The Ancient


A Universal Library

Alexander the Great -- the Conquests as a source of knowledge

The Founding of the Library and the Mouseion

All the Books in the World

Aristotle's Books

The Hunt for Books

The Egyptian Section of the Alexandria Library

The Papyri: Evidence of Greek and Egyptian Scientific Interchange

"The Writings of All Men"

The Growth of the Library

The Pinakes -- a Bibliographical Survey of the Alexandria Library

The Alexandria Library -- " The Memory of Mankind"

Appendix 1 -- The Contents of the Alexandria Library

Appendix 2 -- The End of the Library


The Modern

BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA--The revival of the Ancient Library of Alexandria

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Alexander the Great's dream of unifying the world sparked the idea of constructing a great library which would gather the cultures and civilisations of the whole world.

The location of this great library was Alexandria, Egypt, at the crossroads of the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.

In this historical moment, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was built on a site near the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Egyptian government and UNESCO are keen on reviving the role that the Ancient Library of Alexandria played in advancing knowledge, scholarship and the cultural development of Egypt and the Mediterranean area.

To this end a new library is being built in Alexandria. Construction began in 1995 and the inauguration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is due to take place in 1999.

Apart from the main Library, the complex will include a Library for the Blind, a Young People's Library, the Alexandria Conference Centre, a Science Museum, a Planetarium, the International School of Information Studies (ISIS), a Calligraphy Museum, a Restoration and Conservation Laboratory and the Hall of Fame.

Objectives: 1) The Revival of the Ancient Library of Alexandria Project aims at building a universal modern public research library to be a centre of culture, science and academic research.
2) The Library is to provide both the national and international communities of scholars and researchers with unique collections and facilities focusing on Alexandrian, Egyptian, ancient and medieval civilisations as well as on contemporary disciplines. The Library shall also have valuable collections of science and technology resource materials to help the socio-economic and cultural development studies on Egypt and the region.
3)The Bibliotheca Alexandrina shall sponsor intensive studies on the historical and contemporary cultural heritage of the region.

Location :
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina lies alongside the University of Alexandria Faculty of Humanities campus in Chatby and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea along a substantial portion of its northern frontage.

At Selsela, it is almost the same site of the ancient library-museum complex within the Royal Quarter, in the district then known as Brocheum, where a few remains of the Graeco-Roman civilisation were recently uncovered and later will be displayed in the Library museum.

At the panoramic vista across the circular Eastern Port stands the old Mameluke Citadel of Qait Bey, built in 1480 on the site of the famous Pharos Lighthouse.

The information above is provided by the General Organisation of the Alexandria Library (G.O.A.L.)

Visit these sites to learn more about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and UNESCO involvement in the new Alexandria Library.