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Statistics for 2008

Israeli Book Statistics for 2008


The National Library is responsible for preserving the cultural assets of the State of Israel for future generations, as well as for researchers, scholars and citizens. The Books Law was passed for this purpose, requiring all those who publish a book in Israel to deliver two copies of it to the Library.
The vast majority of Israeli publishers deliver their publications to the National Library and thus participate in creating the largest and most comprehensive collection of Israeli publications in the country.

​New titles and current periodicals

During 2008, 7,414 new Israeli titles were registered by the Legal Deposit Department of the National Library: 6,384 books, 650 new periodicals, and 380 non-print titles, such as CDs and cassettes.


In addition, 15,806 issues of current periodicals were received in the National Library of Israel. Although not covered by Legal Deposit, the library also received 1,070 masters’ theses and 882 doctoral theses.
The library's catalogue is the most comprehensive in Israel, and includes the vast majority of the titles published in Israel.


Hebrew and Other Languages
Most of the books are in Hebrew: 5,621 titles. The next common languages are English: 368 titles, and Russian: 206 titles. This year 121 new Arabic titles were recorded. 18 French titles were published in Israel last year, 21 in Spanish, 6 in German and 8 in Romanian. 15 publications in various Jewish languages were received: 12 in Yiddish and 3 in Judeo-Tajikic (the language of Bukharan Jewry). A few books were published in other languages, such as Dutch, Polish and Italian.
Most of the Hebrew books, about 83% were originally written in Hebrew, and about 15% were translated into Hebrew.



The breakdown of the 6,384 books is as follows:
Children's Books and Text Books
About 638 books for children and youth were deposited in the library – about 10% of the total number of books received.
In addition, 228 textbooks were deposited – about 3.6% of the total number of books received.

Type of Publishing 

57% of the books were published by commercial publishing houses.

6% of the books were published by the government or governmental institutions.
6% 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.
15% of the books were self-published by authors.
The orthodox and ultra-orthodox sector was responsible for 23% of the total titles that were published in Israel in 2008.


Israeli Publishers 
The National Library's Legal Deposit Department maintains an extensive listing of Israeli publishers, including many minor publishers who issue only a few books a year. The information includes address, telephone, and fax number of each publisher. The database contains 1,513 active publishers and organizations, which engage in publishing. 969 are commercial publishing houses, and 544 are non-commercial. 507 publishers published for the orthodox sector, and 8 for non-Jewish religious communities.


English was the main language for 38 publishers, while 317 publishers published in English as well as Hebrew. 21 publishers published mainly in Russian, and 51 publishers published in Russian besides Hebrew. 24 publishers published mainly in Arabic, and 39 published in Arabic in addition to Hebrew or other languages.
History of Israeli publishing 
During the last year the National Library of Israel has added to its database of Israeli publishers, information on publishers from the earliest days of Zionist history. So far some 130 publishers, who have ceased to be active, have been listed and documented. The database is a rich source of information on the history of publishing in Israel. Its importance derives not only from the national and historic perspective, but also from its practical value. It maps the copyright of works that appeared in the Land of Israel and makes it possible to locate copyright holders and heirs to publishers no longer in existence
For example: