Special Collections Policy
Special Collections Mission Statement:-
The Special Collections unit of the Birzeit University main library has as its mission to provide research access to unique collections. These collections include materials that, because of rarity, source, condition, or form, are best handled separately from the regular collection. Access to the materials is provided by the OPAC, and the label SPC precedes the call numbers. The collections comprise of materials in the five languages presently approved for materials housed in the BZU main library: Arabic, English, French, German, and Hebrew, and they are interfiled within the collections. A knowledgeable staff is available to assist the patrons. The Special Collections room is located on the second floor of the Library, through the door near the administration.
The Special Collections unit is open from 8:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m. Monday -- Thursday and Saturday. (Hours in the summer and during Ramadan may vary.)

The collections are for research use by BZU faculty, staff, and students as well as visiting scholars. Users of the collections must adhere to general restrictions:
  • materials must be used in the reading room
  • the use of pens in the reading room is prohibited
  • materials can not be borrowed from the collections
  • permission must be granted to photocopy items from the collections, and appropriate ID must be left with the staff
  • smoking, eating and drinking are all prohibited in the reading room

Suhaila Abu Ghdeib supervises the Special Collections unit and she can be reached by e-mail at sabugdeb@birzeit.edu or by telephone at 298-2006.

  1. Palestine Collection
  2. Rare Books Collection
  3. BZU Archives
  4. Pamphlets
  5. Historical Map Collection
  6. Historical Photographic Collection
  7. Manuscripts

  1. Palestine Collection: This comprehensive collection is the largest of the collections. It includes, but is not limited to, published materials of the Palestinian National Authority, local research institutions and universities, communiqués from various Palestinian political groups and public records or historical documents that are related to Palestine. Heavily used items from this collection comprise the various statistical series published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and reports issued by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on specific Palestinian industries, e.g., stone cutting. Copies of the Oslo Accords, Hebron Protocol, Wye River Memorandum and Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum are available here. Among the notable items in this collection are census reports published by the Government of Palestine during the Mandate period, and a vast majority of communiqués issued during the Intifada by the United National Command. The materials in this collection have the designation PAL after the call number.
  2. Rare Books: The Rare Books collection consists of books that are scarce, uncommon or unique thus must be provided more attention and care. These include early imprints, volumes with exceptional bindings or illustrations, and landmark works. Over 20 volumes of the Author’s National edition, published between 1770 through 1918, from the series The writings of Mark Twain are placed here. The Rare Books collection contains many books of historical interest in Palestine, religion and travel. The oldest book in the collection is an 1770 publication titled The forty days. All rare books have the designation code RBK at the end of the call number.
  3. BZU Archives: This collection houses selective material published by Birzeit University and bestowed to the library. Publications found here are copies of Birzeit University yearbooks, and communiqués from the Student Council and other student political groups. These materials have the code BZU attached to the call number.
  4. Pamphlets: Pamphlets are defined as short printed publications unbound or with a paper binding. Their purpose is often to inform on a specific subject or address a controversial issue. This collection contains pamphlets that are not related to Palestine (pamphlets on Palestinian issues are found in the SPC Palestine collection). Topics addressed include economics, education, travel and tourism, art and literature, religion, technology, and medicine. The majority of the materials, however, deal with historical, political, and legal issues. A monthly newsletter published by Amnesty International is located here, as are several issues of VOICE: Intelligence Report. Each issue from this series concentrates on a particular region, i.e., Middle East. In addition, this collection contains the complete papers presented at two separate conferences: the 2nd Conference (1978) on the History of the Greater Syria, and a 1982 conference of Arabization. Several Unesco and United Nations publications are also housed here. The designation code for pamphlets is PAM.

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