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Oral History: AUB Library Projects


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Oral History Projects at AUB University Libraries

The Palestinian Oral History Archive (POHA) is a project that provides access to an archival collection of around 1,000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon. POHA documents the life stories of Palestinians residing in refugee camps and different communities in Lebanon. The Archive's main focus is personal accounts surrounding the Nakba, a defining moment in Palestinian history and collective experience. Furthermore, the collection contains life narratives of the pre-Nakba period in pre-1948 Palestine, folktales and songs, as well as stories of the women in Ein el-Helwe camp after its destruction in 1982.

The Refugee Cultural Heritage digital archive consists of 200 interviews that capture homeland memories and create permanent records of intangible cultural heritage of refugees mainly residing in refugee camps in Lebanon. The content of this archive has bed researched and collected by residents of the camps which constitutes a key element of this archive.


Oral History Collections at AUB University Libraries

CAMES Oral History Collection, 1960s-1970s

The collection consists of 54 interviews with prominent public Arab figures to document the political, educational, social, cultural life in Lebanon and the Middle East during late 1960s and early 1970s.

Center for Arabic and Middle East Studies

Betty Anderson Oral History Collection, 2005-2006

Around 13 oral history interviews were conducted by Dr. Betty Anderson, Professor of Middle Eastern History at Boston University, as background research for her book: The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education (2011). The interviews focused on the interviewees’ social and educational backgrounds prior to their service to AUB, their memories of service at AUB, with a focus on the student movements during the 1960s and 70s.(AUB History, Student Activism, Civil War, Modern History of Middle East, Oral History)

Ras Beirut Oral History Collection, 2013-2014

The collection consists of 63 interviews with a group of Ras Beirutis, from different educational backgrounds and social statuses all known as the ‘original’ families of Ras Beirut. Open-ended interviews were conducted by Dr. Maria Abunnasr supported by Dr. Cynthia Minty, and Diana Richani, in 2014. The participants list includes men and women over the age of seventy; individuals of this age group would have entered adulthood before the Lebanese Civil War and lived in Ras Beirut during its heyday. (Oral history, Memory, social aspects, sociology, cultural interaction, Ras Beirut, Urbanism).

AUB 150th Oral History Collection, 2015-2016

The AUB’s 150th Anniversary Oral History Collection is a set of 20 oral history interviews conducted by Dr. Maria Abunnasr with members of the AUB community to safe keep AUB’s institutional memory. The interviews cover several decades from the 1950s to 2016, providing an overview of the life and memories of the interviewees at AUB: as students, administrators or faculty; touching upon the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath. (AUB History, Liberal Arts Education, Lebanese Civil War, Oral History)