18.09.2002 -

Bibliotheca Alexandrina to be Officially Inaugurated on 16 October

The Egyptian Government has announced that the Official Inauguration Ceremony for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina that was postponed from 23 April 2002, due to events in the Middle East, took place on 16 October 2002 in Alexandria, Egypt.

The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated by the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the presence of Heads of State and other dignitaries from around the world on 16 October 2002 in Alexandria, Egypt.


The Library complex is already open to visitors.

Drawing its inspiration from the Ancient Library of Alexandria, the most famous library of antiquity, this modern public research institution will serve scholars, researchers and the public at large.


UNESCO has been associated with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina since its inception in the mid-1980s, thereby helping to endow the City of Alexandria and the Mediterranean Region with an important educational, scientific and cultural centre for the transmission and sharing of knowledge.


Utilizing the most up-to-date information technologies, the strikingly beautiful new Library is connected to major centres of learning all over the world. It will eventually be able to contain up to 8 million volumes, with special collections on Mediterranean civilizations, as well as large collections on science and technology, the humanities and the arts.


Remarkable in its architecture yet resolutely functional, the main Library building is shaped like a long cylinder 160 meters wide with the top truncated at an angle. The angle of the roof counters harmful effects of sea spray and allows the upper stories of the Library to enjoy natural light. The roof symbolizes the dissemination of knowledge among the different peoples and nations of the world.


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina complex includes a Conference Centre, Planetarium, International School of Information Studies, Young People's Library, Library for the Blind, Science Museum, Calligraphy Museum, as well as a Restoration Laboratory for rare manuscripts, thus making it a unique meeting place of civilizations.

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