About the Library
The Personal Archives in the Archives Department of The National Library of Israel
From its earliest days The National Library of Israel
absorbed, in addition to various types of printed works, other
collections including personal archives. For many years the Library was the
only institution in the country to collect such archives. The first
substantial archive it received was that of Ahad Ha’am, which he
bequeathed to the Library after his death in 1927.
The following list contains some 400 personal archives, chiefly of
Jewish figures who were active and influential in a variety of spheres:
Zionist leaders, rabbis, scientists, philosophers, writers and poets,
journalists and critics, musicians and others.
The archives vary in size – ranging from a small file of documents and
letters to dozens of meters of material housed in archival containers.
New material, both original and secondary continues to be added to
existing holdings. In some cases, such as those of Martin Buber, Albert
Einstein, S.Y. Agnon and Else Lasker-Schüler the archives include also
The contents of the majority of the archives are listed, but the
descriptions are not uniform due to the different periods in which the
material arrived and was sorted. Some archives have yet to be listed,
but a detailed card catalogue is maintained and constantly updated for
all those that are currently received from living personalities such as
Haim Guri or A.B. Yehoshua, or for those for which we continue to
collect and add material. The search for suitable software for the
computerization of the archives is now underway.
The intensive use of this material by researchers, students and readers
from within Israel and from all over the world testifies to its
accessibility. The publication of this list of names with brief
accompanying details will undoubtedly increase general awareness of the
existence of this unique material at the Library.
For list of archives by names (A-Z) click here
For list of archives by names in Hebrew (à-ú) click here
For detailed listing of the archives click here