Nissim Aloni (Tel Aviv 1926-1998)
Nissim Aloni was one of the most outstanding and original Israeli playwrights. His plays are notable for their visual richness, sharp social commentary and existentialism, and earned him widespread recognition both in Israel and abroad. The plays were staged in all the major theaters in Israel, reaching a wide audience, despite their complexity and innovative characters. Aloni was the recipient of the Israel Prize for Theater in 1996. In the archives are manuscripts, many translations, diaries and articles about his works.
The idea to have the archive began at the initiative of Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Mordechai from the Department of Hebrew Literature, but the first attempts to approach Nissim Aloni's brother, the retired judge Shaul Aloni z"l – were not fruitful and did not continue. On January 12th, 2005 Dr. Zehava Caspi organized a conference at BGU dedicated to the works of Nissim Aloni under the heading "Pain, Suffering, and Fireworks" – a study of the plays of Nissim Aloni." Shaul Aloni was invited to deliver a speech at the conference and to speak of their childhood in south Tel-Aviv. Due to illness he was unable to attend, but his contact with Dr. Caspi continued. They met a number of times and during their meetings the subject of moving the Aloni archive to BGU was mentioned many times, to which he responded positively. When Yitzhak Ben-Mordechai's book "Ladies and Gentleman and Ladies: Studies in the Plays of Nissim Aloni" was published, Dr. Caspi organized an evening to celebrate its publication and Shaul Aloni was again invited to participate, to make up for missing the conference. On the same successful evening, Shaul Aloni announced that his brother's archive would be moved to BGU. Since then, more time passed, during which Dr. Caspi and Shaul Aloni conducted a routine dialogue until the mission was completed. To our sorrow, Shaul Aloni has since passed away and did not see the archive established at BGU, but it is important for us to acknowledge his generous agreement to donate Nissim Aloni's archive.
Scope of the Collection
The archive contains the original manuscripts of plays, in various editions and printings (together with Nissim Aloni’s handwritten corrections), manuscripts of plays that Nissim Aloni translated, edited or directed, entertainment shows that Nissim Aloni wrote or directed, short stories, some of which have never been published, poems and lists. In addition, the archive contains all of the personal diaries, certificates and letters that Aloni received during his lifetime. The archive has a large amount of audiovisual material (plays that were filmed, films made from his work, and ones that were planned or made by him). The various documents are classified via subject and work. The archive also contains at everything that was written about Aloni over the years. The documents are divided into the following groups: Research and Criticism, Media Announcements, Interviews, Productions, Adaptations, and Translations. The archive offers a rare glimpse into the world of fantasy and legend that abounds in his works.