Preservation Project

The Near East School of Theology seeks to preserve the  unique but fragile heritage of Protestantism in the Middle East. Encompassing the churches of the Reformed, Anglican and Lutheran traditions, as well as other Evangelical denominations, Protestantism in the Middle East is diverse and multifaceted.  Its influence reaches beyond that of church institutions, as Protestants have played important roles in the founding of influential schools, hospitals, and printing presses in the Middle East region.

Overview of the Archives

There are over 1,800 archival items held by the NEST Special Collection. They include:

  • Station Reports from the ABCFM and PCUSA missioanries
  • Reports of the American Mission Church (now the International Community Church), the National Evangelical Church of Beirut and the Arab Episcopal Church
  • Personal and family papers, such as the Saliba Jerwan papers and the missionary Ford family papers
  • Photographs, records and publications of the American Mission Press
  • Records, catalogues and textbooks from Protestant schools, such as the American School for Girls, Central Turkey College, the Abeih Seminary and "Miss Amini's School"
  • Brochures from the Schweir Conference Center
  • Over 200 photographs and illusrations, including a collection of photographs from the Annual Meeting of the American Mission
  • More than 50 historic maps
  • The archives of NEST, including papers of previous presidents.


Future Projects

Renovation of Special Collections Room

  • Purchcase of mobile shelving to increase the holding capacity of the Special Collection Room
  • Upgrade Climate Control equpiment

Digitization of Special Collections

  • Purchase of equipment to create Digitization Center at NEST
  • Training of staff to use properly digitize and store electronic files

Cleaning and Preservation

  • Clean items to remove dust mites and mold
  • Store in acid-free containers

Research and Scholarship

  • Organize international workshops and conferences exploring topics pertaining to Protestant Heritage in the Middle East
  • Develop research scholarships to encourage graduate students to study Protestant Heritage
  • Publish "Quick Study" articles in the NEST Theological Review to publicize the archives
  • Develop the online presence of the Protestant Heritage project