Page 269 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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Following the transfer of CZA to Jerusalem, it attracted and
sought additional collections which it found increasingly diffi­
cult to store due to limited and inadequate physical facilities.
The basement o f the JA building housed most of the books,
newspapers and collections o f private archives. The bulk of the
holdings were stored in eight other depositories in different
neighborhoods of Jerusalem making access to them time-
In 1987, CZA moved to a new and modern six-story building
with floor space o f 5,400 square meters. Planned by architect
Moshe Zarhi in consultation with archivists, it is the first of its
kind in Israel, specifically designed to accommodate historical
archives. Four floors are underground where the archival ma­
terial is kept under temperature and humidity control to pre­
vent deterioration. Further protection is provided by an alarm
system, automatic sprinklers, fire resistant doors and smoke de­
tectors. There is also a disinfection room where new material
is first processed. As necessary, restoration is made of records,
which due to previous storage conditions, poor quality of paper
or frequent usage are subject to deterioration.
Two floors o f the building are allotted to the administrative
and professional work required to maintain the archives, includ­
ing listing and cataloguing and restoration. Two main cata­
logues — cross reference to the holdings and a biographical
catalogue — are available. A separate vault room is provided
for the priceless Theodor Herzl archives. The ground floor con­
sists o f a spacious lobby for exhibitions, an ample reading room
with cubicles for microfilm reading where researchers can work
in quiet and comfortable surroundings and a lecture hall seating
50 persons.
Most valuable of CZA holdings is the archival section. It con­
tains many thousands of files, including valuable and irreplace­
able documents, original source materials, memoirs and organ­
izational records that cover all facets of the history of Eretz
Israel, the State and Zionism since the mid-19th century. Price­
less documents o f the pre-Herzlian and the Herzlian periods
are found in the vaults o f CZA.