Historical Background


National Library

Literary heritage

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Organizational Structure


Records Appraisal, 
& Disposition 

National Bibliography




Efficient and appropriate information management is a role to be played by archives, libraries and documentation centers. Therefore, it is necessary that these institutions be properly established. Researches indicate the effort to collect and keep in one center the country's documentary heritage dates back to the Axumite era. Apparently, Womezeker, now National Archives and Library of Ethiopia (NALE) has been  Established in 1944, denotes the commencement of modern library in Ethiopia.

A great number of valuable written properties (materials), however, were destroyed due to manmade and natural disasters. Apart from the effort to preserve this heritage in traditional ways for years, there was no central authorized institution to collect and secure them. In the past years, the national library took broader duties and responsibilities imposed up on it despite the sector has not been given enough attention to play a proper role in the county's social and economical activities. This adversely contributed to the habit of reading that is not well practiced by the society. Sufficient researches that could help the country's development in this area have not been conducted.

Consequently, for the last five years, much has been done to tackle the problems of Libraries & archives. Special attention is given to the development of libraries.  NALE reestablished to serve as an information center and become accountable to the profession at the National level.

The NALE is newly organized to incorporate and take the responsibilities of the former Ethiopian Microfilm and Microfiche Library in addition to its function as a department of Library and Archives under the Ministry of Information and Culture.

The formation and growth of this information center can play vital role in the country's development. Especially the approval of the organizations establishing proclamation No. 179/1999 by the House of Peoples' Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a step forward.


2.Vision & Mission of NALE


 To be a world class national information center where information resources of the country are systematically organized and the culture of utilizing information is developed in building democracy and development.

Acquire, Organize and preserve information resources and create a national information system to avail the resources for research and study purpose to make the public beneficiary.


Common Values


Rendering competent and efficient service to users.


Transparent and participative leadership.


Commitment to professional ethics.



The objectives of the organization are to collect, systematically organize, preserve, and make the information resources of the country accessible for study and research purposes.



ˇ        Ensure the proper handling and safety of records in a provenance;

ˇ        Operate as a national repository center of documentary heritage in general;

ˇ        Make efforts to bring to the country the original or copy of literary documents, which were taken out of the country;

ˇ        Acquire and preserve records of defunct government offices or institutions as well as archives without owner;

ˇ        In cooperation with information centers, create a national information system which, enables a proper and efficient utilization of the information resources of the country;

ˇ        Ensure that original archives and documentary heritage of the country are not taken abroad on permanent basis; inspect copies and permit for their being taken out of the country;

ˇ        Prepare, publish and distribute the Ethiopian national bibliography and periodicals index publications;

ˇ        Serve as a national registry center of ISBN and ISSN of the country;

ˇ        Collect priceless and rare ancient manuscripts and icons; take a microfilm or microfiche copy of the manuscripts and make them available for study and research purposes;

ˇ        Work closely with national and international organizations in order to develop and promote professions pertaining to archives and library affairs.

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