Page 200 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
some faculty offices, unused portions o f the building, and s to r­
age areas. T h e stacks were crowded, and work space for the
staff was inadequate. These conditions, in addition to the lack
o f funds, led to a backlog in cataloging.
In early 1947, the library held an exhibition on books from
Palestine. Rabbi Kiev also solicited suggestions from the faculty
for a “Great Jewish Books” exhibit. With the end o f World War
II, the rabbinical seminaries o f Europe were devastated. T h e
library arranged to ship duplicates to the Ecole Rabbinique in
Paris and the Collegio Rabbinico in Rome, which were in d ire
need o f replacement copies.
In 1947, a non-profit corporation was set up to distribute
the remains o f European Jewish libraries without heirs to Jewish
organizations primarily in the United States and Israel. This
organization, known as Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.
(JCR), had as its executive secretary H annah A rendt. I. Edward
Kiev served as secretary o f the Advisory Board. Arriving in
crates were some 400,000 books, 7,000 ceremonial objects, 800
To rah scrolls, and even some ra re books and incunabula. Books
began to arrive in 1949, and Kiev went down to the depo t to
select books for the library. T h e J IR garnered several thousand
books from the JCR program .
In the faculty m inutes o f May 28, 1948 Rabbi Kiev was listed
as a “Guest,” bu t by the Ju n e meeting and thereafter , he ap ­
peared as a regu lar member. Besides serving as full-time lib rar­
ian, Rabbi Kiev was active as well in such groups as the Jewish
Book Council, the Jewish Librarians’ Association, and the Ad­
visory Board o f JCR. Exhibitions, librarians’ networks, and com­
munity relations b rough t the library into contact with similar
institutions and gave the library more visibility. Visiting scholars
became increasingly aware o f the J IR collection as a source for
research materials.
Although not trained as a librarian, Rabbi Kiev was the first
pe rm anen t librarian o f the JIR . As assistant librarian since 1927,
he had hand led day-to-day affairs, dealing with students, re f­
erence questions, circulation, etc., and as librarian he was now
in a position to supervise the larger policies o f the library, ac­
quisitions, and relations with the faculty and adm inistration.
By the end o f the 1940s it became app a ren t tha t the J IR
would not be able to continue as an independen t institution.
T h e Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati had suggested a m erg ­