The Yale Library Judaica holdings have grown slowly but steadily since the University’s founding in 1701. Following the receipt of two major gifts in 1915, the Yale Library established a separate Judaica collection which is recognized as one of the major collections of Judaica in the country. The focus of the over 100,000 volume collection, which includes manuscripts and rare books, is biblical, classical, medieval, and modern periods of Jewish literature and history, and supports the research needs of the faculty and students of the University’s Judaic Studies Program and those of the broader academic community.
The social, religious, and cultural lives of the Jewish people are reflected in the Library’s collections. Religious law, Sephardic studies, rabbinics, Jewish philosophy and modern thought, talmud, and Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino languages and literatures are all represented in the collection.
Rare materials are housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the Sterling Memorial Library and in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Among the rare and unusual Judaica at the Beinecke Library are some 200 manuscripts and 45 incunabula (books printed before 1501). Special features of this impressive holding include the Alexander Kohut Memorial Collection of Judaica, Selah Merrill Collection of Josephus, the Goodhart Collection of Philo imprints, and the Sholem Asch Collection. Manuscripts of a political nature can be found in the Department of Manuscripts and Archives. Items of interest include the papers of the Palestine Statehood Committee. Yale’s official records documenting the history of Jews at Yale are also housed in Manuscripts and Archives.
The Judaica Reading and Reference Room is located in 335B of the Sterling Memorial Library. It is open during Library hours to Yale students, faculty and visiting scholars. The office of the Judaica Curator, Nanette Stahl, is attached to the Reading Room. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone: (203)432-7207. For the library’s Judaica web site, with links to other Judaica resources, click here.