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Rare Books and Special Collections Library

The Rare Books and Special Collections Library at the American University in Cairo supports research and teaching in the arts, culture, and society of Egypt and the Middle East. The library documents ancient, medieval, and modern Egypt and the wider region, with particular strengths in Egyptology, Islamic Art and Architecture, and travel literature, the focus of extensive rare and contemporary book collections.

The library also collects archival and manuscript collections reflecting modern Egyptian social, cultural, and intellectual life. These materials relate to subject areas such as modern Egyptian and regional architecture, the arts (including cinema, photography, and other visual media), social and women’s history, and religion and Coptic studies. The library also houses AUC's University Archives, which maintains records relating to the university's history dating to the early twentieth century.

The library’s holdings encompass a variety of formats, including books, periodicals, theses, archives and manuscripts, photographs and slides, maps, architectural drawings and plans, memorabilia and artifacts, and audio-visual media. Written materials are primarily in English, but languages such as French, German, and Arabic are also represented.