Stanford University’s Baha’i Collection—the first university-based collection of its kind in the United States—is known as a collection of collections, a premier research resource of all topics Baha’i related. The Stanford Libraries preserves and makes accessible to all students and researchers a wealth of rare and unique archival materials and books on the Baha’i Faith. The initial donation of the Jack H. Lee and Arden T. Lee Baha’i Collection in 2012, one of the most extensive private libraries of materials related to the Baha’i Faith, includes thousands of books, letters, newspaper clippings, photographs and early Baha’i publications from many countries and in various languages, from Urdu to Japanese to Greenlandic.
Arden Lee’s handwritten annotations explain the significance of the people, places and events the Collection chronicles, adding to the uniqueness and scope of the information it contains. She began collecting in the early 1950s, saying “For me, life’s great adventure began in 1952 when I discovered the Baha’i Faith.” Keenly aware of the value of preserving historic documentation on the global spread of the Baha’i teachings, she collected rare and personal correspondence offering insight into the lives of early Baha’is and their trailblazing efforts to spread their Faith’s principles of peace and world unity.
The Baha’i Faith, the world’s newest independent global belief system, teaches the oneness of God, the unity of humanity and the essential harmony of religion. Baha’is believe in peace, justice, love, altruism and unity. The Baha’i teachings promote the agreement of science and religion, the equality of the sexes and the elimination of all prejudice and racism.
Holdings in the Baha'i Collection also include the personal materials from the life’s work of renowned educator, psychologist and philosopher Daniel C. Jordan (which include the only original 16 mm film of his ballet, Metamorphosis of the Owls, now digitally restored by Stanford’s Media Preservation Lab and available to view upon request), as well as the Baha'i Library of Hourolain and Nasrollah Maghzi, an important collection of Persian rare books.
If you are interested in donating materials to add to the physical collection, please contact Ryan Perkins, curator of the Collection.
If you would like to contribute monetarily to the Baha'i Endowment, please contact Sonia Lee, Associate Director for Development, or you may make a gift online, indicating "Baha'i Collection KBBLX" in the Special Instructions field.