American University of Beirut, University Archives and Special Collections
Collection Type: LibraryUniversity
Collection Size: 10,000-50,000
Period: 1860-19001900-19301930-19601960-1980Later than 1980
Type of Material & Format: Black and White imagesColour imagesDigital filesFilm-based negativesGlass plates positives and/or negativesPrints
The University Archives and Special Collections (ASC) Department at the Libraries of the American University of Beirut (AUB) aims to collect, organize, preserve and provide access to the University’s archives, as well as to primary and unique historical resources that document the history and culture of AUB, Lebanon and the region at large. The Archives and Special Collections contain 700 linear feet of archival material (including papers of famous Lebanese and Arab intellectuals); 1,400 manuscripts; 9,000 volumes of AUB theses and dissertations; 5,000 posters; 1,900 maps; and 50,000 photographs. The collections are developed and enriched on an ongoing basis to support the academic and research programs of the AUB.
The AUB Archives and Special Collections’ photograph collections cover the late 19th to the 21st centuries and include many formats (negatives, glass plates, cabinet cards, albumen, black and white silver, colored, etc.). The collections include a number of significant holdings: the Moore Collection (106 black and white photos of AUB campus, Lebanon and the region taken between 1892 and 1915); the Blatchford Collection (801 photographs of the Middle East, Europe and North Africa between. 1880 to 1900); an Egyptian Theatre Collection (477 photos Black and white photographs in 20 albums that cover History of Egyptian Cinema from early to mid-twentieth century); the Richard Finnie Photo Collection (52 black and white photographs of Lebanese towns and cities during the 1950s); the Manoug Photo Collection (around 464 black and white photos of Lebanon covering the years 1940 to 1990); the Kanafani Photo Collection (228 black and white as well as colored photos covering crafts and folklore in the Middle East, 1982, 1998), in addition to an extensive photo collection documenting AUB’s various academic and extra-curricular activities since its founding in 1866.
Name: Kaoukab Chebaro/Head; Samar Mikati/Archives Librarian
Email: ; mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Address: Ras Beirut, Bliss Street, Beirut Lebanon
Tel: +961 (0)1 350000; ext: 2610/ 2635
American University in Cairo, Rare Books and Special Collections
Collection Type: LibraryUniversity
Collection Size: > 50,000
Type of Material & Format: Black and White imagesColour imagesDigital filesFilm-based negativesGlass plates positives and/or negativesPrintsSlides (positives)
The Rare Books and Special Collections Library (RBSCL) at the American University in Cairo specializes in Egyptology and Middle Eastern Studies including Coptic and Islamic art and architecture as well as contemporary Egyptian art books and archives. It also houses and curates a sizeable collection of historic photographs that amounts to approximately 250,000 prints, negatives and slides.
The RBSCL was established in the nineties based upon the earlier Creswell Library which dated back to the sixties and encompassed his Islamic art and architecture books and his large collection of photographs from Egypt, North Africa, the Middle East and Andalusia. As a result of the RBSCL’s expansion many new collections were added. Among the most important is Hassan Fathy’s photographic collection focusing on his vernacular experiments and the highlights of his architectural career. The RBSCL has also acquired the archives and the bulk of the photographic collection of the Armenian photographer Van Leo as well as photographic collections of modern artists such as Salah Taher and Margo Veillon.
The vintage nineteenth century photographs constitute a pivotal component of AUC’s photographic collections. It includes loose photos and albums of pioneer photographers such as Francis Frith, Abdullah Frères, Arnoux, Beato, Bonfils, Béchard, Fiorillo, Lekegian, Sebah, Zangaki and a set of Underwood and Underwood stereoviews. The RBSCL houses also collections pertaining to other topics such as Nubia’s architecture and ethnographic life, the Egyptian Cinema and other aspects related to Egypt’s contemporary life.
The photographic collection at the RBSCL is currently a visual resource, a teaching and research tool available to the faculty and students of AUC and to worldwide independent scholars. In the last few years, the RBSCL photographs have become an important ingredient in many MA and PhD thesis as well as various publications and documentary movies. The RBSCL organizes annual exhibitions of selected themes based on its extensive collections within and beyond the scope of AUC campus.
Address: American University in Cairo, Road 90 – New Cairo
Further online access to collections: