Following the establishment of the State of Israel, a law was enacted requiring anyone publishing material in Israel to submit two copies of the publication to the National Library of Israel within a month of publication: The Books Law – Legal Deposit (2000) (Hebrew). In turn, the National Library became a collector of publications from all sectors of Israeli society and culture.
The National Library receives legal deposits irrespective of language, format, theme, or quality, and without making ideological judgements. The fact that the Library receives the publications, and does not acquire them, neutralizes financial constraints that could potentially dictate the selection of certain titles and the disqualification of others. Obligating publishers to deposit free copies ensures the principle of freedom of speech and prevents library censorship.
The library preserves the publications for future generations as a documentation of written Israeli culture, and guarantees that they will be accessible to the public for many years to come, long after they stop being available for purchase. The collection is open and accessible to all users and visitors of the library, according to the principle of equal access to information in the State of Israel.
The legal deposit requirement was included in British legislation passed in 1924. As per the British Mandate, copies were deposited with the director of the Department of Education and the governor of the district where the book was printed.
In 1953, 30 years later, the Britih legislation was amended and accepted as law in the State of Israel. New organizations were chosen to receive legal deposit materials, replacing the British institutions that had previously received the deposited material during the years of the British Mandate: one copy of every publication was to be deposited at the State Archive, another copy at the Knesset Library, and two copies at the National Library.
On December 18th, 2000, the Knesset passed the “Books Law”. This law reworked the legal deposit requirement to include publications that are not printed on paper.
The Books Law set the National Library of Israel as the primary deposit organization in Israel, minimizing deposit requirements for the State Archive and Knesset Library.
The National Library has been receiving and curating books and electronic publications for preservation for a number of years. In November 2015 new ordinances were put into effect that expand the Books Law which now includes electronically published publications as part of the legal deposit collection.
With the development of digital publishing, the National Library, like other national libraries around the globe, is faced with the challenge of collecting and preserving digital works in the Library collections, for the sake of readers, researchers, and future generations. With these efforts in mind, the Library started the Archinet project with the aim to archive the Israeli internet, at the same time we are working to preserve digital publications that are published on various platforms.
The National Library receives and curates e-books and other digital media: newspapers and periodicals, audiobooks, music files and video. The National Library has been receiving and curating books and digital works for preservation for a number of years. In November 2015 new ordinances were put into effect that expand the Books Law which now include digitally published publications as part of the legal deposit collection.
The National Library implements information security measures to protect the publications deposited therein:
• The digital publications are saved on secure Library servers.
• Digital publications can only be viewed and accessed from within the National Library building. Access is limited to two users at any given time.
• The National Library does not enable digital copying of its publications: It is prohibited to save them on a flash drive, send then via email or any other method.
• Catalog information regarding the publications is available to all users via the digital catalog of the Library, as any other item in the Library.
You can deposit electronic publications in the following formats: EPUB, DOC, PDF, as well as video audio files.
The deposit can be done via email [email protected], or you may approach the Library for coordination.
Depositing Books at the Library Building
You may leave the books at the circulation desk on floor -1
Sunday-Thursday, 9 am - 6 pm
National Library of Israel
Kaplan Street 1, Jerusalem, 9195015
Depositing digital publications: https://form.jotform.com/230314082596454
For more information:
Email: [email protected]
About the Israeli Publishers Database
Israeli Publishers DatabaseIn the database there are 1,500 records of book publishers, newspapers, magazines, music and other data banks. The database includes small publishers and unfamiliar, public entities and educational institutions as part of their activities publishers, and publishers who are not active any more, from the beginning of publishing activities in Israel. This is the most comprehensive database in this field in Israel, and is updated regularly.
The information provided includes the history of publication, address, name of the manager or owner, renamed, and partnerships between publishers, advertising language, media type, and for some publishers a short note on the subject matters in which they engage. It can also be information on the copyright of publishers no longer in existence.
If you find an error in the database or if you know of a publisher that does not appear in it, please send the details to: [email protected]
The National Library is responsible for preserving the cultural assets of the State of Israel for future generations, as well as for researchers, scholars and citizens. The Books Law was passed for this purpose, requiring all those who publish a book in Israel to deliver two copies of it to the Library.