The Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection in Criss Library Archives & Special Collections at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is one of the largest collections of material about Afghanistan in the United States. The collection has over 20,000 titles in twenty-nine different languages and while most of the collection is English-language material, Dari and Pashto are also well-represented. Although a large number of titles in the collection are on political history and literature, other disciplines such as economics, education, folklore, law, agriculture, language, architecture, music, geography and geology are also well-represented.
In the fall of 1974, Arthur Paul donated his private collection of Afghanistan material to the University of Nebraska at Omaha Center for Afghanistan Studies. The library then acquired the collection and it later became part of what is today Criss Library Archives & Special Collections. Criss Library has made extensive efforts to add to Paul's original contribution of over 1,000 titles, with the result that the library currently has over 20,000 titles in the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection.
A collaborative partnership between the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Kabul University was established in the early 1970s. The relationship between the two universities was interrupted after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. UNO's commitment to Afghanistan studies continued to grow through the Library and the Center for Afghanistan Studies (CAS).
The CAS began the Education Press as a part of an International Red Cross effort in the early 1980s, printing and copying documents for Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. The press's clients included Afghan ministries, especially the Ministry of Education, President Karzai's office, the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. military base at Bagram, UN offices, international and Afghan NGOs, and private entities. The UNO Education Press was chosen to print the 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan and the ballots for the first democratic elections in Afghanistan in 35 years.
The Criss Library began a collaborative partnership with the U.S Army Training and Doctrine Command, Human Terrain System (HTS), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 2007. Key to the development of this partnership was the completion of a data-sharing project known as the "Microfilm Digitization Project," which made digitized documents available in DigitalCommons@UNO.
We encourage all researchers to review online information about finding material in and using material from Archives & Special Collections in advance of your visit to Criss Library. Archives & Special Collections includes the Afghanistan Collection, the U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Archives, University Archives, and Special Collections and Rare Books.
Research appointments are not required, but can ensure your research visit is as productive as possible. If you wish, contact us in advance of your visit to make an appointment.
Archives & Special Collections at UNO Criss Library is open to the public Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and by appointment.
Archives & Special Collections will be closed Monday, May 30, 2016.
Archives & Special Collections will be closed Monday, July 4, 2016.