Page 64 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
the past twenty years. These manuscripts have been described in
detail by Dr. Norman Golb in his recent book
Spertus College
of Judaica Yemenite Manuscripts,
published by the college press.
[
Thus, the collection which has been accumulated mainly
through gifts is very strong in certain fields. The collection deal-
ing with Jewish bibliography and the history of Hebrew printing,
numbers close to 1,000 volumes including the recently acquired
Steinschneider collection reproduced on microfilm by the Jew-
ish Theological Seminary of America. Dr. Judah Rosenthal, pro-
fessor of Bible and librarian at the college from 1944 to 1968, de-
veloped two large collections, one dealing with biblical exegesis,
and the other with disputation literature on which he is an au-
thority. Other strengths of the library’s collection are in the
areas of Jewish history, Zionism, Hebrew literature, and its ex-
tensive Yiddish works of about 6000 volumes. One of the library’s
most important facets is its periodical collection numbering well
over 8000 volumes in all languages and covering all of the above
subjects.
When the library first opened its doors, it was used mainly
by the students of the college who were pursuing a program to
enable them to teach in Hebrew schools. Later, the library began
to be used by the general Chicago area public, Jewish and non-
Jewish, and greater demand was made for general reading matter
in Hebrew and introductory works in English. With the growth
of the faculty the library began acquiring more scholarly mate-
rials for their use in their many different research projects.
In 1965 the Spertus College of Judaica developed the idea
of its consortium, establishing itself as the department of Jewish
studies for major colleges and universities in the Chicago area.
The cooperative programs provide the students of these colleges
and universities, through utilization of Spertus College faculty
and facilities, with the opportunity to undertake a major se-
quence of Judaic studies leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Additionally, students majoring in a variety of other fields such
as history, literature, and philosophy may take SCJ courses in
Judaic studies as part of their major, as allied fields or as elec-
tives. This program has opened the library to a larger and much
more demanding public.
Due to this large increase in the number of students of vary-
ing backgrounds, greater demands are now being placed upon