Page 121 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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Goldfarb Library at Brandeis
r a n d e is
n i v e r s i t y
w a s
founded in 1948 as a liberal arts institu­
tion. Its library, then housed in a converted brick stable, had but
an initial book collection of 1,000 volumes. At present, the Bran­
deis libraries stock close to 700,000 volumes to support the re­
search needs of its faculty and students as well as the reading
interests of the Brandeis community. The quantitative and qual­
itative growth of the collection in this short span of time is due in
large measure to the efforts of the Brandeis National Women’s
Committee, which has dedicated itself to raising funds to develop
and maintain the basic working library, and to the efforts of the
Brandeis University Bibliophiles who underwrite the purchase of
rare books, manuscripts and original documents for scholarly
The Library is a member of the Boston Library Consortium.
Membership in the Consortium enables us to extend the range
and depth of our resources as well as to share existing resources
among members to the fullest extent possible.
The University from its inception had a strong commitment to
offer courses and support research in a broad range of fields of
Jewish studies. It likewise encouraged the development of a Jew­
ish studies collection at the library. The initial holdings in Judaica,
like the general collection, were insignificant. Funds for acquisi­
tions were always limited. Therefore, no major collections were
acquired to serve as a base for further development. Yet in a
relatively short time Brandeis has become a major repository for
Jewish studies materials. Its Judaica Collections now number over
90,000 volumes with strengths in biblical studies, Rabbinics, Jew­
ish and Islamic Philosophy, modern Jewish history, and Hebrew
and Yiddish language and literature. The significant growth in
such a relatively short time can be attributed in part to the receipt
of major gifts of materials, as well as to the purchase of select lots
of out-of-print items. In addition, Brandeis’ library holdings of
Israeli imprints in all disciplines were bolstered by its participa­