Finding Aids Archives & Special Collections

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The finding aids below describe some salient archival and special collections of the AUB libraries; this page is continuously updated.


University Archives

Daniel Bliss Collection, 1823-1916

The Collection comprises Reverend Daniel Bliss, founder and first president of the Syrian Protestant College (SPC) (1866-1902), correspondence with AUB Community and other coordinates, diaries, addresses, copy of his passport, and letters of condolences to Howard Bliss on his father’s, Daniel Bliss, death, 1916. (AUB History, American Missionaries, Education, Arab American Relations, Ottoman Period)

Edwin Lewis Affair Collection, 1882

The Edwin Lewis Affair collection includes archival materials documenting the repercussions following Dr. Edwin Lewis’, professor of chemistry, geology and physics, commencement speech delivered in 1882 in which he praised Darwin’s scientific methods. This address sparked a serious discussion over the role of religion and science in education in the Arab World. This collection includes documents on Lewis, articles, petitions, reports and photos (AUB History, American Missionaries, Darwin, Science, Religion, Education)

George Edward Post Collection, 1838-1909

The George Edward Post collection, professor of surgery and botany at the Syrian Protestant College (1868-1909), includes Post’s correspondence with international botanists, manuscripts, plant lists etc. during his tenure at the Syrian Protestant College (AUB). Dr. Post established the largest and most diverse herbarium in the Middle East, still well maintained on AUB campus (AUB History, American Missionaries, Botany)

Howard Bliss Collection, 1860-1920

The Collection of Dr. Howard Bliss, missionary educator, 2nd president of the Syrian Protestant College (1903-1920), and member of the Syrian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, comprises Bliss correspondence with David Stuart Dodge (Chairman of the SPC BOT), Turkish officials, American Consulate, faculty members and others. (AUB History, American Missionaries, Education, Ottoman Period)

AUB Students’ Magazines Collection, 1899 - 1934

The Archives and Special Collections Department holds around 63 student magazines published between 1899 and the 1930s. Most of the magazines were handwritten and few were typed. The magazines, published in Arabic, English, French, and Armenian, dealt with a wide variety of topics including literary and artistic productions, humor, economics, travel, politics, advertisements and University affairs. (AUB History, Education, Students’ Publications, Liberal Arts Education)

Bayard Dodge Collection, 1895-1972

This collection includes documents related to Bayard Dodge’s tenure at AUB, as Director of West Hall and as the third President of the University between 1923 and 1948. This collection includes documents related to his scholarship and teaching activities, as well as correspondence, letters of condolences, background research materials, and drafts of, his books Al-Azhar and Al- Fihrist (translation) (AUB History, Education, Arab American Relations, French Mandate)

Edward Nickoley Collection, 1873-1937

The collection of Edward Nickoley, educator, AUB Acting President (1919-1923) and IC Acting Principal contains his correspondence with AUB community and other prominent coordinates like commander of French forces Henri Gouraud and Prince Faysal of Iraq. It also documents faculty appointments and Nickoley’s experience with famine in Syria during WWI. (AUB History, Education, Famine in Syria, Ottoman Period, French Mandate)

Franklin Moore Photograph Collection, 1892-1902

The photographic collection of Franklin Moore, physician and professor of obstetrics (1891-1915) at the Syrian Protestant College, constitutes a historical record of great importance to Lebanon and the American University of Beirut at the turn of the 20th century. The bulk of the images are of the AUB campus, faculty and students; the remaining are images of sites in Lebanon: Baʻlabakk, the Cedars, and Nahr Ibrahim, as well as some parts of Syria, including Maʻlūlā and Palmyra. (AUB History, History of Photography, Visual Culture)

Lee Observatory Collection, 1874-1979

This collection includes historical and administrative information about the AUB Observatory, one of the oldest observatories in the region founded in 1874 by Dr. Cornelius Van Allen Van Dyck. The collection also includes logs and registries of meteorological data and astronomical observations; as well as a few publications based on research conducted at the Observatory and the University. (AUB History, History of Science, Astronomy, Education, Environment)

