Khalaf Al Habtoor has a passion for culture and history. He recently dedicated the newly renovated and expanded archives at Illinois College. Joanna Andrews was there for the inauguration.
Khalaf Al Habtoor dedicated the school’s recently renovated and dramatically expanded archives, now The Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives on Monday October 13, 2014. With an impressive collection of rare books, some dating back over 500 years, and historical documents, including a number signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the Archives are an important resource for the Illinois College community and scholars from around the world. Al Habtoor had the added benefit of giving former US President Jimmy Carter a tour of the facilities the following day.
The expanded Archives, spread across 1,500 square feet, include a reading and research room and state-of- the-art climate controls to ensure the long-term safety and preservation of this important collection.
In addition to the physical renovation and expansion, Al Habtoor has given funding that will allow for a fulltime professional archivist to ensure the collection is fully utilised by students, faculty, and other historians.
Al Habtoor said, “It is important for us to preserve history for the benefit of our children and our grand-children. We need to protect documents like those of my friend the Honorable Paul Findley and the Great Leader Abraham Lincoln for future generations to come.”
The Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College is also home to the Congressional Office Museum of the former Congressman Paul A. Findley. Complete with a replica of the Congressman’s office, the Museum is one of the few Congressional Office Museums in the United States and offers a rare opportunity for those interested in studying the Congressman’s work to access primary source materials. In addition to the many official papers in the Museum, it displays a wide range of artifacts from the Congressman’s travels in the Middle East and around the world.
“I have known Congressman Findley for years and it brings me great joy to be able to help a new generation understand the tremendous contributions my friend has made to Middle East peace efforts as well as human rights and international diplomacy initiatives Paul was instrumental in championing,” remarked Al Habtoor.
Dr Barbara A. Edwards Farley, President of Illinois College said, “Dr Al Habtoor’s generosity and continued support of the Illinois College archives will provide students and faculty here a chance to better understand and appreciate world events by drawing on the wonderful example set by our prestigious alumnus former Congressman Findley.”