American Univesity of Beirut

The University Libraries partner with the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme for safeguarding the Issa Iskandar al Maalouf manuscript collection

The University Libraries are proud to announce that they have received a major grant as part of the British Library's “Endangered Archives Programme" which is supported by the Arcadia fund.

The major fund of £49, 832, aims to catalog and digitize the 'Isa Iskandar al Ma'luf unique historical Manuscript Collection, which was written between the 18th and 20th centuries.

The Collection includes 100 physical manuscripts that are unique, and essential for the study of the cultural, social, and religious history of the Middle East.

Stored in a much-neglected storage condition for around 60 years, the collection, which is suffering from chemical and physical deterioration, was bought by, and is currently housed at the AUB University Libraries.

The project is a long-term one, and involves cataloging and digitizing the collection, as well as making the material available online for researchers and scholars to access.

Dr. Mariette Atallah, Associate University Librarian for Collections, and the Principal Investigator of the project said that “the AUB University Libraries are so honored to be a part of this initiative and to house such special and unique documents that will preserve fragments of the History of the Middle East, preserving them and keeping them 'alive' through research and accessibility".

Atallah thanked and acknowledged the British Library for their generous and substantial support and for making this extraordinary venture materialize.

The Project Team at the University Libraries:

  • Mariette Atallah (Principal Investigator), Collections
  • Basma Chebani, Cataloging and Metadata Services
  • Elie Kahale, Digital Scholarship Services
  • Samar Mikati, Archives and Special Collections
  • Youssef Doughan, Digital Scholarship Services
  • Shaza Jammal, Conservation and Preservation
  • Rodrigue Saad al Hadidi, Digital Scholarship Services
  • Yasmine Younes, Archives and Special Collections 

The team also acknowledges the help of Batoul Morgan in the cataloging process, Sara Jawad for the layout design and Sahar Ghandour for content editing.

​About the Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library

The Endangered Archives Programme seeks to preserve cultural heritage and make it available to as wide an audience as possible. To achieve this we provide grants to applicants to digitise and document archives. 'Endangered' means material that is at risk of loss or decay, and is located in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are lacking or limited. 'Archives' refers to materials in written, pictorial or audio formats, including manuscripts, rare printed books, documents, newspapers, periodicals, photographs and sound recordings. The material can date from any time before the middle of the twentieth century, though archives that cross over to some extent into the second half of the twentieth century may be accepted if the majority of the material is earlier. It is one of our key principles that the original material remains in the country in which it is located. More here: ​​​

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