AUB Students’ Activism Collection, 1970-1979

The 1970s witnessed a global wave of student activism, at that time many AUB students protested against policies of the Lebanese government and the University administration; many fought for better working conditions for workers, and demonstrated against University tuition increase. This collection documents various confrontations, a 100 days strike in 1971, and the university’s response to it. It includes statements and ephemera issued by the AUB administration and different student bodies. (AUB History, Student activism, Liberal Arts Education)

Faculty of Fine Arts and Art History Collection, 1952-1975; 2003-present

This collection documents the history of the Department of Fine Arts and Art History (FAAH) at AUB, first academic art department in Lebanon, since its inception in 1952. The collection includes correspondence, annual and administrative reports, syllabi, exhibitions’ related material, photographs, scrapbooks, invitations cards, etc. as well as other documents related to the work of the prominent artists that were among its founding faculty members like Maryette Charlton, George Buehr, Arthur Frick etc. (AUB History, Art History, Art Education Visual Culture)

Iliya Harik Collection, 1963-2006

Iliya Harik, professor of political science and Middle Eastern studies, taught at the American University of Beirut, (1958, 1995-1996, 2003), the Lebanese American University, and Indiana University. This collection contains course syllabi from various universities, a survey of the Lebanese Parliamentary elections of 1958, books and article drafts including Arab World and the Global Economic System, Who Governs Lebanon in addition to research material used by him as an educator and researcher. (AUB History, Political Science, Education)

Betty Anderson Oral History Collection, 2005-2006

Around 13 oral history interviews were conducted by Dr. Betty Anderson, Professor of Middle Eastern History at Boston University, as background research for Anderson’s book: The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education (2011). The interviews focused on the interviewees’ social and educational backgrounds prior to their service to AUB, their memories of service at AUB, with a focus on the student movements during the 1960s and 70s.(AUB History, Student Activism, Civil War, Modern History of Middle East, Oral History)

AUB 150th Oral History Collection, 2015-2016

The AUB’s 150th Anniversary Oral History Collection is a set of 20 oral history interviews conducted by Dr. Maria Abunnasr with members of the AUB community to safe keep AUB’s institutional memory. The interviews cover several decades from the 1950s to 2016, providing an overview of the life and memories of the interviewees at AUB: as students, administrators or faculty; touching upon the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath. (AUB History, Liberal Arts Education, Lebanese Civil War, Oral History)

Ras Beirut Oral History Collection, 2013-2014

The collection consists of 63 interviews with a group of Ras Beirutis, from different educational backgrounds and social statuses all known as the ‘original’ families of Ras Beirut. Open-ended interviews were conducted by Dr. Maria Abunnasr supported by Dr. Cynthia Minty, and Diana Richani, in the summer of 2014. The participants list includes men and women over the age of seventy; individuals of this age group would have entered adulthood before the Lebanese Civil War and lived in Ras Beirut during its heyday. (Oral history, Memory, social aspects, sociology, cultural interaction, Ras Beirut, Urbanism).

Anīs Furayḥah Collection, 1931-2019

Anīs Furayḥah, an author, researcher, professor of Semitic languages, and educator of many generations. The Anīs Furayḥah collection, one linear foot, includes his biography, diaries, ephemera related to his honoring, few photos and an obituary. (Linguistics, Social history, Education)
Special Collections

Evelyne Bustros Collection, 1878-1971

The collection gives a glimpse into the life of Mrs. Evelyne Bustros, an upper middle class Lebanese family. It also provides a valuable angle onto the political scene in Lebanon during the Mandate period, independence and the formation of the State, as well as onto the socio-political position of women in Lebanese society during this period. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, clippings, accounting books; published material, as well as some ephemera (Gender Studies, Socio-economic and political history of modern Lebanon, Middle Eastern Studies, French Mandate, Independence.)

