Library > Legal Deposit > Statistics > Statistics for 2011

Statistics for 2011

Israeli Book Statistics – Hebrew Book Week 2012 

The National Library of Israel is responsible for the preservation of Israel’s cultural assets for future generations, for researchers and scholars, and for the general public. To this end, the “Book Act” was passed, obligating anyone publishing a work in Israel to deposit two copies at the National Library of Israel. 


The majority of Israeli publishers complies with the law and thus participates in the creation of the largest and most comprehensive collection of Israeli publications in the world.
The publications are listed in the National Library’s catalogue, in the national bibliography, “Kiryat Sefer”, and in the Israel Union List (ULI). These catalogues are accessible online at the Library’s website, The Library also produces weekly and monthly lists of new Israeli publications, both as an RSS feed and as web pages – these can be viewed at


​New titles and Current Periodicals
In 2011, 6,876 new Israeli titles were registered by the Legal Deposit Department of the National Library: 6,302 books, 334 new periodicals, and 240 non-print titles, such as CDs. In addition, more than 20,000 issues of current periodicals and newspapers were received by the National Library of Israel. Although not covered by Legal Deposit, the Library also received 1,359 masters’ theses and 1,074 doctoral theses. 



New Titles 2011


New Titles 2009-2011


Hebrew and Other Languages
Most of the books published in Israel are in Hebrew: 5,451 titles. The next most common languages are English: 400 titles, Arabic: 188 titles, and Russian: 197 titles.
Books in the following languages were also received by the Library: French – 27 titles, Yiddish – 23 titles, 3 titles in Spanish, 6 titles in German, and 7 titles in Romanian. Titles were also published in Dutch, Polish, and Italian, among others.
Original Publications and Translations
Most of the books published in Hebrew, about 89%, were originally written in Hebrew, and about 11% were translated into Hebrew from various languages.


Titles by Language


Books by Subjects
In 2011 about 660 children and young adult books were deposited at the Library – almost 10% of the total number of books received. In addition, 271 textbooks were deposited, 289 biographies and memoires, 107 health, New Age, leisure and travel books, and no less than 50 cookbooks.
190 titles dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were deposited, 146 books dealing with different aspects of World War II and the Holocaust. 412 titles dealing with Halacha, responsa literature, and interpretations of the Talmud, and 246 titles in the areas of Hassidic and Kabbalistic literature.
Books by Type of Publishing House
53% of the books were published by commercial publishing houses.
5% of the books were published by the government or government institutions. 
4% of the books were published by educational institutions – universities, colleges and schools.
16% of the books were published by associations, foundations, museums, community centers and other organizations.
22% of the books were self-published by authors.

Books by Type of Publishing House

Books by Sector
The orthodox and ultra-orthodox sector was responsible for 28% of the total titles published in Israel in 2011, while 78% of titles were published by the secular sector.
Books by Sectors 2011


Books by Sectors 2007-2011


Periodicals in Israel
In 2011, the National Library received 334 new periodicals from Israel. 270 of them in Hebrew, 10 in Arabic, 5 in Russian, 40 in English, and among the other languages – a periodical in Thai and a periodical in Nepalese – aimed at the community of workers from these countries. In addition to these, there are several new Israeli periodicals that have begun to be published as online editions only, and about 40 established periodicals that are now online and that have ceased to issue print editions. The National Library will soon begin a pilot project whose aim will be to collect these online periodicals and preserve them for the long-term on the Library’s computers.
The new periodicals join the 3385 active Israeli newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, and periodicals that are listed at the National Library. 2709 of the Israeli newspapers and periodicals are in Hebrew. 74 are in Arabic, 527 are in European languages, mostly English, and 75 are in Russian. In 2011, in accordance with the “Books Law”, all of the periodicals combined deposited over 20,000 issues at the National Library. 35 Israeli periodicals were discontinued in 2011.
As opposed to books, only a small percentage of newspapers, magazines, and journals are published by commercial publishing houses: 971 which account for 28%. Most of the periodicals are published by institutions of different kinds: 1281, which is 37%, of periodicals are published by foundations, research institutions, cultural institutions, professional associations, hospitals, and the like. The State is responsible for about a quarter of the production of periodicals in Israel: 861 publications published continually by government offices, local authorities, and other government institutions. 323 of the periodicals, almost 10%, are published by institutions for higher education.
About a quarter of the periodicals, 859, come from the orthodox and ultra-orthodox sectors. A substantial amount of these are Parashat Hashavua pamphlets. 
Israeli Publishers
Publishers that submit their publications to the National Library are listed in the Israeli Publishers Database. The database contains 1571 publishing houses and various organizations actively engaged in publishing. Of these, 1006 are commercial publishing houses, and 513 are organizations and institutions whose primary business is not publishing, but who produce and publish publications from time to time. 512 of the publishers and organizations listed in the database publish books for the religious and orthodox sectors. 8 publishing houses publish for non-Jewish religious communities.
41 publishers listed in the database publish primarily in English, while 327 publishers publish in English as well as Hebrew. 24 publishers publish mainly in Russian, and 52 publishers publish in Russian in addition to Hebrew. 28 publishers publish mainly in Arabic, and 46 publish in Arabic in addition to Hebrew or other languages.
As is evident from the table below, the number of publishers publishing in Russian and Arabic is growing continually. In 2003, 24 listed publishers were publishing in Russian and Arabic, while in 2011, 142 publishers were listed publishing in these languages. Some of these publishers focus solely on these two languages, while others are established Israeli publishers who have added these languages to their publishing house. 


Number of Publishers Listed in the Database, Publishing in Russian and Arabic 2003-2011




Israeli Publishers Database: The History of Publishing Houses in Israel

The Israeli Publishers Database is a vast resource of information on the history of publishing in Israel. Its importance lies not only in its national and historic value, but also in its practical value. The database traces the copyright of works published in Eretz Israel and makes it possible to locate copyright holders and heirs to publishing houses that no longer exist. In 2011 the National Library of Israel added 20 historic publishers to the Israeli Publishers Database. So far, some 181 historic publishers who were active in Eretz Israel from Zionism’s earliest days and are no longer active today, have been listed and documented in the database.



Statistics and editing: Dr. Noa Fink-Shamit and Dr. Rivka Shveiky