The National Library of Israel (NLI)

Identity area



Authorized form of name

The National Library of Israel (NLI)

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • International

Contact area



Street address

Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram POB 39105




Название страны

Почтовый индекс






Description area


In 1892, B'nai B'rith opened the Midrash Abarbanel Library in Jerusalem, with a mandate to collect "the treasures of Jewish literature." The city’s first free public library, it quickly became a cultural center of the yishuv, and when Zionist physician Dr. Joseph Chasanowich transferred his collection of 10,000 volumes from Bialystok to Jerusalem in 1895, Midrash Abarbanel became a sizeable library. With the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1925, the library was moved to the Mount Scopus campus, was officially renamed "The Jewish National and University Library" (JNUL), and the scope of its mission and collections was greatly expanded.

During Israel's War of Independence in 1947-48, when access to Mount Scopus was cut off from West Jerusalem, the JNUL collection was smuggled out and dispersed among several buildings in the city but retained its status as the central national collection. In 1953, the Knesset enacted the "Legal Deposit Law," mandating that two copies of every publication in Israel be deposited in the Jewish National and University Library for posterity.

In November 1960, a new dedicated building opened for JNUL on the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as the Library's home for over 60 years.

The National Library Law was adopted by the Knesset in 2007, officially establishing "the National Library of Israel" – a change in name and orientation - and defining its purpose.

In 2010, the National Library embarked on a visionary journey of renewal, striving to become a vital center of scholarship, knowledge dissemination, cultural life, and creativity, serving Israel’s diverse communities and the Jewish people worldwide, and providing universal, open access to knowledge and heritage to audiences in Israel and across the globe.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



Publications and Printed Documents selected for the Archival City project:

Eran Laor Cortographic Collection:
Davar, issue of September 1st, 1927:

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

ISDIAH, 1st edition, 2008. Available online:

Date format: ISO 8601, 2nd edition, 2000.


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entry prepared in January 2022.




The history section contains complete passages from The National Library of Israel, « Our story », [Online], accessed in January 2022. URL :

Maintenance notes

Entry prepared by Archival City.

Точки доступа

Точки Доступа

  • Clipboard

Основной контакт

Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram POB 39105