Henrietta Butler Smith Collection, 1827-1995

This collection includes correspondence of the family of Mrs. Henrietta "Hetty" Butler Smith, wife of missionary Reverend Eli Smith. It contains letters by Mrs. Smith to her two sons, Edward “Ned” Robinson Smith (artist), and Benjamin Eli Smith (editor of the Century Dictionary). These letters shed light on the life of American Missionaries in the Middle East, Europe and the United States during late 19th century early 20th century. (Gender Studies, American Missionaries, Socio-economic history)

Zahiya Kaddoura Collection, 1944-2014

Dr. Zahia Kadoura, pioneer woman who taught History and Islamic Studies, became the first woman Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the Lebanese University. This collection includes her autobiography, certificates and honors, correspondence with various subjects from Egypt and Lebanon, published research, in addition to some ephemera. (Gender Studies, Education, Lebanese University)

Al-Sahli Family Collection: Ottoman legal documents from Balad al-Shaykh and Haifa, 1841-1947

The collection consists of legal, financial, real estate and land related administrative papers pertaining to the Sahli family, from 1841 to 1947, in the town of Haifa during the Ottoman Era. The bulk of the papers and legal documents were issued or belonged to the heirs of Abd al-Rahman al-Sahli, Salih al-Sahli & Abdallah al-Sahli. (Human Geography, Ottoman Studies, Palestine, Islamic Law).

Al- Amīr Shakīb Arslān Collection, 1894-1946

Shakīb Arslān, a Lebanese politician and diplomat, poet, and prolific writer, who rallied for Arab Independence from the French and British Mandates. His collection of correspondence and photos spans the years 1936 to 1948; including many letters exchanged between Arslān and his friend and publisher, Mohammad Ali al-Tahir (editor of ālshura, ālshabāb). (French Mandate, Levant, Modern Intellectual History, Political Science, Middle East)

‘Īsá Iskandar al-Maʻlūf Photograph Collection, 1890s-1950s

‘Īsá Iskandar al Maʻlūf was a Lebanese journalist, scholar, historian and a member of the Arab Nahda. The collection contains around 900 photographs related to ‘Īsá’s family, his relatives, and acquaintances in Lebanon and diaspora mainly Latin America. The collection originates from early Lebanese studios like Assad Dakouny; Fakhoury; Photo Khatchadour; Assad K. Murhij and Khalil Chahine Malouf etc. (History of Photography Lebanon, Visual Culture, Lebanese Diaspora, Social life and customs Lebanon)

Jirji Zaydan Collection, 1900-1938

The collection includes Jirji Zaydan’s correspondence, notebooks, manuscripts and English translation of his Novel “the Virgin of Koreish. Zaydan was a Lebanese author, novelist, editor, and publisher. Born in Beirut, joined the Syrian Protestant College Medical School for a few years to leave it in 1882 following the Edwin Lewis issue. Zaydan moved to Cairo where he established “Dar al Hilal" publishing house in 1892. (Intellectual History, Publishing, Newspapers)

Philip Hitti Collection, 1910-1976

Philip Khuri Hitti was a historian, scholar of Islam, and a member of the AUB Board of Trustees (1945-1978). He taught at AUB, Columbia and Princeton Universities. The collection includes Hitti's biographical information, addresses, correspondence, invitation cards, honoring and memorial ceremonies, as well as a bibliography of his work, and research material used by him (Middle Eastern Studies, History, Higher Education)

E.W. Blatchford Photograph Collection, 1880-1900

Named after the collector, the Blatchford collection is an important set of around eight hundred photographs covering various regions and countries (Europe, Levant and North Africa), ca. 1880 to 1900. The collection features samples from various important photographers in the Middle East, e.g. Bonfils, Zangaki, Sarrafian Bros., Jean Pascal Sébah, A. Beato and Abdallah Freres, etc. (History of Photography, Visual Culture, archaeology, anthropology, cultural studies)

Abdallah El-Yafi Collection, 1900s-1980s

This collection of around two thousands photos documents the official, political and social activities of Prime Minister Abdallah el Yafi during his tenure as Lebanese Prime Minister as well as Parliament Deputy. It documents the Lebanese political scene for several decades along with Lebanese regional and international relations. (Lebanon, History, Middle East, Political Science)

The Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company, 1949-1983

The Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company was a subsidiary of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco). The project / pipeline started in Saudi Arabia to end in Zahrani terminal south of Sidon, Lebanon. The pipeline transferred the Saudi oil to Europe through the Zahrani terminal. The Collection includes correspondence, maps, photographs, faxes and receipts, reports; plans of the Sidon Terminal; photographs of workers, tankers, landscape, oil pipelines, and ships. (Economics, History, Middle East, Oil, US-Arab Relations)

Amin al-Mumayiz Collection, 1950-1997

This small collection of Amin Mumayiz, Iraqi diplomat and AUB graduate 1933, contains personal papers, press clippings, correspondence, manuscripts and drafts of Amin al-Mumayiz’s published books, in addition to 28 postcards of Saudi Arabia, 80 personal photos, as well as a few photos on Saudi Arabia and the United States. (Sociology, Anthropology, Diplomacy 20th Century)

Art Posters Collection, 1966-2000

The collection of 177 posters were donated to the Archives following the “Exhibition on Art Posters in Lebanon” organized by AUB Art Center and held at the Lee Observatory, AUB, in March 2001. Although the posters announce, mainly, individual painting and sculpture exhibitions, the collection includes group and theme art exhibits, plays and musical recitals, movies, conferences and environmental awareness posters. (Art, Posters, Middle East)

Political Posters Collection, 1960-1980s

The political posters collection gathered from the walls of AUB Campus covers two main topics: The Palestinian Question in addition to Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War. These posters were collected between 1960 and the 1980s. They reflect activities, vision and mission of the different Right and Left Lebanese and Palestinian Parties that were active on the Lebanese territory during these twenty years. (Political Science, History, Posters, Middle East)

Abd al-Salām Shātīlā Photograph Collection, 1934-1974

The small photographic collection comprises 35 photographs dating from 1934 to 1974. The collection documents the life and the cultural, social and philanthropic activities of Dr. ʻAbd al-Salām Shātīlā, graduate of AUB School of Dentistry 1938, as a member of the Municipal Council of the City of Beirut and of other social associations.

Anthony Shadid Collection, 1904-2012

Anthony Shadid was a reporter and New York Times Director of Baghdad and Lebanon Bureau. The bulk of the collection consists of reporting fieldwork notebooks, emails, drafts and outlines of articles, transcribed interviews, book manuscripts, historical research documents, briefings, correspondence, photos, leaflets, CDs, in addition to a book collection form the Anthony Shadid’s library. (Journalism, Middle East, US-Arab Relations)

Cesar Nasr Collection, 1950-2013

This collection of Cesar Nasr, the founder of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (MOE) and its Minister from 1980 to 1982, includes many of his published books, correspondence with prominent figures and documents related to his research and his accomplishments in the field of environment and nature conservation (Environment, Lebanon, Nature Conservation, Psychology, Adolescent, Social psychology)

Walīd Ghulmīyah Collection, 1938-2011

Walīd Ghulmīyah a Lebanese musician, composer, conductor, publisher and educator who played an important leading role in advancing music and art education in Lebanon and the region. The collection of around 20.5 linear feet chiefly consists of music sheets and press clippings covering Dr. Ghulmīyah’s professional life between 1962 and 2011. The music sheets include the composer’s six symphonies as well as his contributions to various forms of the performing arts: films, festival productions, plays and shows. (Music, Education, Culture)

CAMES Oral History Collection, 1960s-1970s

The collection consists of 54 interviews with prominent public Arab figures to document the political, educational, social, cultural life in Lebanon and the Middle East during late 1960 and early 1970s. The interviews yielded historical information that would otherwise have gone unrecorded from prominent persons of diverse backgrounds. (Oral history, Community development, Political activists, Education, Higher, Nationalism)

OSPAAAL Poster Collection, 1960s-1980s

This collection includes 39 posters published between the 1960s and the 1980s issued by the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL). OSPAAAL is a non-governmental organization founded in 1966 during the Tri-continental conference in Havana, Cuba, attended by delegations of leftist countries from 82 Asian, Latin American, and African countries, for fighting globalization, imperialism, neoliberalism and defending human rights. (Media Studies, Political Science, History)