Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA)

  • Founded:

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina aims to be a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and to be a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples. It comprises a Main Library (open to the general public as well as researchers), 9 specialized libraries (among a depository library of the UN and affiliated organizations, including UNESCO), 13 academic research centers, 4 museums and 15 permanent exhibitions. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina operates in 3 languages: Arabic, English and French, and it receives about 1.5 million visitors a year. It is a general public library with a special focus on education, library science, history of writing and scripts, the history of Alexandria, the history of Egypt, the history of science, the ethics of science, gender, water and environment. Geographically, it focuses on Alexandria, Egypt, the Arab World, the Mediterranean region and Africa. It also hosts the IFLA Center for Arabic Speaking Libraries and a specialized collection of printed and electronic resources about literacy in the Arab World.

Countries served: 
Arab, African, and Mediterranean countries
Library staff total: 


Books and documents: 


Electronic documents: 

204,000 e-books + 52 databases

Periodicals p.a.: 


Multimedia / Audiovisual Material: 


Annual growth: 


Other material: 

Websites about historical subjects, maps, microfilms, manuscripts

Methods of Data Management

Cataloging Rules: 


Classification System: 


Indexing Tool: 

LCSH, RAMEAU, Arabic Subject Headings List by Shaaban Khalifa

Database Software: 


Services and Special Activites

Information Services Provided: 

Reference services in person, via phone, email, social media; library education for use of print and electronic resources.

Special Activities: 

Educational and cultural activities about a variety of subjects.


International organizations (UN, IFLA, etc.), regional organizations (ALECSO, ISESCO, etc.), local authorities, local NGOs and youth initiatives.

Other Material

Challenges and Obstacles in Carrying out the Work: 
  • Lack of exchange with other Arab countries
  • Lack of stable connections with depository organizations (including UNESCO)
  • Lack of funding for library resources and projects
Strategies and Perspectives to Improve Services: 
  • Reaching out to new reader categories such as illiterates, newly literates, persons with reading disabilities, deaf and hearing impaired, refugees, persons learning Arabic as a foreign language etc.
Role envisaged within the Network of Networks: 
  • Contributing to bibliographies about adult literacy in the Arab World (especially resources in Arabic language)
  • Hosting a specialized collection of electronic and print resources about literacy in the Arab World (in Arabic, English and French), including literacy textbooks and teaching guides
  • Sharing theoretical and practical experience in the field of adult literacy

Contact Information

P.O. Box 138, Chatby 21526
Alexandria, EGYPT

Tel.: +(203) 4839999
Fax.: +(203) 483 0339
Contact language: Arabic, English, French

Contact Person

Manar Badr

Head Person

Dr. Mostafa El Feki

Area of specialization

Adult education
Basic education

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