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  5. The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection
The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection
מפה של יבשת אמריקה, סביב 1550, מאת סבסטיאן מונסטר. מתוך אוסף המפות

The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection

The Eran Laor Collection includes antique maps from as early as the 15th century, antique atlases, travel books covering journeys to the Land of Israel and around the world, travel guides, the works of researchers who studied the Land of Israel in the 19th century, historical geography works, Biblical dictionaries and copies of the Bible and the New Testament that include maps.

The Core of the Eran Laor Collection

Most of the items in the collection were donated by Mr. Eran Laor in 1975. Eran Laor was born in Slovakia and was active in the secret services of the Allied powers, helping Jews to immigrate to the Land of Israel. After the establishment of the State, he served as a representative of the national institutions in Europe. Laor authored books of poetry and reflection as well as an autobiography. He described the growth of his collection as “reminiscent of the description of the world that was prevalent in the Middle Ages, with Jerusalem as the center of the Earth. Around Jerusalem, in widening concentric circles, we have depictions of the Land of Israel, the Middle East…”

The core of the Laor Collection are some 1,500 antique maps of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The collection also includes antique maps of other parts of the world and more modern maps of Israel and of Israeli cities (from before and after the establishment of the State). The collection includes maps in European languages, Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic.

The collection also includes modern maps of other countries in the region, as well as contemporary maps published in Israel and forwarded to the Library in accordance with the legal deposit laws. In addition, the collection includes ancillary works in the field  of  cartography, as well as journals and reference works.

The collection serves as a primary source for students and researchers in the fields of antique and modern cartography and in other fields, including historical geography, general history, the history of art, the history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora, architecture and town planning, and Jerusalem studies. Those using the collection include museum and exhibition curators, school students and visitors from Israel and abroad.

All the maps are catalogued online. In the case of the maps of the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, the bibliographic entry includes a link enabling direct viewing of the scanned map. The collection includes research material on the subject of Arabic maps, maps in Arabic script, and maps issued by the Palestinian Authority.

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 09:00-14:00​
Library services are available until 15 minutes before closing.

Collection Manager: Ayelet Rubin
Tel.: 074-733-6432

The Digitized Map Collection

All of the ancient maps of the Holy Land and Jerusalem can be accessed through the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection website. The Library updates the map website on an ongoing basis. Additional maps that are purchased by the Library, and many of the surveryor maps as well as and other types of maps, have recently been scanned and posted on the website.