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“Operation Diary”: A Collection Project of Personal Diaries From the 1948 Generation

“Operation Diary”: A Collection Project of Personal Diaries From the 1948 Generation

"Operation Diary"

Until a few decades ago, almost everyone in the country kept a diary. Writing a diary does not require a special training course. All you need is a pen, a notebook and a bit of inspiration. Recorded in these personal diaries that today sit gathering dust in drawers, or stored in a corner of an attic, are accounts of important historical events as well as everyday experiences. All written by hand and granting the reader a personal point of view.

In honor of the 75th year of the State of Israel, the National Library, in collaboration with Israel Hayom, has launched a project to collect personal diaries from the time of the establishment of the state for the purpose of depositing them in its collections for the benefit of future generations. The Library seeks to be a repository for the personal diaries of the men and women of the nation’s founding generation with the aim of creating a unique historical collection.

How do we bring this about?

First fill out the form below, and we will contact you to complete the process.

We hope that you will entrust us with the personal diaries in your possession. We believe that this is the best way to preserve them, but if you prefer, we also welcome the deposit of a digital copy. There is also a possibility to deposit a diary under limited conditions, for example if you wish that a diary remain sealed and confidential for several years – we can facilitate that as well. After all, our work is for posterity...


Become a part of this special project!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you also accept letters as part of the project?

No. The project is dedicated to personal diaries. The goal is to create a large collection of diverse personal diaries from all parts of society from the years of the state’s founding.

How can a diary be delivered?

You can deposit the original diary or send us a scanned copy.

Please fill in your preferences in the form and we will contact you regarding how to deliver the diary.

Can you come to me to pick up the diary?

If you choose to deposit the original diary, it must be deposited in the National Library of Israel building, on the Givat Ram campus in Jerusalem.

In some cases, we may indeed come to collect the diary, depending on our ability and the number of requests we receive. Even if we cannot come right away, we will contact you and find the best and safest way to transfer the diary to the Library.

How soon will I receive a response to my request to deposit the diary?

In the first phase of the project’s launch, we will examine the volume of deposit requests and our response will depend on the number of requests we receive. Library staff will make an effort to contact each and every depositor as quickly as possible.

What will you do with my diary?

First, your diary will be added to the collection of personal diaries at the National Library of Israel. This is a great honor and the best way to guarantee its perpetuity.

The diary will be cataloged and it will appear as an archival item in the National Library of Israel's collections. The basic catalog entry will include the name of the diary owner, the years it covers, the main topics and events that appear in it, and more. This will ensure that your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be able to find it in the future at the National Library of Israel.

Beyond that, the terms of access depend on you, in accordance with the permission you grant to scan the diary and the conditions you allow for viewing it. Fill in the details in the form and we will get back to you to arrange the deposit terms.

Will the diary be scanned? (I have deposited the original diary)

We intend to digitally scan some of the diaries, but we cannot promise we will scan all of them. Some of our considerations in regards to scanning diaries are the ability to make the diaries accessible and available, as well as the initial consent from the depositors, of course. It is quite possible that we will also scan diaries that we cannot make available online, for preservation purposes only. This will depend on the amount of deposits we receive.

It is important to say that the diaries will be accessible and easy to locate through the Library catalog even without scanning, with the help of the catalog listing. Even if today your family members show little interest, it is possible that one of your descendants will discover the diary and show interest in it sometime in the future.

Will the diary be translated or transcribed?

The Library does not translate or transcribe its materials. We offer preservation, cataloging, exposure and accessibility. It is possible that as a result of these efforts there will be someone who will take up the challenge in the future and translate or transcribe the diary.

What's in it for me?

Your relative’s diary will be part of the national collection, and will be preserved for future generations, for your family and others who are interested in understanding the history of the period.

Will my diary be published in Israel Hayom?

This project stands on its own, regardless of the publication of materials in Israel Hayom. A small selection of the diaries will be published in Israel Hayom, which will be covering the project leading up to Independence Day.

Of course, if we publish your diary in the newspaper, we will be in touch with you in this regard.