Very little is known concerning the methods employed by Jews in the collection and preservation of books. The Biblical writings are silent on this point. That there were royal archives in Jerusalem may be surmised with some show of reason, even though the terms "mazkir" (A. V. "recorder"; II Sam. viii. 16, xx. 24, and several other passages) and "sofer" (A. V. "scribe"; ib. viii. 17, and often elsewhere) do not necessarily point to the office of archivist. Nor does the place-name Kirjath-sepher (Josh. xv. 16; Judges i. 11-12), which the Septuagint translates Πόλις Γραμμάτων (Vulgate, "Civitas Litterarum" = "Book Town"), afford any further evidence; though Quatremère in 1842 deduced from it the existence of a library there, and Sayce in 1895 called it "the literary center of the Canaanites in the south of Palestine" ("Patriarchal Palestine," p. 220; "Higher Criticism and the Monuments," p. 54).

Preservation of Books.

Nor is there any fuller information with regard to Talmudic times and the Middle Ages. The scrolls seem to have been kept in a cover or sheath of leather or of metal (; θήκη; see passages in Krauss, "Lehnwörter," ii. 588), a custom which was observed in Eastern countries for many centuries. Sambari (c. 1672) speaks of the scroll in the synagogue of Al-Maḥallah in a metal (Neubauer, "M. J. C." i. 119, 10), which still exists. The old and much-venerated Samaritan Pentateuch at Nablus is likewise in a metal cover. The scrolls were kept in a case (), of which there were three kinds, , and . In the catacombs of Rome there have been found representations of Jesus with a case of scrolls at his feet. The cases were usually made of wood, though sometimes of leather, glass, bone, or metal. It has been shown that such cases were the usual form of the Roman bookcase. That they were used by the Jews also is seen from the fact that the earliest representations of the Ark upon glass, dating from the third century, are in this form (see Blau, "Studien zum Althebräischen Buchwesen," pp. 176 et seq.; Jacobs, in "J. Q. R." xiv. 738). Sometimes the scrolls were placed in a sort of cupboard, which stood upon a pediment and had a cover. Openings were made at the top and at the side. See Ark of the Law.


That catalogues of collections of Hebrew books were drawn up in early days is evidenced by the recent finds made chiefly in the Fostat Genizah. Such catalogues were sometimes sale-lists of book-traders—e.g., the Adler manuscript in Arabic ("R.E. J." xxxix. 199); the Adler manuscript containing a sale-list of a certain 'Abd al-'Aziz of the thirteenthcentury (ib. xl. 56, 264); the list found on the back of the manuscript copy of Saadia's "Amanat" in Arabic (ib. xxxii. 126); the Adler manuscript of the twelfth century giving a list in Arabic of over 100 books ("J. Q. R." xiii. 52, 324; Jew. Encyc. iii. 619a, s.v. Catalogues); and the Frankfort manuscript, also from the genizah ("J. Q. R." xv. 76; for other lists see "Zeit. für Hebr. Bibl." vii. 181)—and sometimes catalogues of real collectors, such as the genizah fragment containing a list of the books of Nathan b. Jeshuah (ib. vii. 184; "J. Q. R." xiv. 247) or the catalogue of the library of Leon Mosconi ("R. E. J." xxxix. 242, xl. 62; see also Catalogues).

That care was taken in the preservation of books is seen from the advice which is given by various writers. The author of the "Sefer Ḥasidim" (13th cent.) advises his readers to pay particular attention to the manner in which their books are kept. Especial weight is laid upon the duty of lending books to those whose means do not allow them to purchase them. Books were scarce in those days; the want of them is bewailed by such men as Isserlein and J. Kolon (Güdemann, "Gesch." ii. 191, iii. 65). Judah ibn Tibbon (12th cent.) gives much sage counsel to his son, to whom he left his collection of Arabic and Hebrew books. He bids him make his books his companions, and to take good care of his book-chests () and bookcases () and his garden.

"Take good care of thy books; cover thy shelves with a fine covering: guard them against damp and mice. Examine thy Hebrew books on the first of every month; thy Arabic ones once every two months; thy pamphlet-cases [] once every three months. Arrange them all in good order, so that thou weary not in looking for a book when thou needest it. . . . Write down the titles of the books in each row [] of the cases [] in a separate fascicle [], and place each in its row, in order that thou mayest be able to see exactly in which row any particular book is without mixing up the others.

