Axumite Heritage Foundation Library
The Axumite Heritage Foundation Library is housed in the 'Inda Nebri'id, which was the home of the former governor 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 development. When the AHF finished renovating the 'Inda Nebri'id, a building that had symbolized for many the terror of the Derg regime, it 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 offers resources many in the community cannot find elsewhere. Our medical, science, and math textbooks supplement the education of local college and high school students. 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 is 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.