Book Collection

The scope of The Library's printed book collection ranges from incunabula, books printed before 1501, to current publications.

Rare Printed Books (up to 1801)

Twenty thousand early printed books, including a comprehensive collection of Hebrew books printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; deluxe books printed on parchment; unique editions; first editions of the majority of Hebrew books printed prior to the nineteenth century; and first printings from Hebrew presses throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Highlights of the collection include:

Hebrew Incunabula: The largest collection in the world.

Bibles: Early printed Bibles from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries

Talmud: Early printed Talmud editions on paper and parchment

Haggadot: More than 2,500 Haggadot—the richest collection in the Western Hemisphere.

Anglo-Judaica: The Israel Solomons Collection of Anglo-Judaica

Early American: Abraham and Deborah Karp Collection of Early American Judaica

Early English, French, German, Greek, Ladino, Latin, Spanish, and Yiddish printed books on Judaica.

minhagimThe books are accessed through the catalog and are located on the fifth floor in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Books printed between 1801–1840

Nineteenth-century books printed before 1840 and later books in very fragile condition are found through the catalog and have restricted access. They must be paged at the Circulation Desk and read in a special reading area behind the Circulation Desk.

Open Stack Books (post 1840)

A comprehensive collection of books in all areas of Jewish studies such as art, bibical studies, education, history, literature, liturgy, music, philosophy and rabbinics, in a wide range of languages, is found through the catalog and located in the open stacks of The Library on the second and third floors.