Israel - Libraries and museums

Israel's largest library, founded in 1924, is the privately endowed Jewish National and University Library at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, with three million volumes. Important collections are housed in the Central Zionist Archives and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, both also in Jerusalem. There are more than 950 other libraries, and the Ministry of Education and Culture has provided basic libraries to hundreds of rural settlements. The Ben Gurion University of the Negev (1966) holds 720,000 volumes. Tel Aviv University holds two million volumes, including a Holocaust Studies collection.

The country's most important museum is the Israel Museum, opened in 1965 in Jerusalem. Found in the museum are the Bezalel Art Museum, with its large collection of Jewish folk art; a Jewish antiquities exhibit; the Billy Rose Art Garden of modern sculpture; the Samuel Bronfman Biblical and Archaeological Museum; and the Shrine of the Book, containing the Dead Sea Scrolls and other valuable manuscripts. The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum (formerly the Palestine Museum), built in 1938, contains a rich collection of archaeological material illustrating the prehistory and early history of Palestine and Transjordan. There is also in Jerusalem the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, containing documents from Jewish communities and organizations around the globe. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, founded in 1926, has more than 30,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Among Israel's newer cultural institutions are the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv– Yafo, founded in 1978; the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, founded in 1992; the Museum of Israeli Art in Ramat Gan, founded in 1987; and the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, founded in 1989.

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