The Central Zionist Archives – the official archives of the institutions of the Zionist Movement (the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the United Israel Appeal) and the numerous institutions that were established by, or alongside, these bodies – permanently preserves the files that were created during the activity of these institutions.
In addition, the Zionist Archives holds the files of the institutions of the Jewish population in Palestine before the establishment of the State (the Archives of the National Council, the Archives of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA), the Archives of the Hadassah Medical Organization, etc.), of the offices of the World Jewish Congress in various countries, the remainder of the Archives of the Hovevei Zion and of some of the Zionist Federations around the world.
Similarly, the Zionist Archives preserves more than 1,500 personal papers of the leaders and activists of the Zionist Movement and the Jewish population in the Land of Israel before the establishment of the State. Some of these archives are very small (one or two files), and some of them are very large (tens of boxes).
The list of personal papers includes well-known figures in modern Zionist history, such as Theodor Herzl, Nahum Sokolow, David Wolfson, Max Bodenheimer, Henrietta Szold, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Haim Arlozorov and other functionaries and professionals.
The collections are preserved in the underground storerooms of the building of the Zionist Archives in Jerusalem.
Language of registration of the record group names: Hebrew and English (See the Record Group Guide)
Language of registration of the files: The descriptions of most of the files in the various record groups are in Hebrew. However, if most of the original documents in the files of the record group are in English, the file descriptions are in English. Most of the file titles (about 80%) are in Hebrew.
The structure of the collections : Record groups-files-documents
The collections are arranged according to archival record groups and are coded accordingly.
Record groups of institutional archives
The Central Zionist Office in London – Z4
The Financial Department – S1
The Israel Land Development Company – L18
The Central Bureau of the Jewish National Fund - KKL5
The Chief Bureau of the United Israel Appeal – KH4
The National Council – J1
The World Jewish Congress, the London Office – C2
Record groups of personal archives
Most of the personal papers have been given a notation beginning with the letter "A" (with the exception of the Theodor Herzl archives, “H1”, and the David Wolffsohn archives, “W1”).
Arthur Ruppin - A107
Eliezer Ben Yehuda - A43
Leib Jaffe – A13
If a personal archive is small and includes one file or a few files only, it received the notation "AK".
Joe Golan – AK657
Nathan Goralic - AK685
Every record group consists of files, sometimes a few files and other times, tens of thousands of files, according to the amount of the material produced by the organization, the institution, or the person who produced the material.
The files belonging to a certain record group are given a unique notation within the record group.
Special documents/items of various types in the files:
Sometimes, below the level of the heading or description of the file, special documents are indicated; those are either related to the general subject of the file or are exceptional items due to their type (a map, photograph, poster, etc.), their size or their content. These items are registered, given a notation and registered on a separate level, below the general description or heading of the file.
Documents: An exceptional document noted in a file is registered with the notation L18\4285-1t
If another document is noted in the file, it is registered with the notation L18\4285-2t, etc.
Map: A map noted in a file is registered with the notation L18\4285-1m.
If another map is noted in the file it is registered with the notation L18\4285-2m, etc.
Posters: A poster noted in a file is registered L18\4285-1kra
If another poster is noted in the file, it is registered with the notation L18\4285-2kra, etc.
Handbills: A handbill noted in a file is registered with the notation L18\4285-1kru
If another handbill is noted in the file, it is registered with the notation L18\4285-2kru, etc.
Photographs: A photograph noted in a file is registered with the notation L18\4285-1p. If another photograph is noted in the file, it is registered with the notation L18\4285-2p, etc.
Items of exceptional size (larger than A4) found in the files (a document, map, poster, handbill or photograph) are removed and stored in special drawers according to their size. In such cases, a special reference page is added to the file indicating the details of the removed item.