Hebraica, Judaica, and Semitics


César Merchán-Hamann
tel: +44 (0)1865 277031
email: cesar.merchan-hamann@bodleian.ox.ac.uk 

Rahel Fronda
tel: +44 (0)1865 277602
email: rahel.fronda@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Collection overview

The Bodleian’s Hebraica collection dates from the earliest years of the Library’s history and the accession of several key collections in the 19th century, such as the Oppenheimer Library and fragments from the Cairo Genizah, has rendered it one of the most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts in the world. The Library also has a very important collection of early Yiddish printed books, in many cases holding the only surviving copy. There are modest collections of Syriac and Ethiopic manuscripts. The Library continues to select and acquire the latest books in the various fields that support the University’s programmes in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and Eastern Christianity. More information about special collections relating to Hebraica, Judaica, and Semitics can be found here.

Libraries and reading rooms

Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Ethiopic manuscripts and early printed books in Hebrew and Yiddish are read in the David Reading Room. Modern printed Hebraica and Judaica, and other Semitic Studies titles are read in the Oriental Institute Library. Yiddish holdings are divided between the Taylor Institution Library and the Central Bodleian.

A small teaching collection is housed at the Oriental Institute Library. The Theology Faculty Library has a lending collection on Biblical studies and the Old Testament.

The Leopold Muller Library at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (containing around 90,000 volumes) is a significant resource for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Its holdings are 50% in Hebrew and relate to Hebrew literature, religion, Jewish history, Zionism and Israel.  It also has an archive, mostly unpublished, about modern Hebrew writers.

The Hebraica, Judaica, and Semitics holdings may be searched using the SOLO catalogue. Approximately 30% of the Bodleian’s printed collections in Hebrew and Yiddish acquired before 1927 are recorded in a printed catalogue by A. E. Cowley, available in the New Bodleian Reading Room, and the Special Collections Reading Room. Some Hebrew and Yiddish titles items are recorded only in the card catalogue in the New Bodleian Reading Room.

Important e-resources

To be confirmed.

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