Page 64 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
books which permits the reader to browse. Though common in
America, this system is almost unknown in Israel. Another in­
novation is the Juvenile Room, also a standard fixture in American
libraries.
The U. S. Library also administers tests and examinations in
English on behalf of American universities, government agencies
and other institutions. Hundreds of Israelis avail themselves each
year of this service, which like everything else at the Library, is
free — another innovation in Israel.
An even larger collection, numbering about 14,000 books, is to
be found in the library of the British Council in Tel Aviv. 20,000
additional volumes belonging to the Council are on long term loan
to the Hebrew University. The library is designed to serve readers
interested in British literature, and the criterion for the inclusion
of books is that they be written by British authors or deal with
British subjects. The library also serves as a center for the
extensive network of courses and other educational activity main­
tained by the British Council in Israel.
A similar though smaller library is operated by the French
Embassy in the field of French literature. The recent enormous
growth of interest in France on the part of Israelis has brought
about an expansion of the French Culture Library, as well as the
opening of branches outside Tel Aviv.
S
p e c i a l
L
i b r a r i e s
There are numerous other libraries which do not readily fall
into any of the categories described above, and some of the more
important are mentioned here.
A highly specialized collection is that contained in the Zionist
Central Archives. Moved to Palestine from Berlin in 1933, it has
over 35,000 books and pamphlets on the history of Zionism and
Palestine. But its most important feature is the historical archives
section which houses over 200,000 files, and scores of thousands of
individual documents on all phases of Zionist history. This has
become the official repository of the files of the Zionist movement,
and an energetic acquisitions program has brought to its vaults
priceless manuscripts of World War I, and of the Herzlian and the
pre-Herzlian periods.
It continues to grow rapidly, and will shortly require much
more space than it now occupies in the basement of the Jewish
Agency building in Jerusalem. No less than 1300 newspapers and
bulletins a year are received here.