Page 191 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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MENAHEM SCHMELZER
The New Jewish Theological
Seminary Library
T W E N T Y YEARS A GO
theJewish Book Annual (vol. 21, 1963-1964,
pp. 53-59) published an article on the Library o f the Jewish The­
ological Seminary o f America by the then librarian, Professor
Nahum Sarna. In it Sarna described the main features o f the
Seminary Library and its significance. In the twenty years that
have elapsed since then, the Seminary Library’s history has been
marked by tragedy and renewal. In 1966 a fire occurred in the
Library stacks. Ten stories o f book stacks were located in the Li­
brary tower, and the fire struck the three upper floors destroying
approximately 70,000 books. Particularly tragic was the loss o f
the following collections:
Cyrus Adler Papers,
representing a great portion o f his papers
and correspondence during his presidency o f the Seminary
(1915-1940).
Benaim Collection.
This collection was acquired in 1965, and it
contained books and manuscripts from North Africa. The major­
ity o f the 2,000 printed books was completely destroyed. About
105 manuscripts were partially damaged, but can still be used for
scholarly purposes. O f the remaining 45, only fragments have
survived.
Danzig Collection o f Torah Scrolls.
Some forty scrolls, formerly
the property o f the Jewish Community o f Danzig, deposited with
the Seminary in 1939.
Israel Davidson Collection
(on permanent loan from the College
o f the City o f New York). The great scholar’s complete collection
o f 8,000 volumes, which was especially rich in rare liturgical and
poetical material.
Louis Ginzberg and Alexander Marx Collection o f Books.
Many o f
the books had the learned owners’ marginal notes. Their papers
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