The Richard J. Scheuer Library Collection is the heart of the Albright Institute. It contains more than 35,000 volumes, including 450 journal titles relating to all aspects of ancient Near Eastern studies, with a concentration on Syro-Palestinian archaeology and Semitic languages and literature. There are also extensive map, microfiche, offprint and slide collections, as well as a cross-indexed catalogue for the 6,720 items in the Institute’s artifact collection. The Library card catalogue has been computerized and can be accessed through terminals in the main reading room, in the journal room, as well as through computer ports in the hostel. The main reading room of the library has sixteen carrels and the lower library, two.
Main Reading Room
Unique features of the library are:
- A comprehensive collection of archaeological reports going back to the late 19th century, including the valuable early Megiddo volumes frequently used by scholars and fellows.
- Early description and travel books of the Orient, most of which are from the 19th century.
- Early examples of maps, including some of the earliest scientific cartographic surveys of Palestine, some of which are not found elsewhere in Israel.
- A Rare Book Collection. Some of the books are most valuable because of their provenance as for instance the Pindar volume: Olympia, Pythia, Nemea published in 1620 and previously owned by Robert Borden, the Prime Minister of Canada 1911-1920.
- A collection of dissertations written in western languages and in Hebrew on archaeology and Semitic languages.
At the beginning of each academic year the Albright requests that the incoming Fellows submit a list of books and journals necessary for their own research that are currently not available in the Albright library. Wherever possible, these books are incorporated into the Albright’s annual library acquisitions program.
The library is open to residents twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; and to non-resident students and scholars, as well as to the general public, six days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by prior appointment.
Other bibliographic resources available to Albright Fellows
In addition to the bibliographic resources of the Institute, more material covering all aspects of ancient Near Eastern studies is available to Albright Fellows at other institutions in Jerusalem. The École Biblique has 120,000 volumes that concentrate on Bible and ancient Near Eastern languages, literature and history. The Rockefeller Museum has 91,000 volumes that are primarily devoted to ancient Near Eastern archaeology, history and ancient Semitic literature. The Hebrew University, at the Mt Scopus campus, has 65,000 volumes that deal mainly with the archaeology of the ancient Near East, including significant holdings in prehistory, the Bronze and Iron Ages, Classical studies, as well as an important collection in Assyriology. The Kenyon Institute (formerly the British School of Archaeology) has 10,000 volumes, with an emphasis on the archaeology of the Levant and Islamic and Crusader studies. All other aspects of Near Eastern studies, including anthropology, are available at the National Library on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University. Library privileges for Albright Fellows are available at all of these institutions. Lending privileges are only available at the National Library on the Hebrew University Givat Ram campus.