Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Mahrous Mustafa Bseiso Land Deeds Collection, 1920-1940s

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#2108
Bib ID 16885419 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Bseiso, Mahrous Mustafa
Title Mahrous Mustafa Bseiso Land Deeds Collection, 1920-1940s
Physical Description 12.2 Gigabytes (55 digitized documents and supporting materials)
Language(s) English , Arabic , Hebrew .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection consists of digital files only. These digital files will be available on the open web, but for the moment can only be viewed in the reading room at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on a specially configured laptop. Please reserve a laptop by selecting the checkbox in the container list.

Arrangement

Description

Content Description

In the early 1920s a land developer, businessman, and community leader by the name of Sayed Mahroos M. Bseiso began to consolidate large swaths of land in Beersheeba Palestine for the purposes of expanding agriculture and infrastructure development. Mr. Bseiso entered into agreements to purchase land from neighbors, business owners, and family members in need of monetary assistance and could no longer afford the maintenance of real property. Upon purchasing swaths of land in parcels referred to 'dinums'. Mr. Bseiso purchased farming equipment from Jaffa Iron Works company for land cultivation. Mr. Bseiso also rented out water reservoirs to neighboring farmers and landowners who needed water irrigation for crops. Many of the documents demonstrate the extent of these purchase agreements, land deeds, and rental of water reservoirs throughout the early to mid-1900's before the nakba in 1948. Prior to the occupation of Palestine Mahroos envisioned using the land to industrialize southern Palestine and expand the agrarian front and land development. He began doing so in the 1930's by investing in local mosques, stores, and farming equipment. The purchase agreements were witnessed, signed, and sealed with Palestinian stamps and notarized marks for authenticity purposes. The documents reveal a large quantity of land ownership directly under Mahroos Bseiso. They also indicate that the water reservoirs owned by Mahroos were previously examined by archeologists who contend the reservoirs date back to the Byzantine era.

This collection consists of digital files that comprise digitized versions of the original documents (PDF, JPG, and TIFF formats) and supporting additional description (Word and PDF formats).

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection consists of digital files only. These digital files will be available on the open web, but for the moment can only be viewed in the reading room at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on a specially configured laptop. Please reserve a laptop by selecting the checkbox in the container list.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Mahrous Mustafa Bseiso Land Deeds Collection; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mr. Adel Bseisso, 2022, through Global Studies.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Finding aid created from donor-provided description.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Contracts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Land titles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Palestine Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Hajj Mahrous Afandi bin Mustafa Bseiso (1884-1968) was a Palestinian business magnate, industrialist, and philanthropist. He was born and raised in Jerusalem to the prestigious Bseiso family. At the peak of his career, Mr. Mahrous owned large swaths of land in and around Bi'r Al-Sab' where he set out to bring industrialization and socio-economic development to that often-overlooked part of Palestine.