("Ermahnungsschreiben des Jebudah ibn Tibbon," ed. Steinschneider, pp. 6, 12, Berlin, 1852; transl. in Güdemann, l.c. i. 28).

"Do the same with the cases. Take good care of the individual leaves [] which are in the convolutes [] and fascicles; . . . look continually into the catalogue [] in order to remember what books thou hast. . . . When thou lendest a book record its title before it leaves the house; and when it is brought back draw thy pen through the memorandum. Restore all loaned books on Pesaḥ and Sukkot"

This care in the binding and handling of books is inculcated by Profiat Duran (of Catalonia, 14th cent.) also, as is seen in the preface to his "Ma'aseh Efod" (ed. Friedländer and Kohn, p. 19), and by Solomon Alami (1415): "Take good care of the writing and the arranging of thy books" ("Iggeret Musar," ed. 1854, p. 14).

In earliest times the libraries were directly connected with the batte mid-rashot, each of such institutions having a collection of its own. This practise continued down through the Middle Ages. At times books of especial value were kept in the synagogue in a sort of cupboard, a custom which prevailed especially in Egypt. The contents of these school libraries must have varied in different countries. In the western French and German schools of the Middle Ages they probably contained little more than what was necessary for the almost exclusively Talmudic curriculum that was followed; but in Italy and Spain, where the curriculum embraced also philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences, the libraries must have been more varied and much larger.

Alcove in the Library of Parma Containing the De Rossi Collection of Jewish Books.(From a photograph.)

The tradition thus begun has been kept up. Such libraries of distinctively Jewish books are now attached to seminaries and to theological schools and serve as Jewish university libraries. The chief collections may here be mentioned:

  • Austria: Library of the Israelitisch-Theologische Lehranstalt, Vienna; Hungary: library of the Landesrabbinerschule, Budapest (20,000 vols., of which 10,000 are Judaica; 41 incunabula; 50 MSS.).
  • England: Library of Jews' College (in all 25,000 vols., made up of the original Jews' College collection 4,000; the A. L. Green Library 7,000; the Monteflore Library 4,000; the A. Löwy Library 10,000; in addition 600 MSS., mainly from the Zunz and Halberstam collections), and that of the bet ha-midrash, London (the Herschel MSS.).
  • France: Library of the Séminaire Israélite, Paris.
  • Germany: Libraries of the Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums and the Rabbinische Seminar in Berlin; of the Jüdisch-Theologische Seminar (about 23,000 printed vols.; 248 MSS.) in Breslau.
  • Holland: Libraries of the Portuguese Rabbinical Seminary; of the Bet ha-Midrash 'Eẓ Ḥayyim (20,000 vols.; 1,000 pamphlets; 300 portraits); of the Netherlands Israelitish Seminary.
  • Italy: Library of the Rabbinical Seminary, Florence.
  • United States: Library of the Hebrew Union College (about 15,000 vols.), Cincinnati, and that of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York (14,500 vols.; 750 MSS.).

In the course of time these libraries have not proved sufficient. They served, in the main, theological purposes. An attempt at establishing a national Jewish library was made in the Abarbanel Library at Jerusalem, founded by Joseph Chazanowicz and now containing more than 20,000 vols. Next to this may be mentioned that of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Paris, largely founded by Isidor Loeb and supported by donations and legacies from L.L. Rothschild (22,000 vols.; 200 MSS.; made up largely of the collections of Isidore Loeb and Bernard Lazare); the Bibliothek des Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeindebundes (recently founded; 5,000 vols.) in Berlin; and the library of the B'nai B'rith in New York (Maimonides' Library; but this is not a solely Jewish collection).

Communal Libraries.

The Italian Jewish communities seem to have been the first to establish libraries for their own use; e.g., Mantua (in 1767; 4,500 vols.) and Pitilione in Tuscany. In England the North London bet hamidrash has its private collection; the Vienna community possesses a children's library; and Warsaw has its Synagogenbibliothek. Of late years the communal libraries have grown, especially in Germany. Breslau has its Bibliothek der Synagogengemeinde; Dettmold, its Lehrerbibliothek and Schülerbibliothek; Gleiwitz, its Jugendbibliothek; Homburg, its Israelitische Gemeindebibliothek Mendelssohn; Carlsruhe, its Jüdische Bibliothek der Israelitischen Genossenschaft; Kozmin, its Jüdische Gemeindebibliothek; Mayence, its Klingensteinische Bibliothek für Hessiche Lehrer; Neckar-Bischofsheim, its Israelitische Gemeindebibliothek; Nuremberg, its Bibliothek und Leseverein; Ratibor, its Israelitische Bibliothek; Schwerin, its Gemeindebibliothek; Stettin, its Jüdische Bibliothek; Stuttgart, its Gemeindebibliothek; Parel, its Schul- und Gemeindebibliothek; and Wiesbaden, its Gemeindebibliothek.

