, Palestine and the Ottoman Empire are represented, as are first editions and rare books by authors such as Cicero, Plutarch, Dante, Jean Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Alfred de Musset, and Victor Hugo. Universal Histories, and scientific and philosophical treatises are also well represented. Additionally the Collection includes finely illustrated atlases, dictionaries with concordances, art books, and a few early Arabic serials including al Hilal and early Arabic imprints by the influential author of the late 1800s, Jurji Zaidan.

It is rare to find manuscripts, books and maps in the Levant with the scope, depth and fine quality of the Hachem Collection. It corrects a gap in the collection of Qurans from the Soviet and Balkan states, and in early, largely utilitarian Bibles, but also in early 16th- and 17th-century European imprints in the region.

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28 Aug

Visit by 24 emerging Ottomanists to the AUB Libraries, Archives Department: OIB’s “ Reading and Analyzing Ottoman Manuscript Sources” Workshop

In Collections,Library Staff by AUB Libraries / August 28, 2017 / 0 Comments

Around 24 emerging scholars enrolled in the Summer School Program organized by OIB “Reading and analyzing Ottoman manuscript sources” which is taking place in  Beirut, Lebanon, between the 27th and 30th of August 2017, visited the AUB Libraries Archives and Special Collections Department on the morning of August  27th.

The workshop is co-organized by the French Institute of the Near East (Ifpo), the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), the University of Balamand, the Lebanese University (Doctoral School of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences), the Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies (CETOBaC), the Ankara Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi, the İbn Haldun Üniversitesi, and the Japan Center for Middle Eastern Studies (JaCMES) with the support of the Open Jerusalem Project. The summer school is devoted to reading and analyzing Ottoman manuscript and primary sources. This is the second edition, following the summer school of 2016 in Amman, Jordan. During the four-day program the young researchers (mostly MA and PhD candidates, but also postdocs) are introduced to ways of reading, combining and analyzing manuscript sources from various archives of the Ottoman era, produced at local, provincial and imperial levels. The aim is to overcome the initial difficulties researchers often face when working with archival material from the Ottoman period, one of which is an administrative terminology no longer in use today, and to get exposed to the archival terrain.

The scholars spent an hour at the Archives, delving into several Ottoman resources. On display were various Ottoman manuscripts from our collections, some Ottoman newspapers, magazines, periodicals, almanacs, Salnamas related to Wilayat Beirut, photos of Ottoman commissioners on visit to the Syrian Protestant College to give SPC students their medical exams on-site, photos from the late 19th century, documents related to WWI and SPC, maps and various documents related to the Ottoman provinces in the late 19th century (e.g. awqafs, legal documents related to Haifa, Beirut, etc.).

The excitement of the researchers was noticeable, as many had not been aware of the existence of these resources in the region, or at AUB. The visit was a great opportunity for the scholars to liaise with one another, exchange ideas and interests, and to get to know the Ottoman resources available at the AUB Libraries. Many will sure be back, with longer dissertation and book projects.

22 Aug

نقيب المحررين زار مكتبة يافت التذكارية في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت وأهدى أرشيفها مجلدين نادرين لجريدة الحديث من العام 1937

In Collections,News and Announcements by AUB Libraries / August 22, 2017 / 0 Comments

في أواخر الاسبوع الفائت، زار نقيب المحررين ،السيد الياس عون، يرافقه المنسق العام لمركز السلامة الإعلامية، الصحافي فادي الغوش، دائرة الأرشيف والمجموعات الخاصة في مكتبة يافت التذكارية في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت.

وقد جال النقيب عون والسيد الغوش في الأرشيف ترافقهما مديرة قسم الأرشيف في الجامعة الأميركية  في بيروت، الدكتورة كوكب شبارو وأمينة المكتبة السيدة سمر ميقاتي واطلع النقيب والمنسق العام على محتويات هذا القسم ، وأبديا اعجابهما بالارشيف وبتنوع المجموعات فيه من مخطوطات قيمة وكتب قديمة ونادرة يعود تاريخ بعضها الى القرن السادس عشر. ولفتهما كذلك غنى الأرشيف بالملصقات السياسة والفنية والصور والبطاقات البريدية.

وقد أثنيا بشكل خاص على مجموعات المجلات والجرائد القديمة مثل “المقتطف” و”السلنامة” و”الطبيب”  و”الآداب” و”الأديب” و”الجامعة العثمانية” و”المقتبس”… واطلعا على الاوراق الخاصة لأعلام كبار في الصحافة وللأكاديميين والمفكريين العرب أمثال جرجي زيدان، قسطنطين زريق، أسد رستم، فيليب حتي، وأوراق كبار الموسيقيين كالأستاذ زكي ناصيف والدكتور وليد غلمية.

