Page 195 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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SCHIFFMAN/JEW ISH INST ITUTE OF RELIGION LIBRARY
1 8 7
directed to the resources o f the New York Public Library and
the Jewish Theological Seminary.
A n o th e r 1,000 volumes were ad d e d ac co rd ing to the
1926-1927 Annual Catalogue. Among them were a set o f the
Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft
beginning in
1846, and manuscripts by Isaac Offenbach, cantor and rabbi
o f Cologne (1779-1850) and fa the r o f Jacques Offenbach, the
composer. T h rough Bloch Publishing Co. the library acquired
some ra re Hebrew periodicals, sixteenth century Italian books,
and Hebrew diaries and biographies. New stacks were installed
to allow the library to grow to 25,000 volumes.
II. GROWTH OF RESEARCH LIBRARY
In 1927, Prof. Levy was making preparations to re tu rn to
Cambridge University where he became a distinguished profes­
sor o f Iran ian Studies. Dr. Salo W. Baron, originally o f Vienna,
had been visiting professor o f history in 1926 and 1927. He
became a perm anen t faculty member in 1927 ju s t as Dr. Levy
was leaving. Again, a “temporary” librarian was recruited from
the ranks o f the faculty. Dr. Baron was elected du ring one fac­
ulty meeting which he did not attend and was invited to become
chairman o f the History D epartm ent “depend ing upon his ac­
cepting the duties o f librarian .”5 He accepted provided he
would be reimbursed for the cost o f a secretary whom he would
employ to make up for the time he spent in the library.
Prof. Baron though t o f the library job as an extension o f his
scholarship and love o f books.6 A lthough he read catalogs to
see what was currently available, he also traveled to Europe d u r ­
ing the summers and collected for his personal library as well
as for the JIR . He kept abreast o f new volumes th rough his
contact with scholars in Berlin, Vienna, and London.
As the only historian on the faculty, Baron had to acquire
books in all periods o f history. He found the modern period
particularly neglected in American libraries. He also had to con­
centrate on the literature section. At this time, a shift from Ger­
man to English began to occur as scholarship in England started
5. Board o f Trustees meeting, February 8, 1927, p. 3.
6. Salo W. Baron, interview, April 26, 1987. The quotations following are
also from this interview.