Jewish Studies

Explore research options for Jewish history, Hebrew and Yiddish literature, Jewish philosophy and religion

Special Collections


The Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld Collection includes over 5000 books. Strengths of the collection include:

  • many volumes on the Geonic Period, including historical books, commentary on both Torah & Talmud, as well as a very deep collection of Responsa from that period
  • source material on the origin and growth of Jewish customs, prayer & liturgy.
  • Responsa and law
  • Mishna & Talmud

The Zionist Archives and library of the Wyman Institute: the archive and library of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies,

  • Rich in the early history of Zionism, the Palestine Mandate and Israel.
  • Includes more than 15,000 books, 225 bound and unbound periodicals, 10,000 pamphlets and more than 1,000 government documents in eight languages.
  • Mostly in English, with 1/3 in Hebrew and Yiddish.

Schaechter Collection

  • In 2006, the Sheridan Libraries acquired the library of Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter and his wife, Charne Schechter. 
  • The collection includes over 9,000 Yiddish books and periodical volumes.
  • The Sheridan Libraries is now one of the leading research collections for the study of Yiddish language and culture in North America. 
  • Although the strength of the library is in linguistics and literature, every aspect of Yiddish publishing, from music to botany, is represented. 
  • Most of the books were published in Eastern Europe before the Second World War.
  • The collection also includes a notable selection of Holocaust memorial books.

Here is a link to a list of books in the Schaechter Collection.


Religious Texts

  • Holdings include:
    • Hebrew Scriptures, both alone and as part of Christian Bibles.
    • Individual texts of the Hebrew Scriptures
    • Biblical commentaries; ethics, law, ritual, prayers, and liturgical texts.
    • A small sub-collection of women's prayers, both in Hebrew and in Yiddish, and another concerning the practice of ritual slaughter.
    • Grammars, lexicons, and chronologies.
  • The Leopold Strouse Rabbinical Library was one of the earliest gifts of Hebrew materials to the University, for which a printed catalogue is available in Special Collections.

Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Project

  • The Project was founded and led by historian Salo Baron and included among its members philosopher Hannah Arendt.
  • It aimed to restore Jewish libraries and reclaim Jewish cultural artifacts following World War II.
  • The group distributed some 158,000 "heirless" recovered books, after WWII.
  • The Johns Hopkins University was the recipient of 45 titles placed in the 1950s by the New York-based Project. 
    • It is suspected that those titles never received the JCR bookplate and so they remain as an unidentified part of the Sheridan Libraries holdings.
    • A more recent gift did include one item bearing the JCR bookplate, and the search continues for the earlier deposit.

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Hertzberg Collection

  • Hertzberg's personal library of over 7000 books is being added to the Sheridan Libraries' collections. Once processed, you will be able to search on "Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg Scholarly Library" to retrieve the entire list of books.
  • In addition, Hertzberg's personal papers, including correspondence with important 20th century figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Kissinger, will be available as a manuscript collection in Special Collections. The collection also ncludes photographs and other ephemera.