Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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and group study rooms are placed in close proximity to the
Collection of 175,000 Volumes
The Library’s book collection now numbers about 175,000
volumes. In order to serve readers effectively and still be properly
protected, the collection has been divided into two uneven parts.
The older books have been placed in a multi-tier stack of four
levels (a part of the old Library building); the smaller but much
more rapidly growing group of more recent books occupies
several upper floors of the new building. Books published before
1900 are in the “closed stack”—open only to staff and faculty;
those after 1900 are in an “open stack” where browsing by all
is invited. The capacity of the “closed stack” is about 150,000
volumes and that of the “open stack” something over 200,000
These stacks, not unlike the Rare Book Wing, hold distin-
guished general collections in all areas of Jewish studies. The
Library is particularly strong in bibliography, periodicals, Bib-
lical studies, historical and philosophical studies, the ancient
Near East. Its
Pirke Abot
collection is exceptional; its responsa
section is good and fully supplemented by the notable private
collection of Dr. Solomon B. Freehof of Pittsburgh which is now
being presented to the Library. Its Yiddish materials were recent-
ly augmented by many thousands of volumes, and its modern
Hebrew literature holdings are quite respectable.
All through the years the normal acquisition program of the
Library was bolstered by the acquisition of collections notable in
their own right. Large numbers of books were presented to the Li-
brary by Jonas Bondi, father-in-law of Isaac Mayer Wise, by Dr.
Wise himself, and in much later years by Jonah Wise, son of the
College’s founder. Early in the century the M. Kayserling Library
of about 10,000 items was presented to the Library as a gift
of Julius Rosenwald. Much later the A. Freiman Collection of
7,000 items including 32 Hebrew incunabula became a part of
the Library. Acquisition of the academic libraries of persons like
Moses Mielziner and Kaufmann Kohler added further strength.
The Louis Grossman Collection of over 18,000 items was note-
worthy in this category.
In more recent years the destruction of Jewish life in Europe
led indirectly to other important acquisitions. Through the
efforts of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., the Library
fell heir to thousands of volumes salvaged from the European
catastrophe. Through another avenue the Library was able to
acquire the library of the Mannheim Jewish community through