MAJOR GIFT FROM MANDEL FOUNDATION FOR LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

January 25, 2015

We are thrilled, grateful and honored to tell you that an exemplary and generous gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio, to the Israel Antiquities Authority will establish the Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel and the Mandel National Archaeological Archives in the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, currently under construction on Museum Hill in Jerusalem.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel, located in the Dan David Archaeology Building, will house nearly 150,000 volumes, including 500 rare books, and over 1,000 periodicals. The adjacent Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel National Archaeological Archives will contain the Israel Antiquities Authority Archive, the British Mandatory Archive as well as maps, permits, plans and publications of excavations from the Mandatory period through today, serving researchers and the public.The Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel and Mandel Archives will be the largest of their kind in the Middle East and serve as a premiere research center for the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel.

The Library in the Campus

Occupying nearly the entire second floor and the southern wing of the first floor of the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel the library will be surrounded by glass walls providing wonderful views the courtyard in the center of the campus and the rooftop archaeological garden. The Fawer reading hall will be two stories high and will be viewed from the main entrance to the building. It will afford direct views of the exhibition gallery located immediately below.

The design plan for the library calls for a combination of open access and closed book compactors, 64 reader spaces in the reading hall, seating areas on the first and second floors, and a number of study cubicles. In its new, accessible home, and light filled space, the Mandel Library for the Archaeology of Israel will be used extensively by students from all the universities in Israel, Israeli and visiting foreign archaeologists and researchers working in the country, school children and the general public. It will be a spectacular asset for anyone interested in the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel, and will forever change the level and quality of archaeological education and research in Israel. The Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel is open to the public, is fully computerized and is integrated into the Aleph System, making its resources available to any library in the world connected to the system. Recently, more than 80,000 articles on the archaeology of Ancient Israel were added to the Library’s database.

The National Library for the Archaeology of Israel is a dynamic library growing at a rate of some 1500 volumes a year from both acquisitions and gifts.  The acquisition budget is provided by the Israeli Government according to the Law of Antiquities, and gifts of books and collections are accepted if they fit the library’s holdings.  In certain instances, books on subject matters relating to specific archaeological topics but not directly related to the aforementioned subjects are purchased, as in the case of recent purchases of German books dealing with Roman Army Camps in the 3rdCentury CE, or books relating to Islamic material and the Hellenistic period.

The National Library for the Archaeology of Israel has an exchange program with some 200 libraries and institutions around the world.  In addition, there are 20 satellite libraries throughout the country where duplicate titles of volumes are kept for easy reference by field archaeologists and researchers. One of the reasons for the satellite libraries is to provide immediate access to researchers and archaeologists in places that are far from Jerusalem. There are several thousand volumes in the satellite libraries.

The National Archaeological Archives

The archives will contain the Israel Antiquities Authority Archive, the British Mandatory Archive as well as maps, permits, plans and publications of excavationsfrom the Mandatory Period through today, serving researchers and the public. 

Morton L. Mandel, Foundation chairman and CEO said: "We welcome the opportunity tosupport the Israel Antiquities Authority in its mission to excavate, research, conserve and educate the public about the archaeological and historical heritage of the Land of Israel spanning the past 10,000 years." Mr. Mandel added: "We hope the Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel and the Mandel Archives will serve as a source of inspiration and learning for the public at large and for today's leaders as they explore the past of the Land of Israel."

According to Shuka Dorfman, director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority: "We see the Mandel National Library for the Archaeology of Israel and Mandel Archives as a unique magnet and beacon for archeological, historical and Israel studies - a center of learning, research and knowledge. The Campus is the largest and most important project to be established in Jerusalem this decade. Through its generosity, the Mandel Foundation has helped preserve and make more accessible archaeology and the cultural heritage of the Land of Israel."

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