Page 140 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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134
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
newspapers for the Collection. As a result, more than ninety
additional tea chests have reached Yarnton. The staff now con­
tinue the work in the same general way as Kressel had been doing
it, with a few additions, e.g., the preparation of a proper card
catalogue. The generosity of ano ther benefactor, H .A .S.
Djanogly, allowed us to augment the staff for a critical two-year
period and thus make some valuable headway with the work at
the outset.
Naturally the Collection faces many problems. One that is
already very pressing is shortage of space which, if not solved,
could soon force us to stop taking any more books and stop
adding to the newspaper cuttings. It would be very hard later to
repair the damage this would cause. Another problem is shortage
of staff, which means, for example, that the rate of cataloguing
books is slower than the rate at which new ones arrive from Israel.
A task that will confront the staff at some time in the future is that
of sorting, cataloguing and filing some thousands of letters, in­
cluding letters sent to Kressel by writers and scholars in Israel and
other countries over more than forty years, which are at present
not available to readers. We are also worried by the steady de­
terioration in the physical condition of much of the material.
Newspaper cuttings, in particular, are fragile objects and we hope
one day to be able to make a microfiche copy of the Archive and
parts of the Library.
THE HOLDINGS
The main subject-area of the Kressel collection isJewish history
and literature of the last two centuries. Most of the material is in
Hebrew, with Yiddish clearly next in importance, followed by
German and English and a small amount of Polish, Russian,
French and other languages.
The Library, which contains about 25 ,000 volumes, is particu­
larly strong in the following subjects: the history of Zionism;
Jewish settlement in Palestine and Israel; the Jewish labor move­
ment in Palestine; the history of the Jewish press; the State of
Israel; and Jewish bibliography. It contains a first-rate collection
of Jewish reference works and has sections on Hebrew literature,
Jewish history in the diaspora, the Bible, and Rabbinic literature.
Although the library was built up as a working tool, not a bib­