The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, or Maktabat al-Iskandarīyah (English: Library of Alexandria; Arabic: مكتبة الإسكندرية), a major library and cultural center located near the site of the original Royal Library of Alexandria, was opened to the public on October 16, 2002.
"The dimensions of the project are vast: the library has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 70,000 m² on eleven cascading levels. The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, the blind and visually impaired, young people, and for children; four museums; four art galleries for temporary exhibitions; 15 permanent exhibitions; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory. The library's architecture is equally striking. The main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-panelled roof, tilted out toward the sea like a sundial, and measuring some 160 m in diameter. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, carved with characters from 120 different human scripts.
"The collections at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina were donated from all over the world. The Spanish donated documents that detailed their period of Moorish rule. The French also donated, giving the library documents dealing with the building of the Suez Canal.
"Bibliotheca Alexandrina maintains the only copy and external backup of the Internet Archive" (Wikipedia article on Bibliotheca Alexandrina, accessed 03-18-2012).