Provide Access to the MED’s Haddad Mahjar Collection

Project Summary

Submitted by Michael Hopper of Widener Library, Middle Eastern Division.

Several years ago the Middle Eastern Division received as a gift the Haddad collection which includes the personal libraries and papers of Nasib Aridah and Nadrah Haddad, two noted Mahjar writers. The Mahjar refers to the Americas and specifically the Mahjar writers were those persons of literary talent who immigrated to the New World, seeking a combination of economic opportunity and sectarian, political, and intellectual freedom. Over the years the MED has been able to catalog 115 titles from the collection including books and journals some of which are unique and do not appear in the two major bibliographies devoted to this topic: Arab writers in America: critical essays and annotated bibliography (Mundus Arabicus, Volume 1, 1981) and The Arab-American experience in the United States and Canada: a classified, annotated bibliography (Michael W. Suleiman, The Pierian Press, 2006).

The MED seeks funding to complete the processing and cataloging of this collection which amounts to some 17 boxes of books and journals and 3 boxes of personal papers.

Amount requested is $8,000 = student labor to sort, organize, and provide metadata for collection.

Expected Results with Partial Funding

Since the remaining part of the collection is inaccessible, any amount of funding would allow the MED to begin to provide basic metadata and access.

Estimated Follow-on Activities and/or Costs

The occasional item has required digitization but the MED has been able to integrate these into its regular activities with support from Widener Library Collections Conservation.

Benefit to Harvard Scholars and Patrons

Thanks to the efforts of previous and present librarians the MED already has a very strong Mahjar collection. Completion of the processing of the Haddad collection would enhance the existing collection and make available new source material.

Ways the Project Supports Cross-Unit or Cross-Discipline Activities

Émigré communities continue to be an active area of ongoing research. This material has the potential to be of interest to various constituencies.

Resources the Sponsoring Library Can Support or Will Need Support For

The MED will provide general supervision of the project and revision of any original metadata created.

Other Approaches to Achieving Goal or Result

Outside funding.

Risks if Proposal is Not Approved

The materials remain unknown.

Additional Information

The Arab-American émigré experience continues to an important research area witness the establishment of the Arab-American National Museum in Detroit ( and the new Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies, North Carolina State University (

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