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Nancy Hatch Dupree, 1927-2017


The Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation for the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University mourns the loss of our founder and visionary, Nancy Hatch Dupree.

Nancy passed away peacefully in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 10, 2017, at the age of 89.

Nancy was one of Afghanistan's most ardent and vocal advocates for the preservation of the culture and history of Afghanistan. After arriving in Afghanistan in 1962, she spent the next 55 years ensuring that Afghanistan be recognized and remembered for its rich art, language and storytelling traditions.

Nancy promoted the idea that for nation to prosper, "it must have an involved citizenry and they must have access to knowledge." The Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU) is the embodiment of that vision. With its collection of over 150,000 materials, ACKU is regarded as the richest source of information in the region and provides the most comprehensive collection of materials related to Afghanistan. Its collection includes materials on subjects ranging from women's rights, recent laws, rare mujahidin publications, newspapers and periodicals, cultural heritage documents, and many works of Afghan literature. Nancy's vision also extended to ACKU's ABLE box library program through which easy-to-read books are brought to communities throughout Afghanistan. During her final days, Nancy was organizing, cataloguing and uploading nearly 14,000 historical images for ACKU's website. She relished this vast undertaking. You can view the 2,000 images that have been uploaded to date here.

ACKU will continue to bring knowledge about Afghanistan for Kabul University students and faculty through these projects, workshops and forums.

The Board and staff of the Dupree Foundation are gratified that Nancy's extraordinarylegacy will continue through the extraordinary work of ACKU.

Andrew Brimmer, Chair

Laura Marks, Executive Director

Dupree Foundation Mourns Loss of Nancy Hatch Dupree (Oct 3, 1927-Sept 10, 2017)


Dupree Foundation Board and staff mourn the loss of Nancy Hatch Dupree, who passed away early in the morning of September 10, 2017 in Kabul.

ACKU statement about death of Nancy Hatch Dupree

A Year in Review


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ACKU is a beacon of hope in Kabul

Here, you will read about the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University's (ACKU) activities and events over the past year. We know that you will be inspired by all that the staff has achieved over the past 12 months. We hope that you will lend your support to ensure ACKU can continue to rebuild Afghanistan, one book at a time.

ACKU's mission -- sharing information for nation-building -- is being fulfilled every day by its users. The more than 500 students who come to classes or use the Reading Room daily know that the information they are learning or seek allows them to connect with others and understand the world at large.

Researchers regularly use ACKU's archives for information about the history and culture of Afghanistan, and know that their final publications help all of us better understand Afghanistan and develop ways to help it flourish. Organizational leaders hold events and exhibits at ACKU and know that ACKU provides not only a state-of-the-art and aesthetically pleasing locale but also a resolutely Afghan one that echoes traditional architecture and layout.

When ACKU moved to its new facility three and a half years ago, we hoped that it would become the leading resource center for information about Afghanistan. These aspirations have been met very quickly, and have been recognized in particular by the United States Library of Congress this year:

- On October 27, Founder Nancy Hatch Dupree accepted a prestigious honor from the United States Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program on behalf of ACKU's Box Library Extension (ABLE) project for best practices in literacy promotion. (See more here.)

- On September 21, 2016, Executive Director Abdul Waheed Wafa received a copy of digitized holdings of the Library of Congress relating to the culture and history of Afghanistan in recognition of the importance of ACKU's online database for researchers around the world. (See more here.)

None of this should be a surprise to anyone who knows Nancy and Waheed. Both are indefatigable advocates of the power of knowledge to transform people and society. And ACKU does just that.

Please Support ACKU to help Rebuild Afghanistan, One Book at a Time.

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ACKU Receives Digitized Historic Afghanistan Documents from LOC


On September 21, 2016 Afghanistan Centre of Kabul University Executive Director Abdul Waheed Wafa traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the celebration of the completion of the Library of Congress' Afghanistan Project - Digitization of Historic Afghanistan Documents. Digital copies of the documents were presented to organizations in Afghanistan, including ACKU.

The celebration was attendees included (from left to right) Mark Taplin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Abdul Waheed Wafa, Executive Director of ACKU; Abdul Bari Jahani, Minister of Information and Culture, Afghanistan; Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress; and Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the project.
For more information about the project, see

New ACKU station at the Sharq Institute for Higher Education


ACKU opened a new station at the Sharq Institute for Higher Education in Kabul. Abdul Waheed Wafa, Director of ACKU, introduced ACKU’s online database to the Sharq community: The collection, which mostly relates directly to Afghanistan, contains more than 100,000 documents in Afghan and European languages, over 30,000 of which are digitized and are available online through ACKU’s database. Students at Sharq can now access the database from their campus.

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