Page 49 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 27

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B rism an —J ew is h C o l l e c t i o n a t
A few words about the structure of the UCLA University Li­
brary might be in order. The University Library is made up of
the University Research Library, the College Library, and a num­
ber of specialized libraries such as Law Library, Music Library,
and the like. Attached to the University Research Library are a
Special Collections Department and a Government Publications
Room. During the first thirty years of UCLA’s existence, the
University Library accumulated up to 800,000 volumes, but du­
ring the last decade the number was tripled to two and a half
million volumes. The bulk of the collection is housed in the
University Research Library. It is also here that the Jewish
Studies Collection found accommodations.
Growth induces complications and creates problems. In order to
avoid such a situation, the University Research Library employed
a corps of bibliographers, specialists in various disciplines, and
assigned to them the responsibility of building, strengthening and
supervising the multitude of large and small collections of books
housed in its building. A “slice” of the globe was allotted to each
bibliographer, together with the responsibility of making sure
that the Library acquires its “share” of the book output in his
specified region. Since Hebrew and Judaism had their origin
in the Near East, and since the library program was built around
the Near Eastern Languages Department program, it was quite
logical that the duties of the first Near Eastern bibliographer
and cataloger should include also the obligation for the growth
and development of the Hebraica collection. This is how the col­
lection was originally named: Hebraica Collection.
Several years later, in 1962, as the program, faculty and student
body of the Near Eastern Languages Department expanded, and
the acquisition of book materials reached proportions of great
magnitude, a decision was made to engage a Hebrew cataloger to
take care of the amassed uncataloged Hebraica and Judaica. A year
later, a position was created for a Hebraica and Judaica bibliog­
rapher, and the materials put under his jurisdiction were re­
named: The Jewish Studies Collection.
The Early Acquisitions
When the first Near Eastern bibliographer and cataloger arrived
in 1956, she found on her desk one1 Hebrew volume
ready to be processed. Ten years later the Jewish Studies Collection
counted among its holdings close to 40,000 Hebraica volumes.
Here is how it was made possible.
1 A number of Hebrew volumes landed previously on campus, but these were
part of a Spinoza Collection acquired by the Special Collections Department
(see below).