The Letitia and Toubia Hachem Collection approximately 3,000 rare books and manuscripts ranging in date from the 16th to the mid-20th century, and covering a wide range of geographic provenance, printing houses, disciplines, historical periods, languages, and topics. A variety of formats, e.g. manuscript codices and rolls, miniature and big Qurans, folios, “pocket” books, Qurans inscribed on palm leaves, and early imprints of the Bible with ornate covers are also represented.
This is a truly stunning collection of rare books, which document the history of printing, manuscript writing, knowledge production and exchange and cultural and humanistic exchanges between geographic locations, eras and disciplines. It will provide foundational support for AUB’s liberal arts mission, and will go a long way to advance the University’s standing and to support the arts and humanities at the University and in the region.
Toubia Hachem was born in Beirut, and graduated from Bonaventure University in New York. He did his graduate studies in history at the University of Chicago, taught at AUB as Assistant Instructor in General Education in 1961/62, and then joined Loyola University, Chicago. He established a successful travel agency in Chicago and became a global airline executive. He never lost his passion for history, particularly theological history. Ms. Letitia Hachem and her daughters recently donated the collection to the AUB Libraries in memory of Mr. Hachem.