How can the Bibliotheca Alexandrina be accessed?
The Library can be accessed with daily tickets or monthly and annual memberships.
Are children allowed inside the Library?
All age groups are allowed to enter the Library except for children under 4 years old.
Are food and beverages allowed inside the Library?
Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Library. However, there are certain cafés near the Library entrance such as La Poire Café and Cilantro Café.
Are bags allowed inside the Library?
Only handbags are allowed inside the Library. There are also safety deposit boxes for suitcases.
Are personal books allowed for students?
Yes, they are allowed, only after being stamped by the Internal Security Department.
Can the public use personal laptops inside the Library?
Yes, they can.
Is the Library equipped for people with special needs?
Is taking pictures allowed inside the Library?
Photography is allowed except for certain sections at level B1 (the Exhibitions area): Impressions of Alexandria - The World of Shadi Abdel Salam - Seif and Adham Wanli: Motion and Art – Selected Works of Hassan Soliman).
What are the objectives of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina?
The BA aspires to be:
- The world’s window on Egypt.
- Egypt’s window on the world.
- A leading institution of the digital age.
- A center for learning, tolerance, dialogue and understanding.
Is there any trace remained from the ancient Library of Alexandria?
After the destruction of the ancient Library, no actual papyri survived, but some books were written or translated into other languages, for example, Euclid’s Elements that was passed down through generations. However, recent findings have suggested that there is only one remaining papyrus from the ancient Library that is a copy in which an ancient scholar copied the first lines of satirical wisdom poems in the form of an index to probably be used as a reference. The original copy of this papyrus, dated from around 235 BC, is in the Austrian National Library in Vienna and was found in Egypt in the Fayoum Oasis inside a mummy's sarcophagus, 72 cm wide and 17 cm long and written in ancient Greek.
What does the Library offer to children?
- The Children's Library contains a large collection of picture books, fiction, science and multimedia books in a variety of languages covering a wide range of topics, as well as a computer lab, an activity room, a storytelling corner, puppet shows and a multimedia corner.
- The Arts Center strives to embrace children's talents and provide them with the training and opportunities needed for their development in world-class international institutions.
- The Writing and Scripts Center offers several learning activities aimed at connecting with the local community through its permanent and temporary exhibitions and educational courses and workshops, in addition to lectures to teach children, young people and adults Arabic calligraphy in its various forms. These activities are held in tandem with seasonal cultural lectures.
- The ALEXploratorium Hall primarily targets children through interactive exhibitions, workshops, programs and other activities aimed at consolidating the principles of science in a simplified and entertaining way.
How many exhibitions and museums does the Library have?
The Library houses 4 museums and 16 permanent exhibitions.
How many artworks are displayed inside the Library (not part of exhibitions)?
Approximately 3,000 pieces are on display, while the rest of the art works, which exceed 4,000 pieces of art, are not displayed, but are periodically showcased (by rotation) with the displayed works.
How many events did the BA host in 2022?
The Library organized around 2,501 events in 2022.
What is the internet speed inside the Library?
The internet speed inside the Library is 600 MB/s.
What is the current number of books and other material inside the Library?
The number of books and theses currently available at the Library is 1,496,314. According to the Library's electronic catalogue, there are currently 1,099,516 different sources of knowledge available to the public. Therefore, the Library contains 2,595,830 scientific materials in total.
Besides books, what other materials are available in the Library?
In addition to books, the Library contains electronic and printed books and newspapers, magazines, theses, manuscripts, microfilms, maps, multimedia material, CDs, DVDs, Braille books and references (including statistical and other reports, encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, bibliographies, indexes, etc.).
What materials can the public access through computers in the Reading Area?
- Any website subject to the BA security policy.
- The entire range of e-books available on DAR website.
- In addition, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a subscriber of 59 databases including:
- More than 240,000 e-books.
- More than 125,000 electronic journals (a collection of academic articles).
- Around 10,000 electronic theses in Arabic.
- Electronic encyclopaedias.
Does the public have access to all the books?
No, there are special reading areas at the Manuscripts Museum and Rare Books that the public is not allowed to access. Additionally, parts of the collections, such as theses, are stored in closed areas and must be requested from a specialized desk, as these areas are available to researchers only.
What are the most requested languages in the reading area?
Available languages are: Arabic, English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish, Latin, Swedish, Russian and Korean.
Has the borrowing system been activated inside the Library?
The BA Library Sector announced the availability of a trial borrowing service for researchers only, which was put into operation starting 1 January 2023. The researcher must be an annual membership holder, as he/she will be allowed to borrow up to two books for a period of two weeks, renewable once. Borrowing is also allowed in the Children and Young People’s Libraries for a renewable period of two weeks, while digital books can be accessed through the DAR website.
Can people check their personal email inside the Library?
The public cannot check their personal email in order to avoid any viruses that may infiltrate the Library's internal network.
Does the library accept donations?
Yes, but donations are reviewed before being received to assess the Library’s need for them. For example, the Library received in 2019 around 30,800 donations. The Library receives donations from all over the world - France and the Netherlands are at the top of the list - but it also accepts a huge number of books from Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and other countries.