Like many projects in the new Jewish state, “the National Library had modest beginnings, but a soaring vision,” said Lord Rothschild, head of Yad Hanadiv, a charitable foundation in Israel that has contributed untold millions to further the country’s academic, cultural and physical well being, at an inauguration ceremony held Sunday night, March 27, 2011.
The $200 million dollar project will encompass a brand new building across from the Knesset and Israel Museum, and the gargantuan digitization of thousands of books, which will then be made available to scholars all over the world. The present, unique collection includes rare manuscripts handwritten by Maimonides, as well as rare maps, photographs, and Jewish literature from all over the world.
The project is slated for completion in 2016. It is hoped that the library’s expansion will open its collection to ten million online visitors a year. “We are guarding here the magnificent treasures from the birth of our nation and of all of humanity,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu, adding that expanding the accessibility of the library’s materials through new technology would not only allow the country to protect its traditions but to also share them with the world at large.
From the Jerusalem Post