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The Library Collections

The Library Collections

The Scope of the Collections

The National Library of Israel houses over five million books and periodicals, as well as thousands of items in special collections, among them manuscripts, archives, maps, musical recordings and digital collections.

In accordance with the Books Law (Legal Deposit), the Library collects, preserves and allows free access to every publication published in Israel.

250,000 books on open shelves can be accessed in eight reading rooms: Judaism, Islam and the Middle East, Humanities, Hebrew Manuscripts, Archives, the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, the Edelstein Collection and the Gershom Scholem Collection. Storage rooms inside and outside the Library premises hold the remainder of the books.

The digital collection contains thousands of scanned books, manuscripts, newspapers, Talmud pages, maps, and the Sound Archives.

The Library’s curators, recruited from the academic community, are thoroughly proficient in the full range of content (physical and digital) and collections (private and public) within their fields, and formulate the collection policy in all of the themes and formats. They continually seek opportunities to strengthen and develop the collections through acquisitions, gifts or collaboration with other libraries. They maintain close contact with scholars and cultivate the collections in accordance with the needs of users. The collections are reviewed at defined periods of time to ensure their quality – for example, by comparing them to similar collections in other institutions.