The State of Israel emerged from the written word. From ancient texts to the evolving language used by the first pioneers, a national identity was forged through the renewal of the Hebrew language. In this spirit, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has committed itself to creating comprehensive research archives for the “First Israelis"– the authors, poets and playwrights who began to write after the establishment of the State and whose works reflect the historical and cultural currents that shaped Israel's development.
About the Hebrew Literature Archives
Heksherim – the Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture – is leading the way, building a broad-based collection of archival materials. The growing archives already include the works of internationally renowned authors such as Amos Oz, Aharon Appelfeld, Yehuda Amichai, Ruth Almog, David Avidan, Yocheved Bat-Miriam, David Schutz and Nissim Aloni.
The archives aim to preserve the original and collateral materials of multiple writers "in context" while providing an atmosphere conducive to research. The rich and varied collection offers visitors rare access to an entire generation of Israeli writers, providing a glimpse into their creative processes.Amongst the tens of thousands of articles housed in the archives, one can find a wide range of materials, from Aharon Appelfeld's original manuscripts to David Avidan's typewriter and translations of Amos Oz's books into dozens of languages, including Korean and Finnish. The archives include editions of the books in all the languages into which they have been translated; research papers and articles pertaining to the authors and their works; articles and interviews in newspapers, on television and radio in various languages; photographs and films; diverse correspondence; original manuscripts preserved under appropriate conditions of heat and humidity; and items worthy of display. Some of the material is still in the process of being collected, classified and catalogued.
The archives are open to researchers, students and the general public in its new and spacious premises in the Helen Diller Family Center, situated on Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Marcus Family Campus. There are computer terminals for visitors, comfortable work areas, and a friendly staff that includes professional librarians, students and volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise to organizing the material. Other projects include the annotated bibliographies of the writers (so far, the bibliographies of Amos Oz and Aharon Appelfeld) and documenting the lives of prominent Israeli poets and writers in film.