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Department of Judaic Studies

S. Wachs, Bibliographer

I. General Purpose

The University Libraries' collection supports the undergraduate programs of the Judaic Studies Department which offers courses in elementary, intermediate, and advanced Hebrew language and literature, both modern and classical, and courses in Jewish history, including the Holocaust, philosophy, culture and identity, and the Jewish woman.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: Most of the titles collected are in English or Hebrew. There is material in the collection in German, Yiddish, Ladino, and Russian.

Geographical Areas: The ancient Near East, Israel, Europe, Russia, and North America are the areas emphasized. Books about Jewish communities past and present in North Africa, the Orient, Latin America and the Middle East are collected.

Chronological Periods: All periods from antiquity to the present.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: Monographs, serials, and limited electronic resources are collected in the areas of religion, ancient, medieval and modern history, archaeology, sociology, literature, philosophy, and Biblical study and research.

Types of Materials Excluded: Dissertations and periodical article reprints are not purchased.

Interdisciplinary Factors: Many of the titles purchased for the programs in classical archaeology and civilization, history, philosophy, political science, and religious studies support the department's program.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

The program is an undergraduate program with a major in Judaic Studies and minors in Judaic Studies and Hebrew language and literature, as well as courses in contemporary and past aspects of Jewish religion and history, culture, philosophy, and classical texts. The collection is at the Intermediate Study or Instructional Support Level, although some materials needed for faculty research are occasionally acquired as funds permit.

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

  1. The Library maintains a small collection of old and rare Judaica known as the Kosover Collection, which is housed in the Department of Special Collections and Archives. The focus of the Kosover Collection is Rabbinic literature, but works on history, literature, ethics, and Bible are included.
  2. The Jewish Heritage Video Collection includes over 130 videos devoted to Jewish history, politics, identity and culture, religious observance, and the land and State of Israel. These videos are located in the Library’s Interactive Media Center.
  3. Papers of Stephen S. Wise (1874-1949) on microfilm. This collection of 131 microfilm reels documents the life, activities, and correspondence of one of the most significant American Jewish figures of the 20th century. A Reform Rabbi and ardent Zionist, Wise came in contact with many important individuals in American politics and Jewish life.

VI. Internal Notes

Titles in Hebrew are selected by the bibliographer in consultation with the Judaic Studies faculty.

There is fairly good coverage by the BNA approval plan and there are several standing orders for monographic series and sets.

Titles for the Reference collection are purchased by the Reference Bibliographer upon the recommendation of the Judaic Studies Bibliographer.

October 2003

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