Guide to the Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1935-1941 UA.40.22

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee Collection
Creator
University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee.
Collection Number
UA.40.22
Date
1935-1941
Extent
2.0 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract
The Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee was formed in 1935 to construct a classroom in the Cathedral of Learning that reflected the culture of all the Arabic speaking people in America. The committee acquired a library from Damascus and had it erected in the Cathedral. It was dedicated on June 28, 1941. This collection contains materials concerning the fundraising, acquisition and dedication of the Syria-Lebanon Nationality Classroom.

Preferred Citation

Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1935-1941, UA.40.22, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Return to Table of Contents »


Biography/History

The Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee was formed in 1935 after Lily A. Arwady, secretary-treasurer of the Southern Federation of Syrian Clubs, contacted the University of Pittsburgh to inquire about how a room representing the culture of Syrian Americans could be included in the Cathedral of Learning. Dr. Nicholas H. Bitar, a graduate of Pitt’s School of Dentistry, was selected to head the committee. A Syrian Room Fund was created with money raised through dances, banquets and other events. In 1937, a cooperating committee in Beirut, led by American University professor Boulus Khawli, was established to help the committee in Pittsburgh.

The Federation of Syrian Clubs played an integral role in raising support for the room throughout the United States. In 1938, the organization changed its name to the Federation of Syria-Lebanon Clubs to better reflect the heritage of all the Arabic speaking people in America. The focus of the committee and the name of the room, then, followed suit.

The room, a library from the home of a wealthy citizen in Damascus, was disassembled, shipped across the Atlantic, and then reassembled in an art gallery in New York City. When they learned about the exhibit, representatives from the Syria-Lebanon Room Committee visited the room several times before acquiring it for the Cathedral of Learning. An inscription on a panel above one of the cabinets dates the painting of the room to 1782 and, at the time, it was the only completely intact antique room to be installed in the Cathedral. The room is ornately designed, implementing many characteristics of Arabic architecture, which led one visitor to describe the room as “a little jewel box.” It was dedicated on June 28, 1941.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains correspondence and meeting minutes concerning the fundraising, acquisition and dedication of the Syria-Lebanon Nationality Classroom. Also included are photographs of several committee members and the room dedication.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, October 2017

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Nationality Rooms Program Office.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kallie Sheets in July 2017.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Bitar, Nicholas H.
  • Mitchell, Ruth Crawford, 1890-

Subject(s)

  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

Return to Table of Contents »


Previous Citation

Syria-Lebanon Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1935-1941, UA.40.22, University of Pittsburgh Archives

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
General Correspondence 1935 11

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1936 2

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1937 3

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1938 4

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1939 5

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1940 6

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
General Correspondence 1941 7

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Formal Opening June 28, 1941 8

Return to Table of Contents »


  BoxVolume
Running Memo and Minutes 1935-1941 21

Return to Table of Contents »


  Volume
Publicity Material 1935-1941 2

Return to Table of Contents »


  BoxFolder
Photograph: Masab Vase of Brass, Inlaid with Copper and Silver 19

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Masab Tray of Brass, Inlaid with Copper and Silver 10

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Masab Vase and Tray of Brass 11

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: The Executive Committee of the Syria-Lebanon Room 12

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dedication of the Syria-Lebanon Room 1941 13

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Syria-Lebanon Room 14

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Shop of Mr. Morrow in Evanston, Illinois 15

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Social Hall in Arabic Style, American University, Cairo 16

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Iva Abraham and Alys Gazal Escort Chancellor Bowman 17

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar, Chairman 18

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar, Chairman, With Sudents 19

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar, Chairman 20

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Ceiling of Damascus Water Company 21

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar, Chairman 22

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar, Chairman, With Students 23

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Syria-Lebanon Room 24-27

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Syria-Lebanon Room, Samandara Cabinet 28

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Committee for Syria-Lebanon Room 29

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dedication of Syria-Lebanon Room 1941 30-33

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Bitar Presenting Room to Chancellor Bowman 34

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Philip K. Hitti, Delivering Address at Formal Opening 1941 35

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Mrs. Hallow, Dr. Stinchcomb, Dr. Bitar 36

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Dr. Stinchcomb and Chancellor Bowman 37

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Iva Abraham, Alys Gazal Escort Chncellor Bowman 38

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Masab in Destroyed Building, Hamidra Quater 1924 39

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Members of Syria-Lebanon Committee 40

Return to Table of Contents »


  Folder
Photograph: Mohammad Ali al-Kyayyat (Abu-Salayman) 41

Return to Table of Contents »