Grand-scale digitization efforts and digital access projects are expanding access to National Library collections, programs, and treasures to people across the globe.

Image: Royal garden scene from the opening page of Gift of the Noble. Nur al-Din Jami. Persia, 1484.

In 2015 the National Library established an entirely new department: Digital Access. Our ever-expanding “Digital” team focuses on encouraging engagement with the Library, its programs, and its collections through social media outlets, creating user-friendly digital interfaces, and building and growing digital initiatives such as content-driven websites that open access as never before to National Library projects and resources.

Daily updates on the National Library of Israel, via Twitter, Instagram, and English, Hebrew, and Arabic NLI Facebook pages, and regular newsletters, website announcements, and blog posts, bring to light stories related  to Library treasures and Jewish and Israeli culture and history.

NLI Digital Channels

How popular has the National Library website become?

There has been an overall increase of more than 98% in the average number of monthly visitors to the National Library of Israel website since the establishment of the Digital Access Division.  With so much to learn and see, online visitors flock to

How do online users find our website?

More and more online users are finding NLI digital source materials on their own.  Organic (or direct) searches for specific content related to NLI subjects have increased steadily over the last several years.

In 2016, more than half (52%) of the NLI website users had typed in the website address to reach us. In a complete turnabout, in 2019, because of the efforts of the NLI digital access team, 59% of online users reached the Library website via organic searches for content in Google.

Digital Projects and Programs

Innovative digitization and digital access projects are expanding exposure and access to National Library collections and initiatives worldwide. These are just a few examples:


Arabic Newspaper Archive of Ottomon and Mandatory Palestine

Jrayed, the world’s largest and most user friendly digital collection of Arabic-language newspapers from Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine (1908-1948), includes 106 distinct titles. The trilingual website to date features more than 170,000 pages of high-resolution images searchable by title, author, year, and location – and is still growing. In parallel, the Jrayed Facebook page (to date) has 26,000 followers from throughout the world. The project hosted its first conference in December 2017, drawing academics, students and journalists.



Israeli Music Just for you

In February 2019, NLI launched Shiri, a digital music app that brings the Israeli music collection of the National Library (currently some 70,000 songs!) to your fingertips, and ears, free of charge. In its first two months, Shiri clocked over 200,000 downloads and more than 6 million song-plays of Israeli music of all genres. Shiri was made possible through a cooperative effort with Israeli artists and musicians, under the leadership of Ariel Horowitz, and with the backing of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport, which also sponsored and spearheaded a major promotional ad campaign.


The Pinkasim Collection

The International Repository of Communal Ledgers

NLI's digital Pinkasim Collection assembles and presents NLI’s collection of Jewish European community pinkasim. These ledgers, in which Jewish community leaders documented how Jewish society organized its social, economic, religious, cultural, and family life, as well as aspects of its relations with non-Jewish governments and bodies, are amongst the most important sources of information for understanding Jewish autonomy in the early days of the modern era.

The site currently presents over 200 pinkasim from the collections of the National Library and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People and is being expanded with the integration of pinkasim from collections outside of the Library. This project is undertaken in partnership with the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (DI), with support from the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe.


Google Partnerships

Google is partnering with the National Library to digitize 120,000 books from the NLI collection over an estimated period of two years, significantly increasing the total number of Hebrew titles in Google Books and digitized books in the NLI catalog; and the National Library was the first Israeli organization selected to participate in Google Arts and Culture's "Once Upon a Try" interactive online exhibitions initiative.



The National Library digital team creates and manages specialized public Facebook groups to promote community-building, Library exposure, and a dynamic exchange of ideas and information.

Examples include: "The Back Story" (stories behind pictures, songs, items, etc.), "Heroines," "The Secrets of Hebrew Manuscripts," "Learning with the National Library of Israel," and “Life before the Holocaust” (in English, targeting a European audience).

Thousands of members and followers in Israel and around the world are actively engaged in these groups. Facebook has also partnered with NLI to sponsor an initiative – initially, in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday - in which photographs and other treasures from the Library’s collections are posted to Facebook in creative ways, bringing the items and the Library extensive public exposure.