May 24, 2022

American University in Cairo Launches Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library

via Bikya Masr:

To preserve and provide access to centuries of Egyptian and Middle East history, The American University in Cairo recently launched the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library (RBSCDL).


The digital library is open and globally accessible, and will feature ancient and medieval cultural-heritage materials, in addition to contemporary contributions from the University on the Square: Documenting Egypt’s 21st-Century Revolution project.

“Before digital libraries, researchers had to visit special collections libraries during limited hours and could not check out materials for closer study at home,” said Carolyn Runyon, digital collections archivist.


The University on the Square is one of the featured holdings of the digital library; AUC students, alumni, faculty and staff bring diverse perspectives and vibrant enthusiasm to Egypt’s political and social landscape through a collection of art, photos, videos and oral accounts of the January 25 Revolution.

“To date, the University on the Square has collected more than 4,000 photographs and over 300 videos. Moreover, oral historians in the Economic and Business History Research Center have conducted over 50 interviews with political activists, student demonstrators, and academics to capture a full picture of the revolution,” said Runyon.

In addition to the University on the Square Project, the Ramses Wissa Wassef Architectural Drawings collection documenting the career of one of Egypt’s most prominent 20th-century architects was also launched as part of the digital library.

Direct to the Digital Library

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See Also: Rare Books and Special Collections Library News From Carolyn F. Runyon

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.