Library Roman sites

The New Library


Alexandria, Egypt


statue of Ptolemy I (323 -  285 BC)
(early patron of the library)

16/10/2002 (UNESCO) Today is opening the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the largest library in the Middle East and Africa, marking the rebirth of the institution founded over 2000 years ago. UNESCO’s involvement in the project dates back to 1986, and now the Organization is launching five new projects aimed at promoting the library’s activities.


Plaza of the new Library
(Planetarium in the background)

First, UNESCO will collaborate with the world famous pen marker “Montegrappa” towards the development of a very special limited edition of commemorative fountain pens celebrating the revival of the Ancient Bibliotheca Alexandrina. These valuable pens are octagonal in shape, and the barrel and top of the cap are engraved with the symbols of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and UNESCO respectively.


tablet at library entrance

In the framework of its struggle for the defense of manuscripts and rare books, UNESCO was also requested by both the Egyptian and Italian governments to help creating a “manuscript museum” with various components such as a state-of-the-art manuscript museum or a state-of-the-art manuscript restoration laboratory.


Glass Roof of Library as seen from the Olive trees planted by the people of Palestine

Then, as the Bibliotheca is aimed at being a link between past and future, UNESCO is implementing two projects in the field of Information and communication technologies (ICTs). The first one is the production of a multi-media DVD documentary title documenting the milestones associated with the revival of the ancient Bibliotheca Alexandrina.


early Egyptian scholar

The vision underlying the digital documentary entails a mix of movie-like elements combined with a comprehensive documentary for serving as a useful desk reference about the Bibliotheca. Furthermore, UNESCO will provide a continuous support to the library’s management in the area of networking infrastructure and towards the selection and installation of a library information system.


looking toward the Mediterranean Sea


the glass roof over the reading room


the reading room


future work area

Last, in the framework of its activities dedicated to disadvantaged groups, UNESCO will implement a special project involving the establishment of a special section within the library for the visually impaired. Using specialized hardware and software components, UNESCO has performed the necessary research work to explore the possible solutions suitable for implementation within an Arabic speaking environment for the blind.


reflecting pond


the olive grove

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