A Brief Ex Libris Chronology (1978-2005)   (revised  5-Apr-2017)

 [Note:  The numbered references below are links to the References section of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_Libris_Group webpage.]

        1978   Hebrew University of Jerusalem initiates a project, with Yohanan Spruch as its development head, to create a library management system to handle both Hebrew and Latin character sets, as required by the University.  The software is called ALEPH (Automated Library Expandable Program [Hebrew University]).  (Aleph is also the first letter of many Semitic alphabets). [3]  A central system on one central (mainframe) computer (CDC).

        1982  First customer outside Hebrew University: CSIC (the Spanish national research council)

 Ca. 1983  Aleph 200 (Aleph version 2) – a decentralized system on a VAX-11/730 mini-computer with VMS operating system and ISAM database

        1983  Yissum (the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University) founds Aleph-Yissum Ltd., a new company to commercialize the software. Yohanan Spruch, the original developer of Aleph, becomes the company's chief technology officer [3]

        1983–1988 All of the eight universities in Israel buy the Aleph program and link up in a network [3]

 Ca. 1985   First Aleph 200 customer outside of Israel: Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC.

(Incidentally: at that time, another company marketed Aleph both in Israel and overseas: Aurec group, a predecessor of Amdocs .)     

        1986  Ex Libris Ltd. founded by technology entrepreneur Azriel Morag to market the software overseas.

 Ca. 1986/7 First office in Europe – in Luxemburg.

        1989  ALEPH selected by the Danish Technical University Library, and by CERN (Geneva, Switzerland). Aleph300 developed in partnership with DTU.

        1990/1 Aleph 300, an advanced version of Aleph 200, released:  VMS and Unix operating system, and First GUI (on VT Terminals, block mode).  Developed and marketed for the European market.   Photo of Vax-11 730 .  

  1993  Aleph deployed by the seventeen libraries of the Vatican [4]

        1993 CASLIN (Czech and Slovak Library Information Network), led by Czech and Slovak national libraries, selects ALEPH. First major consortium outside of Israel to do so.

 (by) 1995  200 libraries in 27 countries have bought Aleph [3]

        1995  Aleph-Yissum merged with Ex Libris Ltd. and reorganized as the Ex Libris Group, headed by Azriel Morag as the group's chief executive officer.[5]

  1997  Aleph 500 released - An innovative and new system (multi-tier client/server) using Unix and Oracle.  Developed and marketed for All markets (including American market).

        1997  Ex Libris acquires Dabis, a leading vendor of automated library systems in the German speaking countries.[6]

        1997/8 First ALEPH500 customer (Ghent University)   


        1998  First large North American customer, University of Notre Dame, purchases/implements Aleph500. Ex Libris opens its first office in North America – in Chicago, IL.

        1998  venture capital funds Walden Israel and Tamar Ventures invest $4m in Ex Libris.[5] Azriel becomes Chairman, Udi Arad, President.

Feb  2000  Ex Libris acquires the rights to SFX, an OpenURL link server software, from Ghent University. [7] 

July 2000  Ex Libris launches MetaLib, a federated search system that conducts simultaneous searches in multiple information resources such as library catalogs, journal articles, newspapers.[8]

        2001  Two journal articles on SFX (by Herbert van de Sompel and Oren):  Introduction to OpenURL framework (March) and How the framework can be generalized (July).

Aug 2002  DigiTool general release


May 2003  Matti Shem-Tov appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Ex Libris

        2004  Ex Libris launches Verde, an electronic resource management system that manages the acquisition and licensing of electronic resources.[9]

Francisco Partners became the sole owner of Ex Libris, buying out various owners, in 2006.  

2006 Ex Libris acquires Endeavor Information systems from Elsevier (http://bit.ly/2hDDdIJ)

Leeds Equity acquires Ex Libris in 2008. http://bit.ly/1jcEd6C

 Golden Gate Capital bought Ex Libris in 2012. In December 2015, Ex Libris was acquired by ProQuest . as a result, "Ex Libris, a ProQuest Company", also managed the products of the Workflow Solutions division of ProQuest,[10] such as Intota, Summon, and 360 Link.[11]

3   Times Higher Education  1995 article on Aleph:  https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/instant-access-distant-library/98933.article