The Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University is the premier research institution and archive on Afghanistan in the region, with the most extensive collection of primary resources available in print and digital formats. The mission of ACKU is to promote literacy, facilitate scholarly work, and provide academic research training through its archive, digital library, and outreach and research programs.
The Afghanistan Center at Kabul University was initially known as ACBAR Resource & Information Center (ARIC). The concept was envisioned by Louis Dupree and Nancy Hatch Dupree, two of the foremost experts on Afghanistan history and culture. After the death of Louis in 1989, Nancy continued to work for the protection of cultural heritage through ARIC and later ACKU with a motto of “nation building through information sharing.” ACKU’s current establishment inside Kabul University campus was made possible by an initial funding from the Afghan government in 2006 and was inaugurated by Ashraf Ghani on March 27, 2013.
The Library/Digital Resources
The Library at ACKU acquires, catalogues and digitizes the documents, and makes them accessible to local and international users through online databases. It also manages a state of the art reading room and a research room equipped with computers and fast internet connection. Every year over 40,000 users visit ACKU campus and another 100,000 local and international users access its resources online. (visit: http://digital.acku.edu.af)
The legal database, funded by Foundation for Promotion of Open Society and due to be completed in near future, will be an important addition to library resources. This unique digital platform will contain a fully searchable database of Afghan laws in both Farsi-Dari and Pashto and provide faster access to content used by legal practitioners, researchers and the general public. (visit: http://law.acku.edu.af/fa/)
ACKU Box Library Extension
The mission of ABLE is to improve literacy among children and adults by promoting a culture of reading through easy-to-read books and educational material that is locally written and published. Since 1996, ABLE has established 260 box libraries in communities across all 34 provinces. These libraries have over 1500,000 annual users. ABLE has published 370 books in Farsi/Dari and Pashto on a variety of subjects based on user suggestions, of which 40 titles are for young readers, with more being planned.
ACKU promotes and supports a strong research environment in Afghanistan by training local scholars in research methodology, critical analysis and academic writing. University students and faculty members are main beneficiaries of the research courses. An original research project on the issue of migration is ongoing at ACKU in collaboration with City, University of London.
In addition, ACKU organizes various events and hosts sponsored events from partner institutions on its premises. Through this, ACKU aims to provide a platform for Afghan and international scholars to interact and exchange ideas.