The National Library of Israel has relaunched its Historical Jewish Press archive on Veridian Software

Researchers now have free access to a digital collection of publications from all over the Jewish World in 16 languages. The platform it’s presented on allows visitors to explore the collection in either English, Hebrew or Arabic.

A screenshot showing The National Library of Israel's new Jewish Historical Press collection website

Since 1892 The National Library of Israel (NLI) has been dedicated to collecting and preserving the cultural treasures of the land of Israel and of Jewish heritage. In keeping with its dynamic history, the Library continues to innovate and evolve in many ways. In 2022 its collections will move into a new state of the art building located between The Israeli Parliament and The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 

Alongside this inspiring new physical space is an equally important virtual space. With digital initiatives leading a new era for the NLI, it will become the central provider of digital information in the fields of Judaism, Israel, Islam and Hebrew writings. 

This year Veridian collection management software was selected to provide improved access to the NLI’s extensive collection of historic and contemporary newspapers, which date from 1783 to the present day. 

The archive includes over 4.5 million pages of newspapers and other periodicals in 16 languages. The material is sourced from NLI collections, as well as from several collaborating institutions such as Tel Aviv University. 

Why the shift to Veridian?

The NLI made the decision to migrate its newspaper archive from Olive Software to Veridian to ensure its long-term preservation. The collection is significant in both size and content with some extremely rare newspaper titles represented. 

The library was keen to grow the number of visitors to the collection website and also to enhance the user experience. Key to the project was the need for the user interface to be provided in English, Hebrew and Arabic as required. The tri-lingual offering allows visitors to interact with the website in either of these languages. 

The shift was also intended to enable inter-institutional collaboration and increased accessibility for scholarly researchers and a broader audience worldwide. 

With the collection due to increase to 10-20 million pages in the future, including born-digital newspapers, scalability was integral to the success of the project. This is one of the cornerstones of Veridian’s design.

The Veridian team is experienced in migrating collections from Olive Software to the Veridian presentation platform, having worked on projects with the Colorado State Library, the Swiss National Library, and most recently the Ohio State University Library.

A new and improved experience

Veridian engineers worked closely with Eyal Miller, Project and Technology Manager at the NLI and his team to redesign the collection interface to better represent both the Library and the unique content of the newspaper collection. 

The new website is fully responsive to support desktop, tablet and mobile engagement. With the rise of mobile devices as a primary browsing source it was important to create a mobile experience that is equal to or better than that of the desktop experience.  

The Veridian platform enables users to quickly retrieve the information they are looking for through comprehensive searching and browsing features. These include full text searching, search result summaries and facets. 

The newspapers within the collection were published in 16 languages. Titles may be sorted by language and further filtered by title, date, region or user defined tag.

Building a community around the collection

Users have the ability to contribute to the collection database and take part in improving the archive’s data. They may add their own comments and tags to build additional layers of information to enrich the collection.

The Veridian team is grateful to have worked with The National Library of Israel to create a world class user experience for its newspaper collection, and look forward to helping it grow in the years to come.

Explore The National Library of Israel’s Digital Newspaper Collection