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LEGAL DEPOSIT DEPARTMENT – Israeli Book Statistics for 2009

New Titles and Current Periodicals
Hebrew and Other Languages
Children Books and Text Books
Type of Publishing
Israeli Publishers
History of Israeli publishing
Statistics from previous years

The National Library of Israel is responsible for the preservation of Israel’s cultural assets for future generations, for researchers and scholars, and for the general public. To this end, the “Book Act” was passed, obligating anyone publishing a work in Israel to deposit two copies at the National Library of Israel.
The majority of Israeli publishers comply with the law and thus participate in the creation of the largest and most comprehensive collection of Israeli publication in the world.

New titles and current periodicals

During 2009, 7,148 new Israeli titles were registered by the Legal Deposit Department of the National Library: 6,326 books, 500 new periodicals, and 322 non-print titles, such as CDs and cassettes. In addition, 16,306 issues of current periodicals and newspapers were received in the National Library of Israel. Although not covered by Legal Deposit, the Library also received 963 masters’ theses and 1,162 doctoral theses. The library's catalogue is the most comprehensive in Israel, and includes the vast majority of the titles published in Israel.

Hebrew and Other Languages

Most of the books published in Israel are in Hebrew: 5,582 titles. The next common languages are English: 356 titles and Russian: 179 titles. This year 169 new Arabic titles were recorded. 14 French titles were published in Israel during last year, 3 in Spanish, 3 in German and 6 in Romanian. 14 publications in various Jewish languages were received: 13 in Yiddish and one in Judeo-Tajikic (the language of Bukharan Jewry). A few books were published in other languages, such as Dutch, Polish and Italian.

Most of the Hebrew books, about 87%, were originally written in Hebrew, and about 13% were translated into Hebrew.


Books by Subjects

During 2009 about 525 books for children and youth were deposited in the library – almost 8% of the total number of books received. In addition, 149 textbooks were deposited – about 2.3% of the total number of books received. No less than 37 cookbooks were deposited. In addition 15 Israel travel guides were deposited, 121 books about the history of cities and the Yishuv, 225 biographies of Jews, 83 titles about the Israeli-Arab conflict, 155 books dealing with different aspects of the Holocaust and 234 titles concerning art (including exhibition catalogues).

Type of Publishing

52% of the books were published by commercial publishing houses.
5% of the books were published by the government or governmental institutions.
5% of the books were published by educational institutions – universities, colleges and schools.
17% of the books were published by associations, foundations, museums, community centers and other organizations.
21% of the books were self-published by authors.


The orthodox and ultra-orthodox sector was responsible for 33% of the total titles that were published in Israel in 2009.

Israeli Publishers

The National Library's Legal Deposit Department maintains an extensive listing of Israeli publishers, including many minor publishers who issue only a few books a year. The information includes address, telephone, and fax number of each publisher. The database contains 1,527 active publishers and organizations, which engage in publishing. 980 are commercial publishing houses, and 539 are non-commercial. 496 publishers published for the orthodox sector and 8 for non-Jewish religious communities.

English was the main language for 38 publishers, while 317 publishers published in English as well as Hebrew. 21 publishers published mainly in Russian, and 51 publishers published in Russian besides Hebrew. 24 publishers published mainly in Arabic, and 39 published in Arabic in addition to Hebrew or other languages.

History of Israeli publishing

During the last year the National Library of Israel has added to its database of Israeli publishers, information on 25 publishers from the earliest days of Zionist history. So far some 161 publishers, who have ceased to be active, have been listed and documented. The database is a rich source of information on the history of publishing in Israel. Its importance derives not only from the national and historic perspective, but also from its practical value. It maps the copyright of works that appeared in the Land of Israel and makes it possible to locate copyright holders and heirs to publishers no longer in existence (
For example:

Statistics from previous years

To 2008's statistics

To 2007's statistics

To 2006's statistics

To 2005's statistics

To 2004's statistics

To 2003's statistics

Previous years (Hebrew)

Statistics and editing: Dr. Noa Fink-Shamit

To Legal Deposit Department

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