Page 63 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

Basic HTML Version

59
AKSLER / LIBRARY OF SPERTUS COLLEGE OF JUDAICA
collection of Dr. Jacob Mann. A professor at Hebrew Union Col-
lege in Cincinnati where he taught Jewish history and Talmud,
Dr. Mann collected much material relating to the pre- and post-
Gaonic periods in Jewish history. This collection, amounting
to about 4000 volumes in the fields of Jewish history and Rab-
binic literature, as well as many complete sets of important Ju-
daica and Hebraica periodicals, included an outstanding collec-
tion of Karaite literature.
Other important gifts which further helped in the development
of the library were the Harold Kaplan collection consisting of
material of a general nature such as history, education, social
science, and a large collection of Yiddish works; and later, the
collection of Dr. Samuel Feigin, a member of the College’s
faculty, consisting of many journals in the field of Bible and in-
eluding the manuscripts of his own works.
After the war the library was able to develop its Rabbinica col-
lection through a gift from the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction
Incorporated, which consisted of 2000 volumes including many
rare works in the field of Responsa literature. More recently, the
library has greatly increased its collection of Rabbinica through
the acquisition of the Harvard Library Hebraica duplicates,
which consist of many rare 16th and 17th century works in
Rabbinics.
In 1964 the library, being one of a number of university and
college libraries specializing in Judaica, was selected to be part
of the Public Law 480 Israel Program. Through this program the
library has been able to acquire publications in the areas of
Israeli history and culture, Zionism, and many reprints of rab-
binic literature. Since the library has been receiving most mate-
rials including periodicals recently published in Israel, the pro-
gram has especially enabled it to greatly enlarge its Hebrew lit-
erature collection.
A recent acquisition of note is the Badona Spertus Art Library
consisting of works dealing especially with Jewish art, Jews in
art, art relating to Jewish subject matter, and archaeology. Re-
cently Dr. Maurice Spertus, whose name the college now bears,
has donated many works which are very important to the de-
velopment of the library’s rare book department. His gifts in-
elude many 16th and 17th century first editions of Rabbinica,
as well as the Yemenite manuscripts he has been collecting over