Page 198 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

Basic HTML Version

190
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
deficit, the Board advised Dr. Spiegel to spend no money on
books unless it was “imperative,”9 and advised him tha t his li­
brary staff was to be cut.
In November 1931, the Library Committee repo rted :
Since September, 1930, when Dr. Baron gave up his post as Act­
ing Librarian, 4,387 new volumes have been added to the Li­
brary, of which, 2,891 volumes were received by gifts and 1,496
were obtained by purchase. The total number of books cataloged
reached 27,205, while approximately 1,200 books and pamphlets
are still to be catalogued. The library is now receiving 41 pe­
riodicals. Approximately 4,000 books go into the homes of stu­
dents and faculty during the year.
Financial considerations forced the Board subsequently to ask
that no books be purchased , and the re was a shortage o f library
assistance. In December 1932, the Board tu rn ed down Kiev’s
request for an increase in salary. In fact, the Board wanted
“to discontinue his post, bu t will not do this because o f economic
conditions.”10 Mary Nover, who had become the wife o f Isaac
Kiev in 1931, resigned in October, 1932, and the Committee
wished to incur no additional expenses fo r library staff. All the
work was to be hand led by Dr. Spiegel, Kiev, and s tuden t as­
sistants. T h e very existence o f the Institute was th rea tened by
the financial crisis, as stated in the minutes o f the Board meeting
o f April 19, 1933, and registration, too, was down. In the fall
o f 1934, “in hono r o f his thirty years in the ministry, Dr. Gerson
Levi in a letter to Dr. Wise announced a gift o f a series o f learn ­
ed jou rnals , Judaica and Theologica to the Institute library.”11
In 1934, Dr. Baron was again to have an influence on the
J IR library. George Kohut died on December 31, 1933 desig­
nating Baron an executor o f his will. He wished to divide his
library between the American Jewish Historical Society, Yale,
and the Institute. This difficult task fell to Baron who had to
decide which library needed which volumes most. T h e JIR , be­
ing “the youngest o f the th ree ,”12 needed practically everything.
What was ultimately obtained was rich and carefully selected
and included manuscripts and Americana.
9. Executive Committee meeting, in
Board o f Trustees,
Sept. 24, 1931, p. 2.
10. “Committee Meeting,” in
Board o f Trustees,
Dec. 14, 1932, p. 3.
11.
Board o f Trustees,
Oct. 17, 1934, p. 2.
12. Baron, interview.