All day, every day, National Library of Israel librarians connect with Library users, as they field questions and requests from every corner of the globe.

Image: Golda Meir shakes hands with Moshe Dayan, The Dan Hadani Archive, Pritzker Family National Photography Collection. Photo: Shalom Bar Tal. Israel, 1969.

Upgrading and streamlining of library processes over the past few years has made the National Library considerably more efficient and user-friendly than ever before.  A main goal has been to move the focus points of service to where the customers are, by developing options for remote access to reference services and resources.

In 2012 the National Library began to offer reference services via online chat and in 2015 via WhatsApp; in 2016 the Library launched a new service for requesting periodicals on-line.

The National Library is also increasingly focused on developing a broad range of partnerships and programs throughout the world, several of which are presented below.  Such programs foster engagement with our extensive collections and highlight our evolution as a leading global cultural and educational center. We partner with libraries, archives, museums, communities, schools, and other institutions in Israel and internationally. Large-scale digitization efforts are expanding access to materials and connecting people to National Library of Israel projects, programs, and treasures, wherever they may be.


The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts

The official launch of the Ktiv website took place at the opening of the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in August 2017.

Ktiv is a groundbreaking initiative to digitally preserve and make accessible the complete corpus of Hebrew letter manuscripts around the globe, in cooperation with leading partners including the British Library, Biblioteca Palatina Parma, the Vatican, the Russian State Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, JTS, and many more.

Over 78,000 manuscripts (over 9 million images!) from 578 collections are already accessible on the Ktiv website that features state-of-the-art technologies and exquisitely high-quality images.

Ktiv is a joint venture of the National Library of Israel and the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society, with the support of the Israel Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage’s Landmarks Project.



The Historical Jewish Press Project

Spanning two-and-a-half centuries, fifteen languages, and some 20 countries (thus far), the JPRESS platform serves as a digital gateway to Jewish newspapers and journals across continents and generations and now provides access to over 365 titles, 264,000 issues, and nearly 3,000,000 scanned pages from periodicals, viewable in their original layout and fully searchable. The site receives tens of thousands of monthly visits. The JPRESS project was undertaken in partnership with Tel Aviv University with the generous support of project sponsors, and is a collaboration with institutions including the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) Library, the Harvard University Library, the National Library of Poland, NYU, the New York Public Library, and others.


Gesher L’Europa

A Bridge to Europe from the National Library of Israel

Gesher L'Europa is an initiative of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe and a key element in the National Library’s journey of renewal that aims to make our treasures open and available to diverse audiences, both in Israel and around the globe, and to encourage engagement with NLI collections in new and meaningful ways.  

Gesher strives to position the Library as a virtual and physical hub for international exchange between Israel and Europe, bringing together people with shared interests in Jewish heritage, culture, and education.  

Through Gesher, the NLI collaborates with museums, archives, educators, and community professionals, and takes part in festivals and institutions promoting Jewish culture and studies across Europe.

Gesher L'Europa makes Library content and expertise accessible in tangible and practical ways through knowledge sharing, professional training, community engagement, and digital services.