01 November 2010

Columbia University: $4 million for Jewish Studies

New Yorkers interested in all aspects of Jewish studies will have something new to access for information.

The Columbia University Libraries have received a gift of $4 million to establish the Norman E. Alexander Library for Jewish Studies. It will fund endowments for a Jewish Studies librarian, the General Jewish Studies Collection and Special Collections in Judaica.

Michelle Chesner is the new Librarian for Jewish Studies is Michelle Chesner. Previously she was at the University of Pennsylvania as an archivist and Judaica Public Services Librarian at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Her research interests include 15th century Jewish history and early Hebrew books.

Special collections at the Jewish Studies library include 29 Hebrew incunabula, more than 30016th-century printed books, and nearly 1,500 Hebrew manuscripts, plus extensive archival collections related to Jewish life and culture, and Jewish individuals in all fields of study and work.

Key components were acquired in 1947 (the Oko-Gebhardt Spinoza Collection, nearly 4,000 books by and about the Dutch Jewish philosopher) and in 2009 (the papers of Yosef Yerushalmi, Columbia faculty member and scholar of Jewish history). New endowment funds will be used initially to catalog the Hebrew manuscripts, the second largest such collection in North America.

Jewish Studies collections at Columbia offer more than 100,000 monograph volumes, 1,000 current and historical periodical titles, about 60,000 Hebrew and Yiddish titles and large holdings of Jewish scholarly works in Western and Slavic languages. It also subscribes to relevant electronic titles, ebooks and databases. It is the only New York City repository for the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation.

Read more here about Norman E. Alexander and the endowments. Learn more about the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services here.

1 comment:

  1. Check out Michael Sovern,President emeritus of Columbia Univ., the first jewish president of Columbia.