To contain 300,000 books
and 3,000 manuscripts
The National Library, located in Sanayeh, was inaugurated on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
“The Library will be open to the public next month once all the technical work is completed,” said Hassan Akra, Director General of the library.
“Restoration works have been completed, old manuscripts have been moved from the port, and books have been placed on the shelves, ready for the opening,” Akra said.
The National Library includes reading rooms, conference halls, and an events venue to host cultural activities.
Its collection consists of 300,000 books and 3,000 manuscripts, with plans to add e-books in the future.
“My plan for the next four years is to turn the library to the number one location for cultural events in the Arab world,” he said.
Construction and restoration works were completed three years ago, during which the library benefited from a revival project to restore its collections.
Qatar donated $25 million in 2005 for the restoration of the Sanayeh premises and the construction of the new space to house the National Library. Works began in 2010 with A.R Hourie as the contractor and Erga Group as the consultant.
The National Library is responsible for housing publications written by Lebanese individuals, or related to Lebanon, or that have been published locally.
It was first established in the house of Phillipe de Tarrazi, in 1919. It was moved, along with its 32,000 documents, to its new premises in the Parliament building at the Place de l’Etoile, in the late 30s. After the Civil War, the Government decreed a freeze on the National Library's activities.
The historical collection, which was severely damaged in the war, was entrusted to the Central Bank and then to the National Archives. In 1999, the Cabinet provided the Ministry of Culture with the former premises of the Faculty of Law of the Lebanese University in Sanayeh as the permanent location of the National Library.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Dec 04, 2018