Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

Basic HTML Version

4 9
a fr e n
— H
e b r ew
n io n
Bible, a beautiful Jensen Bible in Latin (Venice, 1476), medical
works by Maimonides and Isaac Israeli, conversionist and anti-
Jewish tracts. Among the Hebrew books are Nachmanides’s Com-
mentary on the Pentateuch, probably the first printed Hebrew
book, and at least one representative from thirteen of the six-
teen known places of Hebrew printing in the 15th century.
These are the significant books and manuscripts housed in
a fully air-conditioned building of their own, so that they may
receive the extraordinary care they richly deserve.
The Klau Library Building
From the treasures in the Dalsheimer Rare Book Wing, named
in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Dalsheimer of Baltimore, we
return to the main Library Building, named in memory of
David W. Klau of New York who, before his untimely death
in 1961, actively supported the development of the new Library.
The Klau Library, a highly specialized research library in the
field of Jewish studies, ranks among the largest repositories of
Judaica-Hebraica in the world.
Historically the Hebrew Union College Library in Cincinnati
began with the founding of the College in 1875. I t soon became
apparent that a general Judaica collection was needed to serve
as more than a curriculum aid. This has been the direction of
the Library’s growth. Although it continues to support the
curriculum, it now caters to the research needs of the faculty
and to the needs of scholars and laymen throughout the world.
One aspect of this emphasis on research is the publication since
1953 of a journal of Jewish bibliography,
Studies in Bibliography
and Booklore.
The first of the Library’s five floors contains the initial ap-
proach: the circular information-circulation desk, the card catalog
containing about 600,000 cards, the reference collection in a free
standing stack in the middle of the very large room, and tables
of various sizes and shapes for the consultation of these materials.
To relieve the formal setting and to provide variety, one area
is set off for displaying a small part of the thousand or so current
periodicals that come regularly; lounge type seating is provided.
Close to the card catalog is the staff work area where library
materials are acquired, cataloged and prepared for their proper
places. Thus the main floor contains the working tools of the
Library, the card catalog and the quick reference books to which
staff and readers have ready access, as well as comfortable space
for the use of the tools. There is no reading room, in the
conventional sense, in the entire building; individual study units