Egyptian National Library and Archives (دار الكتب والوثائق القومية)

Pre-1923 postcard of The Egyptian National Library and Archives (public domain)
Pre-1923 postcard of The Egyptian National Library and Archives (back) (public domain)

The Egyptian National Library and Archives  (دار الكتب والوثائق القومية) “Dar el-Kotob”,  formerly known as The Kehdivial Kutub Khana, is a non-profit government organization, and is located in Cairo.  It is the largest library in Egypt and one of the largest libraries in the world.    

Established in 1870. It was originally located in Prince Mustafa Fadel’s palace in Darb Al Gamamiz.  However, due to its rapid increase in inventory, a new building was built in 1904 in Bab Al Khalq, which also included the Museum of Islamic Art. 

In January 2014, a car bomb explosion targeting the Police Headquarters across the street caused extensive damage to the Library building and collections, and forced the Library to close for renovations until early 2019. 

The National Library currently houses several million volumes, including some of the oldest Arabic-language and Eastern manuscripts in the world.

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