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Israel Studies: History, Archaeology, and Religion


Resources at NYPL:  

- General history - the general subject heading Israel - History includes many subheadings. Some of them are of specific time periods such as Israel -- History -- 20th century, or Israel -- History -- 1948-1967, and Israel -- History -- Chronology . Among them is the book Yiśraʼel 70 : li-heyot Yiśreʼeli = Israel : 70 years of history by Nisim Mishʻal.

- Periodicals about the history of Israel can be found under the subject heading Israel -- History -- Periodicals

- Pictures and photographs about its history are found when searching the subject Israel -- History -- Pictorial works.

- To learn about special events and milestones each decade of the history of Israel use the subject heading Israel -- Anniversaries, etc

The books ha-Umah : sipuram shel ishim u-muśagim she-ʻitsvu et ha-umah ha-Yehudit be-Erets Yiśraʼel and Leḳsiḳon Yiśraʼel : 60 shanah li-Medinat Yiśraʼel me-1948 ʻad 2008, Lo ʻal magash shel kesef : toldot medinat Yiśraʼel me-reshit ha-hityashvut ʻad ʻidan ha-shalom, trace the story of the people and the concepts that created the Jewish nation in Eretz Israel.

The history of Eretz-Israel from pre-hidstoric times to 1914 is provided by the three volume set Entsiḳlopedyah le-toldot Erets-Yiśraʼel : meʼoraʻot, munaḥim, meḳomot, ṿe-ishim meha-teḳufah ha-prehisṭorit ṿe-ʻad Milḥemet-ha-ʻolam ha-rishonah (1914). An important periodical is Katedrah be-toldot Erets-Yiśrael ṿe-yishuvah available in print, and online.   

Online resources:

Timeline from 1917 to the present by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Timeline of Historical Highlights from 17th Century BCE to 2010 by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For additional information, please, click on the specific subjects.

The website Israel: Geography by the Jewish Virtual Library provides historical background and history of major cities and regions in Israel. 

The website Facts about Israel: History by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides a timeline and basic information about the periods of the Bible, Second Temple, foreign domination, and the State of Israel.


Ben-Gurion Archive is one of the leading archives in Israel as a southern branch of the Israel State Archives; it contains more than 5 million items that reflect the Zionist movement and the history of Israel from 1900 to 1973.


Resources at NYPL: 

The subject heading Excavations (Archaeology) -- Israel includes resources about more than ninety sites.  Encyclopedias under the subject heading Excavations (Archaeology) -- Israel -- Encyclopedias include the four volume set in Hebrew titled Entsiḳlopedyah ha-ḥadashah la-ḥafirot arkheʼologiyot be-Erets Yiśraʼel and edited by Efrayim Shṭern, and the five volume set in English New encyclopedia of archaeological excavations in the Holy Land by the same editor.

An important resource is the ten volume set Mavo le-arkheʼologyah shel Erets-Yiśraʼel bi-teḳufat ha-Mikra (The archaeology of ancient Israel in the Biblical period) by the Universiṭah ha-petuḥah.  A valuable periodical is Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society which is available in print and online.

The periodical Ḥadashot arkheʼologiyot is also in print and online.  

Online resources:
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is in charge of the country’s antiquities and antiquity sites. Excavation, preservation, conservation, study and publishing are within their purview. Their website provides information about previous and ongoing excavations, policy and licensing, in addition to articles. Their publication Hadashot arkheologiyot is available online in Hebrew and in English.
The website of the Israel Exploration Society is in both Hebrew and English.


Religion in Israel may be explored by using subject headings such as Religion and state -- Israel, Judaism -- Israel, Christians -- Israel, and Islam -- Israel.

Resources at NYPL:

An important resource on this subject is the book Abrahamic religions: a very short introduction which provides a quick overview of the main religions in Israel.  Useful resources about the history of the three religions are the Oxford illustrated history of the Holy Land. Religious communities in Byzantine Palestina : the relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, AD 400-700. The book Jerusalem : its sanctity and centrality to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam provides essays about the importance of Jerusalem for the three main Abrahamic religions. 

Online resources:

The Pew Research Center provides short articles with statistics about the religions and politics in Israel. The Wikipedia entry Religion in Israel provides information about the various religions and denominations, the relations between them, some statistics, and links to additional resources.