وقد لفت النقيب عون الطريقة المتبعة في حفظ الموجودات، وهي طريقة علمية تراعي المعايير العالمية في حفظ وترميم وأرشفة الوثائق. وأشاد النقيب بغنى هذا الارشيف وبأهميته واعتبره حافظا للتراث والتاريخ.

وبعد أن تفقد النقيب كافة اقسام الارشيف وتعرف على محتوياته، قدم مجلدين نادرين من جريدة “الحديث” التي تأسست سنة 1936على يد الصحافي الياس حرفوش.

تسلمت المجلدين الدكتورة شبارو والسيدة ميقاتي واثنتا على قيمتهما التاريخية، واعتبرتا هذين المجلدين “قيمة مضافة” للمجموعات الثمينة في الارشيف التي يستند عليها كثير من المفكريين والأكاديميين في دراساتهم وأبحاثهم.

بدأت جريدة الحديث بالصدور سنة  1937، وكانت تجمع في مكاتبها كبار السياسيين والصحافيين وشخصيات بارزة أمثال رياض الصلح. وتحولت هذه الجريدة الى منبر للمعارضة السياسية ضد عهد الرئيس بشارة الخوري. وفي تلك الفترة تولى السيد علي الحسيني والد رئيس مجلس النواب السابق حسين الحسيني رئاسة تحريرها. و قد أفادنا النقيب عون أن الجريدة توقفت أيام الحرب العالمية الثانية، لتعود وتصدر بعد انتهاء الحرب 1948- 1949.  وكان من كبار كتابها الصحافي وديع عون والأب يوسف عون، واعتبرت من أهم الجرائد اللبنانية. وأضاف النقيب انها تحولت سنة 1956الى مجلة أسبوعية واستمرت بالصدور بالاشتراك مع رشدي المعلوف حتى وفاة صاحبها عام 1960. وقد  تولى النقيب  بشارة عون رئاسة تحريرها من 1958 حتى 1960.

في الختام تعتبر مكتبة الجامعة أن كل تقدمة للمكتبة هي قيمة مضافة تساعد في اغناء مجموعاتها وبالتالي في الانماء الثقافي والحفاظ  على التراث الجماعي وفي المساعدة في البحت العلمي وتوثيقه.

19 Jun

Walid Gholmieh’s rich archive donated to AUB University Libraries

In Collections,News and Announcements by AUB Libraries / June 19, 2017 / 0 Comments

This article was posted on the AUB Website: and was written by Dana Abed- Office of Advancement

The American University of Beirut (AUB) received the musical heritage of the late Dr. Walid Gholmieh, which will be kept in the archives of the University Libraries to be utilized by researchers and musicians. Dr. Gholmieh’s widow, Mrs. Elham Gholmieh, and family worked with Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Salma Oueida and Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections Dr. Kaoukab Chebaro, among others, to compile the archive and prepare for its transfer to AUB, which was accomplished on June 14.

Dr. Walid Georges Gholmieh, who passed away in 2011, was director of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music. He earned a degree in Mathematics from AUB before dedicating his life to music. He is considered to be one of the most prominent Middle Eastern conductors and composers. Gholmieh held a PhD in musicology and composed numerous symphonies and other musical compositions. He collaborated with many conductors and performers and was the recipient of multiple international awards.

According to Mrs. Gholmieh, AUB was very dear to Dr. Gholmieh’s heart and he always wanted his collection to be transferred to the University.

“AUB is the most important institution in the Middle East that preserves the cultural heritage of prominent artists. Walid wanted dearly to preserve that and keep it in safe hands for generations to come,” said Mrs. Gholmieh. “Walid made sure his intentions of transferring his collection are expressed to Dr. Nabil Nassif [director of the Zaki Nassif Program for Music at AUB] and, after his passing, we started with the execution of his wishes in collaboration with AUB.”

Dr. Chebaro explained the importance of the archival papers to be kept in Jafet Library, saying that Dr. Gholmieh was “a forward looking humanist, one who is simultaneously deeply rooted in his culture, language, and heritage.”

“The AUB Archives, University Libraries is thrilled to receive the archival papers of Dr. Gholmieh: preserving our cultural heritage, availing it to researchers, upholding and demonstrating its continued scholarly and humanistic relevance for a wide audience, both within the realm of academia and beyond, is a core mission of AUB,” said Chebaro.