Few of the seminary libraries mentioned above can, however, rival the great collections gathered in the large national and public libraries. These antedate the seminary libraries; and, having been the first in the field, and commanding larger pecuniary resources, have been able to progress much further. The leading public collections are here cited. In many cases they are dealt with in separate articles in this encyclopedia or are referred to in the articles treating of the cities in which the collections are located.

  • Austria: Hofbibliothek, Vienna.
  • England: British Museum, London (15,000 vols.; 1,400 MSS.); Bodleian Library, Oxford (2,900 MSS.); Cambridge University Library.
  • France: Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (1,390 MSS.).
  • Germany: Königliche Bibliothek, Berlin (5,000 vols.; 300 MSS.); Königliche Bibliothek, Munich (2,000 MSS.); Stadtbibliothek and Universitätsbibliothek, Leipsic; Stadtbibliothek, Frankfort-on-the-Main: Stadtbibliothek, Strasburg.
  • Holland: Academy of Sciences, Leyden (15,000 vols.); Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana in University Library, Amsterdam.
  • Italy: Vatican Library, Rome; Bibliotheca Casanatensis, Rome; Public Library, Parma; Bibliotheca Palatina and Bibliotheca Medicio-Laurentiana, Florence; Public Library, Turin; Bibliotheca Marciana, Venice; and Bibliotheca Ambrosiana. Milan. In addition there are smaller collections in the Biblioteca Vittorio Emanuele and the Biblioteca Angelica, Rome, and in the University Library, Bologna.
  • Russia: Friedland Library, in the Asiatic Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg (10,000 vols.; 300 MSS.); the University Library and the Synodal Library in the same city; the collection of Karaitica belonging to the Odessa Society for History and Antiquities.
  • United States: The Jewish collection in the New York Public Library (Schiff foundation; about 17,000 vols.), and that in the Library of Columbia University (gift of Temple Emanu-El; 5,000 vols.).

Most of the foregoing collections are based upon the private libraries of Jewish book-collectors, which have either been given to or bought for the institutions. Thus the British Museum in 1759 acquired by gift from Solomon da Costa a collection which had originally been gathered during the Commonwealth, had fallen to Charles II. at the Restoration, and had finally been purchased by the bookseller who sold it to Da Costa. The British Museum secured also (1848) the printed books in the library of H. I. Michael of Hamburg, which had consisted of 7,000 volumes, including manuscripts. The latter came into the possession of the Bodleian Library, which had previously (1829) been enriched through the purchase of the famous Oppenheimeṙ collection. This consisted of 7,000 printed volumes and 1,000 manuscripts, nearly all Hebraica; it had been founded by the court Jew Samuel Oppenheimer of Vienna with the aid of his patron, Prince Eugene, and had passed into the possession of Samuel's son David, then into that of Hirschel Oppenheimer, and finally into that of Isaac Cohen of Hamburg. Similarly many other private collections have been acquired by various public libraries; e.g., Michael Joseph's went (1849) to Jews' College, London, and Halberstam's to the Judith Montefiore College and later to Jews' College. The manuscripts of Joseph Almanzi went to the British Museum; his printed books, to Temple Emanu-El, New York, and finally to Columbia University in that city. Raphael Emanuel Mendola's books formed the basis of the Congregational Library at Mantua (1767); while the collection of L. Rosenthal of Hanover was presented by his son to Amsterdam University Library. A. Geiger's library enriched the Lehranstalt in Berlin, as did Saraval's and Beer's the sister institution in Breslau, and David Kaufmann's large collection, that in Budapest. The collection of A. Berliner, containing many liturgical works, is now the property of the Frankfort Stadtbibliothek. The library of David Montezinos in Amsterdam, especially rich in Judæo-Spanish productions and in incunabula, is in the Portuguese Seminary of that city, while the pride of Parma is the collection made by the Christian scholar G. B. de Rossi. Samuel Adler's library was given to the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati,and the collection of M. Sulzberger, so rich in incunabula, to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where it has been added to the David Cassel and Halberstam libraries already in that institution. See Book-Collectors.

Library Classification.

