Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 27

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B e r l i n —T h e I s r a e l
PL-480
P ro g ram
49
25 American Library Participants
The availability of Public Law-480 funds in Israel, the great
terest of many American libraries in developing or strengthen­
g collections of Hebraica and Judaica, and the success of the
ook procurement programs in other areas resulted in the establish­
ent in 1964 of the American Libraries Book Procurement Center
f the Library of Congress in the American Embassy in Tel-Aviv.
he number of American libraries invited to participate in the
srael program now totals twenty-five. In addition to the accepted
riterion governing a library’s resources in the field of Jewish
tudies, invitations were also issued on the basis of interest
n developing a collection, especially where wider geographic dis­
ribution of this material would be assured. The list of participants
eflects these considerations; it includes libraries of Jewish institu­
ions with a strong interest in Judaica: Hebrew Union College,
ewish Theological Seminary of America, Yeshiva University,
ollege of Jewish Studies. Included also are university and public
esearch libraries with distinguished collections in the field of
ewish studies: e.g., Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Library of Con­
ress and New York Public Library. Libraries developing collec­
ions in this field and assuring wide geographic distribution in­
clude: Brandeis, University of California-Berkeley, University of
alifornia-Los Angeles, Cornell, Indiana, Joint University Li­
braries in Nashville, University of Michigan, Portland (Oregon)
State College, Princeton, University of Southern California,
Syracuse, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wayne State (Detroit) and Bos­
ton Public Library.
The purpose of the PL-480 Program is to supply each participat­
ing library with a copy of every monograph and periodical
currently published in Israel that is or may eventually be of
research value. The great majority of Israeli publications are, of
course, in Hebrew. There is, however, a great deal of publication
in other languages, especially in Yiddish, English, German, French
and Arabic and to a lesser extent in Rumanian, Russian, Polish,
Bulgarian and Spanish—in virtually all the languages used by
Jews in their former Diaspora locales. The PL-480 Program ac­
quires materials in these languages as well. A very high percentage
of all the material acquired is, understandably, in the field of
Jewish studies. Hebrew literature is well represented, from the
deluxe editions of collected works of the giants to the pamphlet
editions of the budding kibbutz poets. Much of it deals with Jew­
ish history of all periods and places, and especially noteworthy are
the many volumes in memory of the European Jewish communities
destroyed during the Second World War.
A large proportion consists of rabbinic literature—Biblical and
Talmudic commentaries, liturgical texts, responsa, codes, ethical