Page 189 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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ROBERT SINGERMAN
The Price Library ofJudaica
at the University of Florida
B
e g i n n i n g
i n
1977, with the acqusition of the Rabbi Leonard C.
Mishkin collection, the Price Library of Judaica grew rapidly into
the major repository ofJudaica and Hebraica in the southeastern
United States. Holdings now exceed 40,000 volumes. While still
in its first decade, the story of the Price Library’s organization is
instructive as an example of establishing a new Judaica library at
a large, land grant state university.
The creation of an active, interdisciplinary Center for Jewish
Studies implies a long-term commitment on the part of a univer­
sity to support the program with adequate library resources and
staff to service the collection. The critical need for qualified bibli­
ographers and library resources to support the teaching and re­
search mission of a university-level Jewish studies program has
already been carefully surveyed by Charles Berlin.1 If the pro­
gram expects to offer graduate courses leading to the doctorate,
at least 25,000 carefully chosen books and journals relevant to
Jewish studies will be needed. Local requirements, however, will
always vary, depending on the scope of the program and the
availability of library resources in the same city or state. In any
event, no well-grounded program can or should rely on
interlibrary borrowing in lieu of the local investment in library
materials in all relevant languages and media.
It is imperative to acquire a large core collection as a nucleus
for building a Jewish studies collection. Much thought should be
given to the nuclear collection’s subject matter, age, and condi­
tion as it relates to the mission and goals of the teaching program.
The services of a consultant, preferably a librarian specializing in
Jewish studies, will be valuable at this point. A bibliophile’s collec­
1 Charles Berlin,
Library Resources fo r Jewish Studies in the United States
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Library, 1975). Reprinted
from Amer­
ican Jewish Year Book
(1974/75).
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