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Bibliotheca Alexandrina

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Introduction to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, also known as the Library of Alexandria, is a modern library and cultural center located in Alexandria, Egypt. It was inaugurated in 2002 and serves as a commemoration of the original Library of Alexandria, which was once one of the largest libraries in the world but was lost in antiquity [1]. The idea of reviving the ancient library was first proposed in 1972 by Mostafa El-Abbadi, a professor at Alexandria University [2]. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina encapsulates the original library's ethos, and it is a place of knowledge that serves the minds and imaginations of Egypt's students [3][4].

The Great Library of Alexandria, established by Ptolemy I in 305-285 BC, was the most important center of learning in ancient times [5]. The idea behind the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina was to create a center of learning and culture that would rival its ancient predecessor. The new library is built on a magnificent site alongside Alexandria's ancient harbor in the historic center of the city [6]. The design of the new library is a reflection of the ancient library's grandeur and importance, and it is a symbol of Egypt's rich cultural heritage [7][8].

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina's striking contemporary design features a circular, tilting form that spans 160 meters in diameter [9]. The library's design was created by Snøhetta, one of the most noted architectural practices in the world [8]. The library's design and architecture are a testament to the importance of knowledge and culture, and it serves as a beacon of hope for future generations of Egyptians and people around the world [4]. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is not just a library, but it is also a cultural center that hosts exhibitions, lectures, and performances, making it a vital part of Alexandria's cultural scene [3].

The Library's Collections and Services

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is a renowned library that boasts an extensive collection of materials from a wide range of subjects. The library's collection includes books, periodicals, manuscripts, and multimedia materials, covering topics from the arts to zoology [10]. The collections were donated from all over the world, with some documents detailing the Spanish period of Moorish rule [1]. The library's focus is on education, library science, the history of writing and scripts, as well as the history of Alexandria [11]. The library opened in 2002 with only 500,000 items, but it has since grown to house over eight million volumes on seven cascading levels [12][2].

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina also has several special collections and archives, including a Rare Books section with over 15,000 rare books, maps, and other special collections [13]. The Antiquities Museum collection holds approximately 1,316 artifacts, providing a glimpse into Egyptian history from the Pharaonic era to the conquest of Alexander the Great [1]. The library also has multimedia materials, depository documents, university theses and dissertations, and other unique or rare materials [10]. Additionally, the Local History/Special Collections section is located inside the Barrett Branch Library, which contains materials related to the history of Alexandria and Northern Virginia [14].

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina offers a variety of services and programs to its visitors. The library has extended opening hours, with the main library open from Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 am –7:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00 am –2:00 pm [15]. The library also provides visitors with the Alexandria Community Web Archives, which contains digital materials that document the history of Alexandria [16]. Furthermore, the library automation software, Alexandria Library Automation Software, is customized to fit the unique needs of its users [17]. Overall, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina offers a vast collection of materials and services to its visitors, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and education.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina's Impact and Significance

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, located in Alexandria, Egypt, has made significant contributions to research and scholarship. The library's collections were donated from all over the world, with documents detailing the period of Moorish rule in Spain being among the many contributions [1]. The library aims to serve scholars and researchers interested in the study of the ancient library of Alexandria and Alexandrian scholarship [18]. It has become a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge, offering a place for dialogue, learning, and research [11]. As a result, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has become an essential resource for scholars and researchers worldwide.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has had a significant cultural and educational impact since its opening in 2002. The library's construction aimed to recapture the ancient glories of Alexandria and provide a new home for the world's knowledge [19]. It has become a symbol of cultural revival in Egypt, hosting an annual average of 1500 cultural and scientific events, including book fairs and art exhibitions [6] [20]. The library has become a hub for the local community, offering resources for students and researchers, as well as promoting the future development of Alexandria [21]. The library's impact extends beyond Egypt, with its resources and events attracting scholars and researchers from around the world.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has plans for future developments, including new projects and continued cultural and scientific events. The library's design employs the most up-to-date engineering solutions and includes one of the world's most distinguished foundation and structural designs [7]. The library's current storage capacity is 1.5 million volumes, with plans for expansion in the future [4]. The library's mission to preserve the past and promote the future development of Alexandria continues to guide its growth and expansion [22] [23]. As a result, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina will continue to play a vital role in the cultural and educational development of Alexandria and the world.

References

1. Bibliotheca Alexandrina. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliotheca_Alexandrina
2.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina | History & Facts. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.britannica.com
3.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina: A Look at Egypt's Modern Library. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.masterclass.com/articles/bibliotheca-alexandrina
4.
Past And Present: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from theculturetrip.com
5.
Alexandria Library Egypt | Bibliotheca Alexandria History. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.memphistours.com
6.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.snohetta.com/projects/bibliotheca-alexandrina
7.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina | Snøhetta. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from archello.com/project/bibliotheca-alexandrina
8.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina by Snøhetta: Library with a View. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.re-thinkingthefuture.com
9.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria Library. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.e-architect.com/egypt/alexandria-library
10.
Collection Overview - Organization - About the BA Libraries. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.bibalex.org/libraries/presentation/static/15120.aspx
11.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) | UIL. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from uil.unesco.org/partner/library/bibliotheca-alexandrina-egypt
12.
Libraries & Special Collections: The Library of Alexandria. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from blog.bookstellyouwhy.com
13.
Rare Books Section. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.alexandrina.org
14.
Local History/Special Collections - Alexandria Library. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from alexlibraryva.org/lhsc
15.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Library Sector > Home. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.bibalex.org/libraries/
16.
Alexandria Library launches new archive to document the .... (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.alxnow.com
17.
Alexandria Library Software: Ready to Have Your Library Your .... (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.goalexandria.com/
18.
The Alexandria Project. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.bibalex.org/en/Project/Details?DocumentID=189&Keywords=
19.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The World Academy of .... (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.nap.edu/read/18356/chapter/12
20.
Projects & Activities. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.bibalex.org/project/index
21.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Home. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from www.bibalex.org/
22.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000081714
23.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina--Reviving a Legacy of the Past ... - ERIC. (n.d.) Retrieved June 26, 2023, from eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ434688

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