Page 72 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 36

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
6 4
linguists through its multitudinous and variegated population,
through the experiments it conducts for soil improvement,
population integration, etc.
Just as the term ination of the British Mandate over the Holy
Land dictated a complete and systematic collation and in-
gathering of publications of the Mandatory Power during a
period covering nearly three decades, the establishment of the
State of Israel called for an expanded program to ensure receipt
of its numerous and significant imprints. Much time and effort
were also devoted to obtaining works on the Bible and Biblical
exegesis, and Hittite, Hurrian, Sumerian, and Hamito-Semitic
studies which appeared during the war years bu t were not
commonly known or accessible. Above all, the official requests
from the Congress and various government agencies helped us
gain an appreciation of the demands to be exerted upon us
and the requirements we would be called upon to meet. This
became especially clear when it was realized tha t of all great
Hebraic collections in this country, the Library’s responsibilities
would dictate that special emphasis be placed on the politico-
historical, economic and sociological aspects of our area, as
well as on its purely literary and scholarly manifestations.
A program was initiated and set into motion to assure coverage
of all important official Israel Government issuances such as
Divrei Haknesset (Records of the Knesset), laws of the State
of Israel, patent law, judgements of the Supreme Court of
Israel, publications pertaining to conventions and agreements
concluded with other countries; designs and trade marks; works
on cooperation with developing countries, on customs and
excise taxes, on Israel missions abroad, on Arab refugee issues;
National Council of Research and Development, the Bank of
Israel, El-Al Airlines, the State Comptroller’s Office, and Israel’s
Port Authority.
Another facet which early attracted our attention was the
rapid development of the Hebrew language, and its adaptabil-
ity to the requirements of a modern society. We lost no time
in assembling the tools required to assist research agencies,
scholars, observers and political analysts who had hitherto
depended exclusively on the mandatory government publications
in English, bu t now experienced difficulties digesting the mass