Page 197 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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SCHIFFMAN/JEWISH INST ITUTE OF RELIGION LIBRARY
1 8 9
H iring a librarian who was a scholar in his own right was
expected to give the library prestige and the assurance that the
concerns o f scholars would be met. It was, therefore , the wish
o f the J IR board o f trustees that the librarian always be a schol­
ar. When a scholar was not available to devote himself exclu­
sively to the job , a faculty member was “temporarily” h ired on
a part-time basis. The board foresaw that Kiev, with his expe­
rience since his studen t days in the library, held the most p rom ­
ise for a long-term position as librarian.
The library grew as a result o f some generous contributions
du ring this period. The Emanuel Hertz collection contained
the early volumes o f the
Jewish Quarterly Review
and some au ­
tographs. T h e J IR purchased some books o f Henry Preserved
Smith, orientalist and librarian at Union Theological Seminary,
including ra re and out-of-print biblical and ancient history vol­
umes. The News Bulletin proudly proclaimed the library to be
“Classed among great Jewish Libraries”8 upon Dr. Baron’s de ­
pa r tu re to Columbia University.
During this period the library tu rned from billing itself main­
ly as an “adequate working library” to more o f a research li­
brary. Dr. Baron’s tenu re as librarian had resulted in bringing
many purely research items into the collection. Dr. Spiegel, the
next Acting Librarian, accepted manuscripts and ra re books as
well as the elements o f a “working” collection. The News Bul­
letin repo rted in October 1931 that special cases for valuable
books and those p rin ted before 1700 were placed for security
reasons in the librarian’s office.
The year 1931 also saw the presentation o f some importan t
gifts to the library. Mrs. Maurice H. Harris donated 400 books,
Mrs. I.S. Moses, 200. From the library o f Rev. Dr. Nehemiah
Mosessohn and his son David N. Mosessohn, founde r and editor
o f the “Jewish T r ibun e ,” who were friends o f Dr. Wise from
Portland, O regon came a “considerable num ber” o f books on
Jewish and Hebrew literature.
As o f 1931, the library stood at 30,000 volumes, and the
Board o f T rustees determ ined that it should be valued at at
least $60,000 for insurance purposes. Unfortunately, the effects
o f the Depression were now felt in the library. In view o f the
8.
News Bulletin o f the Jewish Institute o f Religion,
vol. 2: 2 (December 1930),
p. 1.