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We appreciate your interest in the Axumite Heritage Foundation!

901 S Highland St
Arlington, VA, 22204
United States

(703) 685-0510

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AHF Library

AHF Library

Axumite Heritage Foundation Library

The Axumite Heritage Foundation Library is housed in the 'Inda Nebri'id, which was the home of former governors of Axum under the old imperial regime. Built in 1910, the 'Inda Nebri'id was designed based on contemporary Italian architecture, and was the first building in Ethiopia to have indoor plumbing. After the military coup that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, the building was alternatively used by the Marxist Derg regime as a prison and military barracks. By the time the Derg was overthrown in 1992, the building had fallen into shambles. The interior was crumbling and rotting, and the outside grounds were being used as a squatter camp. The Axumite Heritage Foundation reached an agreement with the city of Axum to take stewardship of the 'Inda Nebri'id and transform it into a place for public use. When AHF finished renovating the 'Inda Nebri'id, a building that had symbolized for many the terror of the Derg regime was once again restored as a place of community pride. 

The Axumite Heritage Foundation Library was the first library in the region to be open and free to the public. The library serves scholars, students, researchers, community members, and general readers. With its collection of more than 20,000 publications, the library is a vital resource for the people of Axum and residents of the greater Tigray region. 

Built as a residence and not intended for public use, the ‘Inda Nebri’id can no longer serve the growing number of patrons. The new library is intended to address this need. Designed by renowned Ethiopian architect Fasil Giorghis, the new library will be a three-story structure with enlarged reading rooms and stack spaces, as well as an auditorium, an exhibition hall, and a small cafeteria. The building edifice will embody a modern interpretation of vernacular Axumite architecture, featuring stone masonry construction, lime surface treatment, and a specific composition of volumes unique to the historical city.


The Axumite Heritage Library actively seeks donations of manuscripts, documents, and rare publications to expand its collection. The Special Collection section has already acquired several private contributions from notable scholars of Ethiopian history, among them the late Dejazmach Dr. Zewde Gabre-Sellassie, and professor Gebru Tareke. The late professor Merid Wolde Aregay was instrumental in consulting on early acquisitions and laying the foundation for the Special Collection. Ultimately, this section will expand into the Institute of Axumite Studies (IAS), with the capacity and resources to support advanced research inquiry, and into which the museum and general library's administration and management will be incorporated. Please contact Ezana Teferra at for more information.