The AUB University Archives have been in the making since the earliest days of the founding of the Syrian Protestant College, SPC in 1866, as AUB was known then, until the present. Conscious of its unique place and role in the region, thousands of documents recording the University's historical academic, extra-curricular and social activities have been preserved, collected and saved, starting with a copy of the University Charter, then proliferating into thousands of sheets of correspondences, reports, minutes and other items. During the 1960s, and in preparation for the forthcoming Centennial of AUB in 1966, all available and relevant records, including those held in the President's Office, were systematically collected by the Administration. They were then sent to the Library, which employed a temporary archivist to organize these materials with the help of the staff and some faculty members.
The celebration of the University's 125th Anniversary coincided with the official establishment of the Archives and Special Collections Department in Jafet Library, in 1991. In the early 1990s, a major renovation and rehabilitation work took place in Jafet Library in the aftermath of the College Hall explosion, in November 1991. The enlargement of the Library, which accompanied the renovation, thus made it possible to build a specifically designated area to house the fledgling Archives Department and to meet the required international standards for security and environmental control necessary for the safeguard and preservation of the collected archival documents. Soon afterward, the Department's staff grew according to the demands, needs, and responsibilities that accompanied the growth of the Collections. A professional conservator was hired to carry out a restoration project on many archival objects,
In recent years, a sustained and systematic effort to collect primary source and historical documents that record the history of the country and the region, and not only AUB, focusing on some of the major intellectual, artistic, academic, and scholarly local and regional heritage, was put in place. Our Collections now include several such special archival and primary source collections, encompassing a variety of mediums (photos, posters, papers, audio-visuals, rare books, etc.), disciplines (politics, history, cinema, art, etc.), provenance (major intellectuals, institutions, private collections, etc.). Our staff has grown to include some ten members who work on a variety of archival practices (indexing, cataloging, organizing, and processing, etc.).