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Infrastructure Information Systems,
Ben-Gurion Research Institute

Located at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, the Ben-Gurion Archives is one of the leading archives in Israel as a southern branch of the Israel State Archives. Since its establishment upon the Knesset passing the David Ben-Gurion Law (1976), the Archives has collected and compiled more than 5 million items that reflect the history of Eretz Israel from 1900 to 1973. Frequently visited by researchers and students from all over the world, the Archives pioneered in digitizing historical records and provides valuable and much-appreciated archival documents at the center of Sde Boker, Israel.  

   

The rich collections of the Ben-Gurion Archives range from history and social science to science and technology. Researchers can find Ben-Gurion's diaries, protocols, minutes of meetings, memoranda, correspondences, photographs, media reports (newspaper clippings), and historical records regarding the main organizations in the Yishuv and Israel in the early years. The entire diaries of David Ben-Gurion and other documents have been digitized and become available online. Other personal records include: diaries of Moshe Sharett, Chaim Arlozoroff and Reuven Zaslani (Shiloah) among others. Committed to Ben-Gurion's vision of a flourishing Israeli science and entrepreneurships, the Ben-Gurion Archives has extended its collection to sciences as well. Documents from leading Israeli scientists – including Professor Roberto Baki the first head of the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) – are also stored in the Ben-Gurion Archives to assist researchers and students.

 

Collections from various Jewish organizations are the unique feature in the Ben-Gurion Archives for concerning both Israel and outside Israel. The Archives possesses documents from various departments of the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Executive Council, Mapai (Israel Workers' Party), the Histadrut (Trade Union) and the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). Documents of Jewish organizations outside Israel include the Bund (The General Jewish Workers' Union), the “Joint" (American Joint Distribution Committee [JDC]), YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa). Furthermore, a rich collection of audio-visual resources has recently been digitized and indexed, containing personal interviews, documentary films and movies about Ben-Gurion, Zionism, and the state of Israel. The Archives also facilitates an enhanced understanding of the state of Israel in the world; documents from the British Public Record Office (PRO) and the United States National Archives are also available at the Ben-Gurion Archives. Other documents in regards to international relations and Israel's diplomacy deal with Israel-Poland, Israel-USSR, and Israel-France relations. The Archives has currently received 45 boxes of historical documents regarding Israel-Germany relation.

 

New collections are added to the Ben-Gurion Archives every year. The most recent achievement of the Archives is the Shabtai Tevent collection. Tevent was David Ben-Gurion's biographer, and as a prominent journalist and independent scholar, he collected over 2,000 files of primary sources that shed light on multiple aspects of Israeli history and generously donated his collections to the Ben-Gurion Archives. In addition, the Archives staff are working on several other collections to build an anthology of American Zionism (Hillel Kook Collection, Abba Hillel Silver Archives, American Jewish Committee [AJC], Rose Jacobs, American Jewish Historical Archives, and American Zionist Archives).

 

To facilitate the knowledge of Israeli society and to assist leading scholars on the Israeli history, the Archives staffs are working diligently to collect and preserve valuable historical collections. Vibrant and thriving, the Ben-Gurion Archives welcomes feedbacks and visits of scholars and students from all over the world.