In 'Abdu'l-Baha, Bahá'í, Bahá'í Pilgrimage, Baha'u'llah, Community Building, development, interfaith, Justice, Peace, Religion, Religious practices, Stanford University, Uncategorized

Stanford_University_Green_Library_Bing_WingIn November, 2012, Stanford University Libraries established the first academic, university-based Bahá’í collection in the United States.

The collection includes more than 1,000 books, letters, photographs and rare, out-of-print early Bahá’í publications from around the world, as well as other archival materials and papers. The new Jack H. Lee and Arden T. Lee Fund for Bahá’í Studies will ensure that the collection of archival material will continue to grow. As quoted in the Stanford News, John Eilts, the curator for the libraries’ Islamic and Middle Eastern collection, noted that interest in the Bahá’í faith and the history of the Bahá’ís in the Middle East is growing. “The addition of this collection is a great foundation for a collection to provide resources for our researchers. The endowment being set up will assure that the collection continues to grow as more research needs develop,” he said. This growing interest in the Bahá’í Faith has resulted in the University of California at Los Angeles creating a lectureship on the Bahá’í faith in Iran, and now Stanford’s new acquisition will add a library research resource to the study of the Bahá’í Faith. As well as this Bahá’í archive, the Stanford Libraries are becoming a center for collections focusing on the world’s religions.  In addition to a growing collection of Islamic texts, they have a number of medieval Christian manuscripts.  The libraries have also made several major acquisitions in the growing Judaica and Hebraica collections, including the Taube-Baron Collection of Jewish History and Culture, the Samson/Copenhagen Judaica Collection and the Eliasaf Robinson Collection on Tel Aviv. Arden Lee, who became a Bahá’í in 1952, established the collection in honor of her late husband, Jack Lee and said her religion “connected me with the history of civilizations.” She began by scouring old bookshops in search of Bahá’í books whose original owners had died, and whose heirs had put them on the market.  As time passed Bahá’ís also began to will her their book collections.  Arden Lee was given the books and papers of a Bahá’í who had carbon copies of the messages sent by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the American community.   This same person had an attic crammed with records from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s which Ms. Lee piled into her car to take home. Bahá’ís gathered at Green Library to celebrate the new collection on the centenary of Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Stanford to give an address on world peace. October 8th, 1912, was the first and only time Stanford classes were cancelled so that the entire faculty and student body could hear a speaker, thanks to Stanford President David Starr Jordan, a pacifist and one of the trustees of the Carnegie Peace Endowment. Read the full story here
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