אHow to search the website and order files

א.1 | Introduction

Welcome to the website of the Israel State Archives, which contains more than 31,000,000 scanned pages. Currently, over a hundred thousand pages are viewed every month. To enable more users to enjoy the archives’ services, we have built a set of FAQs and answers explaining how to search the site in an easy and user-friendly way. The site was constructed in Hebrew, though you can search for file names which are in English.

We hope that you will find the directory helpful, whether you are a first time visitor or an experienced user of archival material. If you have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.

 

א.2 | How do I search for a file?

A. On the Hebrew website: open the website in the Chrome browser and search for key words in the search box.

We recommend you to put the key words in quotation marks for more accurate results, for example “משה דיין”(“Moshe Dayan”) to exclude answers on other people called Moshe.

When searching for two words or more, you must add a plus sign before each word, for example: to search for a ship named “Galila”, enter+ ship + Galila.

After the results appear, you can select the type of material you want (files and documents, images, video) in the header.

You can select a specific range of years and the source of the material, such as government ministries, private archives and collections etc. (provenance) in the filters at the side of the page.

Clicking on the title of a file will display data about it on the left hand side of the screen. If it is already scanned, you will be able to see the file on the screen and to download it, print it or share it, using the menu on the right hand side.

You can find more tips on searching the Hebrew website here.

B. You can search in English using the search box on this website

https://catalog.archives.gov.il/en/

 

 

The results will only include files where the name is in English, for example, files from the Palestine Mandate authorities.

Again, we recommend you to use quotation marks when searching for key words, e.g. “Moshe Dayan”.

The filters for narrowing down results will appear on the right hand side of the page. Part of the information appearing there is in English.

Click on the name of a file to see more information about it. If it has been scanned, you will see a PDF file on the website.

א.3 | How do I order a file?

Only 15% of the material in the archives has been scanned, and not all the scanned material appears on the website.

If the file was not scanned, you can order it. A message box like this one will appear; fill in your contact details (name and e-mail address) and click Send – שלח.

 

Files can only be ordered through the site. If possible, the file will be scanned, checked and declassified if needed, and then uploaded to the site. We will write to you when it is available.

א.4 | How do I search for a photograph?

Search by key words and choose the images (תמונות) tab on the upper part of the screen.

א.5 | How do I find old reference numbers and codes?

In many articles and books, files in the Archives are referred to by their old reference number, such as MFA (Foreign Ministry), box number and file number (e.g. MFA 6913/7).

For your convenience, when you click on the title of a file, you will see the “Further Details” (מידע נוסף) heading at the side of the result page. You can find the old reference code (sometimes known as the physical identifier) of the file there if you need it (click +).

If you already know the code, box number, and file number in Hebrew, you can look for it in the main search box. You need to write the information in the following order, from right to left:

Quotation marks, code, space, file number, space, slash, space, box number, close quotation marks.

For example: “חצ   5 / 4089”

             This kind of search does not work in English.

See below for a list of storage codes.

 


Type of material
Storage code קוד עברית

Hebrew code

Previously classified material A א
Levi Eshkol archives ESH איא
Press collection PC אע
Law courts LAW ב
Government ministries G, GL ג, גל
Public companies C ח
Ministry of Foreign Affairs MFA חצ
Ottoman (Turkish) material T ט
Nufus books (Ottoman period) NF נפ
Mandatory material M מ
Audiovisual material TS, SL טס, סל
Knesset K כ
Posters KR כר
Israel Police IP ל
Arab/Jordanian records AJR מגע
Maps MAP מפה
Gifts GF מת
Presidents of Israel PRES נ
Compact disks CD סד
Books BK ספ
Press/newspapers NEWS עת
Private material P פ
Register books PNK פנק
Publications PUB פר
Municipalities, local authorities MUN ש
Special documents TH, TT תת, תה

א.6 | How do I search using the new system?

In preparation for new deposits of “born digital” files, which will not be held in boxes, the Archives has moved to a new cataloguing system based on a identifier (“signature”) usually consisting of the name of the government ministry or other body which produced the file and a 7-digit string of letters and numbers. For example the same file which appears above (MFA 4089/5) is identified as:

ISA-mfa-Political-000m7y0

Search according to the 7-digit number only:

and you will reach the same file.

You can also reach it by putting the entire signature in quotation marks:”ISA-mfa-Political-000m7y0