Commemorating the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Ha-universita Ha-'ivrit Bi-yerushalayim)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-383
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, and Hebrew.
  • Physical Description
      2 medals, 1 graduation programme, 1 typescript translation, 1 philatelic first-day cover.
  • Location
      Medals No. 190; Medals No. 206; Gen. 2212/3

Scope and Content

The material consists of: a medal commemorating the opening of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1925; a medallion commemorating the 50th anniversary, 1975; and, an account of the 60th anniversary celebrations, June 1985, being the programme of convocation (graduation ceremonial) and a translation to English of the introduction to the convocation. There is also a first-day cover (Israeli postal service) commemorating the anniversary.

Administrative / Biographical History

An important part of the Zionist vision for Israel was the founding of a Jewish university. Land was acquired for this purpose on Mount Scopus and the corner-stone was laid in 1918. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was opened on 1 April 1925 in front of its founder Chaim (Azriel) Weizmann (1874-1952), who would later become the first President of Israel. Others present included Lord Balfour, Viscount Allenby and Sir Herbert Samuel. The first degrees of the University were awarded in 1931. Its earliest research institutes were in microbiology, chemistry and Jewish studies. By 1947, student enrolment was more than 1000, and the University offered teaching in the humanities, science, medicine, and education (and agriculture at Rehovot). Other units included the Jewish National and University Library, a press, and an adult education centre.

After the War of Independence in 1948, Mount Scopus and the University campus became a demilitarised Israeli area inside Jordanian territory, cut off from the main Israeli-held sector of Jerusalem. Initially the solution was a scattered campus in various parts of the city, but in 1953 new building began at Giv'at Ram. Work started too on a medical science campus at Ein Kerem - the Hadassah Medical Organisation. By early 1967, enrolment had reached 12,500 between the campuses in Jerusalem and Rehovot.

By the conclusion of the Six-Day War of June 1967, Jerusalem had become re-unified and Mount Scopus re-occupied, and the task of restoring and enlarging the original campus began right away. After 1967, the campuses at both Giv'at Ram and Mount Scopus were used by the University and Arab students began to attend. Teaching was now offered in the humanities, science, social sciences, law, agriculture, dental medicine, and medicine, and there were schools of education, social work, pharmacy, home economics, and applied science and technology and a graduate library school. Rothberg International School was opened on Mount Scopus in 1971.

In 1981, construction work at Mount Scopus was completed and it again became the main campus of the University. Today, with four functioning campuses of Mount Scopus, Ein Kerem, Giv'at Ram, and Rehovot, and with almost 23,000 students the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is confident of further enhancement and of becoming one of the leading universities of the world.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Account of 60th anniversary celebrations, transferred from Principal's Office, August 1985, Accession no. E85.48.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) The new encyclopaedia Britannica. Micropaedia. Ready Reference. 15th edition. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1991. (2) Shalom - Welcome to the Hebrew University of Jersualem History. Full-text [online]. Shalom - Welcome to the Hebrew University of Jersualem  [Accessed 3 May 2002].

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.