Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Discover 45 Years of American University in Cairo History Online

Did you know that the American University in Cairo was originally called Cairo Christian University?

This information, and much more, is now available online in the new American University in Cairo Board of Trustees Meetings Minutes digital collection! Housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library (RBSCDL), the new collection allows you to discover AUC history by searching and browsing the collection by Title, Description, Date Created, Topic, Location, Medium, and Type. Learn more about searching the digital library by clicking on the FAQ link in the RBSCDL).

Cairo Christian University Board of Trustees meeting minutes, November 30 1914.
Image courtesy of the American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library.
The collection includes minutes ranging from the first meeting of the Board of Trustees on November 30, 1914 to the  meeting held on December 19, 1959. This collection will continue to grow as minutes are digitized.

The original American University in Cairo Board of Trustees Meetings Minutes are archived in the American University in Cairo's New York Office. The most recent 25 years of minutes will not be made available in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library to protect the privacy of the Board of Trustees.

For more questions about the AUC University Archives, contact Stephen Urgola, University Archivist & Director, AUC Records Management at surgola@aucegypt.edu.

Monday, March 11, 2013

University Archives Provides Eight out of Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Women in AUC History


Women have been a major part of AUC's history from the university's early days. On March 6, 2013, News@AUC ran a story entitled, Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Women in AUC History in honor of International Women's Day. Maybe you also didn't know that the University Archives in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library provided eight of the ten facts.

The University Archives of the American University in Cairo documents the university’s history, mission, and activities. The Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to materials with long-term, historical value created by AUC units like administrative and service offices, academic and research departments, and student organizations. Holdings include collections of records, published items, photographs, audio-visual media, and faculty papers.

Eva Habib, first female student at AUC.
Image courtesy of the American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library.
For more information on Eva, check out the University Archives Biographic Files.
If you have an interest in AUC's history, you might want to check out the University Archives Collections and Finding Aids. Take a look at the collections Kristin Belle-Isle, a work study student in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, used to find information about some of AUC and Egypt's most influential women.
  1. In 1925, an anonymous female donor donated $100,000 for an auditorium to be named after William Dana Ewart, an American inventor and businessman who had visited Cairo almost 20 years earlier. Construction began the next year, and in March 1928, Ewart Memorial Hall was completed.
  2. In 1928, Eva Habib al-Masri was the first female to enter AUC. She graduated in 1931 as valedictorian of her class.
  3. In 1937, Om Kalthoum, legendary Egyptian singer, songwriter and artist, held her first major performance at Ewart Memorial Hall.
  4. In 1948, The first women’s sports teams were created after 17 students submitted a petition to the University to form women’s basketball and volleyball teams.
    • Caravan Student Newspaper
  5. In 1956, Laila Shukry el-Hamamsy became the first female head of the Social Research Center. She served as head of the center for 25 years.
  6. In 1963, the late Cynthia Nelson joined the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology. She was later the founding dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and founding director of the Institute for Gender and Women's Studies.
  7. In 1974, Aisha Rateb, minister of social affairs, was the first woman to speak at an AUC commencement.
  8. In 1990, Heba Handoussa ’66 was the first female vice provost, serving from 1990 to 1992. She was chair of the Department of Economics twice during her 18 years as a professor in the department.