The oldest secular learned academy in Egypt, the Institut d’Égypte, was founded in 1859, but its antecedents go back to the institute established by Napoleon in 1798. The Academy of the Arabic Language (1932), which was presided over by the veteran educator Ṭaha Ḥusayn, became, in terms of prestige and influence, one of the most important cultural institutions in Egypt.
Learned societies in Egypt support a wide variety of interests, including the physical and natural sciences, medicine, agriculture, the humanities, and the social sciences. The government has long been concerned with research, especially in science and technology. The National Research Centre was founded in 1947, and laboratory work in both pure and applied science began there in 1956. The Atomic Energy Organization was established the following year. The Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, the government body that oversees the work of many specialized research institutes, was inaugurated in 1971.
Most of the learned societies and research institutes have library collections of their own. In addition to large collections at the universities, the municipalities of Alexandria, Al-Manūrah, and anā maintain libraries. There is also a central public library in each governorate, with branches in small towns and service points in the villages. The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the Egyptian National Library (1870; Dār al-Kutub) and the National Archives (1954), both in Cairo, and the Public Libraries Administration.
The Egyptian National Library, which has a large collection of printed materials, is also a centre for the collection and preservation of manuscripts. Construction of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina was a joint venture between UNESCO and the Egyptian government.
The Ministry of Culture is also responsible for the Egyptian Museum (1902), the Coptic Museum (1910), and the Museum of Islamic Art (1881), all in Cairo; the Greco-Roman Museum (1892) in Alexandria; and for other institutions, including fine-arts museums such as the Mukhtār Museum (which houses the sculptures of Mamūd Mukhtār), the Nājī (Nagui) Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, all in Cairo, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria. "Egypt" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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