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10 Apr

Online Exhibit: Fields of Vision and Mediations: Cinema and Political Posters

In Collections by AUB Libraries / April 10, 2017 / 0 Comments

The AUB Libraries, Archives Department, is pleased to announce the launch of the online exhibit: Fields of Vision and Mediations: Cinema and Political Posters.

The exhibit was curated in support of a conference organized by the Media Studies Program, entitled “Rethinking Media Through the Middle East”, which took place at AUB between January 12-14, 2017 at West Hall- Mahmoud Malhas Common Room.

The exhibit showcases select items from the political and cinema poster collections held at AUB, Jafet Library, Archives Department. We chose to take these posters out of their drawers, and to breathe life into them again, showcasing the richness and complexity of the medium.

Many of the posters we currently hold in our Library collections were once plastered on the walls of some of the major Arab cities in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, from Damascus to Beirut, to Baghdad and Cairo: they then created a rich dialogue and a discourse across time and geographic locations, one which would become amplified, deepened or enriched across themes, events and disciplines, and which can, in many instances, still be guessed in the small traces they have sometimes left on the walls.

Until today, these posters, though for the major part remnants from the past, keep their fingers on the pulse of our complex current socio-political and cultural realities, and offer rich windows onto untold lively worlds! We hope you enjoy the exhibit!

Visit our other Library online exhibits at the following link.

23 Mar

Constantine Zurayk: Knowledge at the Service of Life

In Collections,News and Announcements,Projects by AUB Libraries / March 23, 2017 / 0 Comments

The AUB Libraries, Archives Department, is pleased to announce the launch of the online exhibit: “Constantine Zurayk: Knowledge at the Service of Life“. The exhibit was curated on the 150th anniversary of AUB in conjunction with a seminar, entitled “Seminar in Remembrance of Constantine Zurayk”, which took place at AUB on October 31st, 2016. It showcases select items from the archive of Dr. Zurayk (1909- 2000), which was generously donated to the AUB Libraries, Archives Department, by Dr. Zurayk’s family. The documents, photos and letters on display here provide a glimpse onto the multi-faceted personality and rich life that Dr. Zurayk led, as well as onto some aspects of the socio-cultural and political context of a formative period in Arab modern history. The exhibit also contains excerpts from oral history interviews with Dr. Zurayk, as well as a link to the introduction of the Seminar.

We hope you enjoy!

Visit our other online exhibits at the following link.

AUB Libraries

09 Mar

Upcoming Exhibit: Fields of Vision and Mediation: Arab Cinema and Political posters

In Collections,Events by AUB Libraries / March 9, 2017 / 0 Comments

The AUB University Libraries and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences invite you to an exhibit entitled: “Fields of Vision and Mediation: Arab Cinema and Political posters”, curated by the Archives and Special Collections Department, Jafet Library.

The exhibit, which will showcase a number of political and cinema posters is presented  in support of a conference organized by the Arab Council for the Social Sciences third conference,  entitled: “State, Sovereignty and Social Space in the Arab Region: Emerging Historical and Theoretical Approaches”

Exhibit Dates: March 10-12, 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hamra, Beirut

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Archives and Special Collections Department by email: or on extensions 2609/10.

07 Mar

AUB Libraries Arabic Books Online: The Arabic Collections Online Project

In Collections,News and Announcements,Projects by AUB Libraries / March 7, 2017 / 0 Comments

In 2014, the American University of Beirut (AUB) Libraries joined the Arabic Collections Online (ACO) project to digitize and make freely accessible worldwide over 15,000 pre-1956 Arabic books.

The project, funded by New York University Abu Dhabi, has just made accessible more than 200 digitized books from the AUB Libraries’ collection: These 200 items are the first out of 6,000 books to be digitized and shared by the AUB Libraries within the next two years. For more about AUB’s role in this project, please see this article:

Other contributing members include the libraries of New York University, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, and the American University in Cairo. The ACO digital library currently provides online access to 5,675 volumes across 3,779 subjects. You can read more about the project here: .

We invite you to check the ACO digital library regularly to view newly uploaded Arabic books from AUB Libraries and other partner institutions.

