Certain factors in Lebanon’s history have adversely affected the country’s cultural heritage. Mismanagement has led to the loss of cultural items, the obliteration of their Lebanese character, or their dispersal in and outside the homeland. The Center for Lebanese Heritage (CLH) locates and restores such objects, contributing to the preservation of Lebanon’s unique patrimony.
The center collects written, audio and visual literary works as well as non-literary art forms. It will also boast a virtual museum hosting the center’s collections, which will be made available on the CLH website.
The center is funded by LAU as well as by private donations from several sources.
The CLH’s vision is to:
- collect, preserve, and document all local heritage-related materials as well as those that have been either discarded, forgotten, or kept in the private libraries of authors or their relatives
- search for Lebanese heritage materials in their various languages existing throughout the world and bring them back to Lebanon, sort them out, catalog and preserve them
- refer to the location of Lebanese heritage assets if they belong to a private collection, sort them out and catalog them
The CLH aims to become:
- a cultural and tourist destination, the first of its kind in Lebanon
- a major resource for research on the Lebanese creative legacy
- a central library specialized in the heritage of Lebanese artists throughout the world in all languages
The duties of the CLH include:
- searching for creative Lebanese artists in various fields
- soliciting and obtaining their original works, as well as critical assessments of their works
- overseeing the proper cataloging and preservation of these materials
- preparation of a comprehensive bibliography of the literary, artistic, intellectual and historical heritage of Lebanon
- acquisition of complete works (in all languages) of Lebanese writers, poets, thinkers, out-of-print magazines and journals
- acquisition of original manuscripts of Lebanese artists, in all disciplines
- acquisition of materials, artifacts, implements, papers, documents, letters, pictures, dissertations and essays in circulars and magazines, as well as information pertaining to Lebanese artists, authors, and Lebanese cultural history
- detailed documentation, analytical cataloging and detailed organization of archives using up-to-date scientific methods and electronic digitalization of materials,
- establishment of Lebanese Heritage Review
- establishment of a publishing house dedicated to heritage topics
- establishment of the “Friends of the Center for Lebanese Heritage Committee” to solicit, collect and organize materials
The CLH has issued several books and publications, such as:
- Mirrors from Lebanese Heritage, a yearly anthology of presentations first published in 2008 that documents all cultural events and presentations given during the center’s gatherings throughout the year.
- Mirrors of Heritage, a refereed journal that serves as a repository of research studies published since 2014.
- Early Lebanese Emigrants to the USA at the Dawn of the 20th Century, a bilingual publication (Arabic and English) with an introductory preface by Henri Zoghaib.
- The Fossils of Lebanon: Memory of Time, in French and English, is the latest book on the fossils of Lebanon.
- Comparative Study: The Lebanese Verbal Heritage and its Similar Patterns in the West (forthcoming) that will consist of an academic analysis of the linguistic and poetic aspects of “zajal” poetry.
- Translation of Berytus - the oldest published book on Beirut- from old Latin into Arabic, French, and English.
- Beirut, Half a Century Ago - a collection of 130 photos of Beirut, Baalbeck, and Jbeil.
Conferences and Workshops
- The Third National Conference on Gebran Khalil Gebran Studies that will be held in Beirut for the first time, after being held twice in the USA.
- Academic Workshop to be held in LAU’s Louis Cardahi Museum
- The Arabic Language: Dialogue Meetings (series)
Henri Zoghaib, Director