The collection consists of both books and bound manuscripts. These publications date back to the 1500's and come from prominent donors. The writer noted several book plates of Yacub Artin Pasha, Nubar Artin Pasha, and stamped covers indicating the book had originally been a gift to Muhammad Ali or one of his successors.
As can be imagined, it is very strong in nineteenth century works. An interesting feature is that letters and manuscripts have been bound and shelved like books. Sometimes, these thin volumes have slipped behind the stack, and one must be diligent to find them. Several are unpublished works related to the French 1798 invasion, and worthy of further study.
Several ARCE fellows working in Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Egypt found the Institut's holdings invaluable.