For more information about this project, please contact Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department on ext. 2603, or by

15 Feb

Upcoming Event: Unpacking Sa’dallah Wannous’ Private Library at AUB

In Collections,Events,News and Announcements by AUB Libraries / February 15, 2017 / 0 Comments

In celebration of the donation of the private library of the renowned Syrian playwright Sa’dallah Wannous to the American University of Beirut, you are cordially invited to

Unpacking Sa’dallah Wannous’ Private Library at AUB

When? Thursday, February 16, 2017 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where? Issam Fares Institute – Auditorium

Organized by: The Department of English, the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages, the Theater Initiative, the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, and the University Libraries

16 Jan

Library Databases Subscriptions, 2016

In Collections,News and Announcements by AUB Libraries / January 16, 2017 / 0 Comments

The University Libraries is always on the lookout to subscribe to new and specialized databases in order to best support research and teaching at AUB.

In 2016, the UL has expanded its subscription to more databases, covering an array of subject areas and types of material.

We invite you to explore these databases and to enjoy the exclusive access you have to them.

Below is a listing of the databases we have subscribed to during 2016.

To learn more about a database, visit our List of Databases and read more under the “i” icon of each database or contact Jafet Library via email on or by phone on extensions 2620/1/9. 

  1. Taylor & Francis Medical Package
  2. Handbook of Oriental Studies
  3. Translated Texts from Historians
  4. ISS Directors data from WRDS
  5. Foreign Office Files for the M.E. 1971-1981
  6. ExuComp from WRDS
  7. Evidence Analysis Library
  8. Biomedical engineering Handbook
  9. Academy of Management Journals
  10. Church Missionary Society Periodicals
  11. Mideastwire  (Subscription took over from CAMES & CASAR)
  12. Building Types Online
  13. Psychiatry online
  14. Middle East & Islamic Studies Journal Collections
  15. Anthropological Literature
  16. Middle Eastern Manuscripts Online 3 (MEMO:3)
  17. Access Neurology Collection
  18. Access Obgyn Collection
  19. Case Files
  20. Taylor & Francis Medical Package
  21. Handbook of Oriental Studies
  22. Translated Texts from Historians
  23. Building Types Online
  24. Foreign relations of the United states
  25. Sage Videos
  26. Arabic Literature of Africa Online
  27. Coptic Gnostic Library Online
  28. Classic Arabic Texts Online
  29. TCRT2: Islam (Twentieth Century Religious Thought. Volume 2: Islam)
  30. Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman & Central Arabia
  31. Christian Muslim Relations 600-1900
  32. Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology (2nd edition)
  33. WBIZ Arab Islamic archives
  34. Comprehensive Organic Synthesis (2nd edition)
  35. Hormones, brain and behavior (3rd edition)
  36. Meyler’s side effects of drugs (16th edition)
  37. Treatise on geochemistry
  38. Current biography illustrated
  39. Encyclopedia of environmental health
  40. Oxford Classical Dictionary
  41. Open Editions Journals
  42. SPIE digital Library
  43. BECO
  44. Encyclopedia of Hebrew language and linguistics online
  45. Vocabulary for the study of religion online
  46. JSTOR Arts & Sciences XV
  47. MSCI GMI ratings CEO, companies, directorship
  48. MSCI ESG KLD stats
  49. DeGruyter Backfiles purchase of Journals + 3 years journals subscription agreement
  50. F1000
  51. International bibliography of art
  52. PsycTests
  53. History of Science Technology and medicine
  54. TLG Thesaurus Lingua Graecae
  55. SAE Academic Digital Content

Also, here is the list of e-book collections purchased by the UL during 2016:

  1. Royal Society of Chemistry e-books 2016
  2. Edward Elgar 2016 & all non-purchased years 2013 and before along with Law pkg.
  3. Wiley e-books (610) + MRW + 4 book series
  4. Geoscience World 1926-2015
  5. Middle East e-books from Taylor & Francis from Early 20th century -2018
  6. Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library
  7. MIT press e-books Library in IEEE Explore
  8. World scientific -2018
  9. Cambridge companions
  10. Cambridge humanities, social sciences and STM e-books collections 2016 only
  11. Duke University Press till 2016
  12. Sage Knowledge 2015 & 2016
  13. DeGruyter -2018
  14. DeGruyter University Presses partners till 2016
  15. Biblical studies from Brill
  16. Early English books
  17. Early European Books Collection
  18. Oxford Scholarly editions online 1485-1901
  19. University Press Scholarship Online (Oxford)
  20. Oxford Handbooks Online
  21. Open Editions e-books till 2016
  22. Brill e-books collection
  23. Taylor and Francis e-books 1887-2016
  24. Routledge handbooks online 2014-2016
  25. Wiley IEEE 2015 & 2016
  26. Elsevier e-books
  27. ACS Symposium series front file
  28. American Mathematical Society e-books
  29. Karger e-books 2015-2017
  30. Safari business books ( 5 years subscription)