Page 73 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 36

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MARWICK / THE HEBREW COLLECTION
of information in Hebrew which poured forth from Israel’s
presses.
REFERENCE TOOLS
The Section maintains for its readers a representative collec-
tion of reference works in many languages which numbers
about 1,200 volumes. This includes encyclopedias, dictionaries,
bibliographies, prin ted catalogs, general and specialized Semitic
histories, works on the geography and archaeology of the
ancient Near East and histories of Semitic literature. As a
further aid to scholarship, it was decided in 1954 to merge the
Hebraic Section’s catalog with the incipient Hebraic Union
Catalog. Aside from achieving savings in filing time and drawer
space, the number of cards filed more than doubled, and better
control was established. T he advantages gained through this
drastic operation were not slow in manifesting themselves and
more than warranted the undertaking. T he number of libraries
currently contributing reports exceeds fifty, and the number of
cards in the catalogs exceeds the imposing figure of 600,000.
T he services we are able to provide to a national and interna-
tional audience through these cards in locating rare and unique
items have met with much appreciation. We have thus been
encouraged to embark on yet another major undertaking: to
speed the publication of the Union Catalog of Yiddica. When
completed, it is hoped that over 90 percent of all Yiddish titles
ever published will be represented in it, citing locations for
them.
The Hebraic Section also maintains a Union Catalog of
Hebraica on microfilm which is truly international in scope. In
years to come these unique services will require further refine-
ment and expansion as the scholarly community becomes in-
creasingly interdependent. Book borrowing privileges, exchange
of duplicates and cooperation among libraries will continue to
grow in importance. These will broaden the horizons of con-
scientious librarians and add to their chores.
One cannot overestimate the benefits to be derived by re-
searchers from utilization of the unlimited Library of Congress
resources forming a background for, or shedding light on
many facets of our area of interest. Suffice it to mention here