Arabic Texts in Khalidi Library ©

Khalidi Family Waqf

We are pleased to award the Preserving Palestinian Heritage project £98,000

This eighteen month project aims to expand access to the largest private collection of Arabic Manuscripts in Jerusalem.

The Khalidi Library

The Khalidi library forms part of the Khalidi family Waqf endowment, comprising 50 residential and commercial properties in the Old City of Jerusalem. Since 2013 , the Library Administrators have initiated a wide-raging programme of restoration and digitization of the collection and renovations of the 13th century Mameluke premises housing it. 

Preserving and Protecting the collection

This project will build on the work to date and will see the expansion of three part time functions at the library to increase capacity amongst the staff.  The grant will fund a number of core activities including the installation of Library Management and Catalogue Software for some 300,000 digital Manuscript images; the installation of surveillance, alarm systems and fire safety equipment to prevent against wilful damage or fire; and the conservation of at least 50 of the most valuable and vulnerable manuscripts.

In addition to this, research will be undertaken together with the Kenyon institute into the history of the library and the Khalidi family and its collection. This will enable the library to improve the way the collection is framed, increasing accessibility and encouraging public and specialist engagement.

Cover page of Kitab Shanaq Fi Alsumoum wa al-Tiryaq (Canakya's Book on Poisions and Antidotes)  inscribed by the Indian doctor Canakya. It was translated from Indian to Persian and then Arabic in an early stage of the Islamic era. ©

Khalidi Library Waqf

About The Khalidi Library

The Khalidi Library is part of the Khalidi family private waqf (benevolent foundation), set up in the 18th century by family benefactors. In addition to the Library, the waqf comprises 50 residential and commercial properties in the Old City of Jerusalem, managed by a Custodian Committee, appointed by the Jerusalem Sharia Court. Established in 1900, the Library's Mameluke-era buildings house rare and valuable manuscripts handed down over generations. Intended as a public Library, occupation and conflict since 1967 have imposed restrictions on public access. It has only recently been re-opened on a restricted basis to specialist researchers and visitors.

Project Partners

The Kenyon Institute (KI) is the home of British research and intellectual life in Israel/Palestine. As the Jerusalem institute of the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), it has become a hub for local and international researchers from diverse fields. Based in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, the KI is one of the leading academic centres in the region, seeking to serve both British scholarship and the local academic community.