Bibliothèque Orientale – Université Saint-Joseph

Country: Lebanon
Collection Type: Library University
Collection Size: > 50,000
Period: 1860-1900 1900-1930 1930-1960 1960-1980 Later than 1980
Type of Material & Format: Black and White images Colour images Film-based negatives Glass plates positives and/or negatives Slides (positives)

Founded in 1875, along with the university Université Saint-Joseph (USJ), the Bibliothèque Orientale is a cultural, scientific and patrimonial space for exploration and research in the field of Oriental studies. Since its creation, several collections were put together by Jesuit scholars of the Université Saint-Joseph. The institution’s mission is the preservation of the collection, internal (USJ) research, exhibitions, publications of the material and improving accessibility by cataloging and digitizing. Conservation and restoration workshops are conducted since 2000 in order to preserve these precious funds.
A photograph library of around 50,000 photographic documents groups several collections, including the Poidebard fund, a Jesuit father and pioneer in aerial archeology. The collection dates from late 19th century to the mid 20th century, with the majority of the material from the period between the two World Wars. Photographs were taken as working instruments by the Jesuit archeologists or for documenting of missions and special interests.
Since 2000, the photograph collection has been featured in many exhibitions and publications published by Presses de l’USJ, for instance Portraits photographiques d’Orient (by the Jesuits, Lévon Nordiguian and May Semaan Seigneurie). It is available to the public by appointment.

Contact Details:
Name: Levon Nordiguian
Address: Saint-Joseph University, Damascus Road – BP 17-5208 Mar Mikhaël
Beirut 1104-2020 – Lebanon
Tel: +961 (1) 421 000


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