The USEK Library shares with the University the aspiration to “contribute to the welfare of the human being, all human beings, throughout education, research and publication in all fields of knowledge.” To achieve this synthesis of tradition and modernism, the Library holds an impressive collection of rare books that have fundamental research value; texts which are difficult to locate elsewhere and replace. There are several factors that play a major role in deciding what is categorized as a rare book: provenance, age (before 1880), scarcity, significance in content, research value, and unique characteristics.
This Collection is strong in the areas of humanities, literature, history, art, theology, and philosophy. The Rare Books Collection holds literature in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Syriac and Garshouni.
Materials housed in the Rare Books Collection are available electronically in the Libraries' Online Catalog
. Because these materials are fragile and/or have a unique nature, they are not placed for loan and circulation; they can only be consulted in the reading room. Due to fragility of these resources, the Library offers a reprography service
to carry out all necessary duplications.