There is no information in regard to the classification of Hebrew books in olden times. In the above-mentioned genizah fragment of a catalogue, published in "J. Q. R." xiii. 52 et seq., the books are classified as follows: Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Theology, Halakah, and Liturgy. Some such general division as this must have sufficed. The first to attempt a classification upon a scientific basis was Shabbethai Bass (1641-1718) in the introduction to his "Sifte Yeshenim." Though this was undertaken for bibliographic rather than for library purposes, it deserves a place here. He divides Hebrew literature into two great categories, Biblical and Post-Biblical; and each of these into ten subdivisions as follows:

  • Biblical Literature: (1) The Bible.(2) Works Explanatory of the Wording of Scripture:—Bible Lexicography; Dictionaries; Grammars; Explanations of the Text of the Targumim and of the Zohar; Commentaries on the whole Bible; Commentaries on portions of the Bible; Targumim; Cabalistic Commentaries on the Torah and on the Books of Ruth and Lamentations; Works on the Zohar; Lexicography of the Zohar, Recanati, and Baḥya; Philosophical Works Bearing on the Torah, the Megillot, Psalms, and Job; Grammar of the Torah; Supercommentaries on Ibn Ezra; Supercommentaries on Mizraḥi; Commentaries on Midrash Rabbot; Supercommentaries on Rashi to the Torah; Commentaries ("peshaṭ") and Homiletic Explanations ("derashot") arranged according to the sections of the Torah; Commentaries on the Megillot as a whole, and upon each Separate Scroll; Commentaries on the Hafṭarot; Commentaries and Homiletic Explanations on the Prophets and Hagiographa as a Whole and upon the Individual Books; Homilies.(3) Books of Prayer and Song for the Synagogue Service (Liturgy); Other Poetry; Commentaries on the Liturgy; Commentaries on the Passover Haggadah; Books Dealing with the Writing of Pentateuchs and Mezuzot; of Legal Documents and Bills of Divorce.(4) Letter-Writing and Rhetoric; Biography and History; Geography; Proverbs and Maxims.(5) Kawwanot in Connection with the Liturgy and Religious Ordinances; Cabalistic Works Not Arranged According to the Sections of the Pentateuch.(6) Grammatical Works Not Dealing Directly with the Torah; Masorah; Logic.(7) Works on Salvation, Redemption, and the Resurrection; Books on the Future Life and the Soul.(8) Works on Variant Readings, Corrections, and Mistakes in the Bible; Similar Works Dealing with Post-Biblical Literature.(9) Ethics, Piety, and Religion.(10) Introductions and Reference Works on the Bible.
  • Post-Biblical Literature:(1) Mishnah.(2) Commentaries on the Mishnah; Explanations and Novellæ to the Gemara, Rashi, and the Tosafot; Commentaries on "'En Ya'aḳob," Other Haggadot, and the Yerushalmi; Commentaries on Pirḳe Abot.(3) Mathematics (Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, etc.) ; the Calendar; Astronomy and Astrology; Works on Philosophy, Not Arranged According to the Sections of the Pentateuch; Works on Chiromancy, etc. (); Works on Casting of Lots and Horoscopes: Works on Evil Spirits and Necromancy; Dreams and their Interpretation; Music; Works on the Other Sciences.(4) Theology and the Thirteen Dogmas; Religious Discussions and Polemics.(5) Minhagim (Rituals); Introductions and Works of Reference Regarding Minhagim and the Gemara.(6) Responsa on Ritual Matters; Responsa on Philosophical Matters.(7) Medicine (Human and Animal); Lapidaries ( ).(8) Works on Initial Letters ("Rashe Tebot"), Gemaṭria, and Noṭariḳon.(9) Commentaries and Novellæ According Either to the Arrangement of the Gemara or of Alfasi; Commentaries According to the Arrangement of the Arba' Ṭurim, Shulḥan 'Aruk, and "Lebushim"; Commentaries According to the Arrangement of the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides; Decisions and Explanations According to the (Sifre) Miẓwot; Decisions and Laws According to Various Arrangements; Decisions and Laws According to Various Halakot in the Different Portions of the Ṭurim.(10) Talmudic Methodology; Works on the Building of the Tabernacle, on the Temple, and on its Vessels; Works Printed in the German Language (Judæo-German); Pedagogy.

In modern general libraries the books on Jewish subjects are not always shelved apart from the main collection, special sections for Jewish subjects being provided for merely in the various general sections. As a type of classification that adopted by the Bodleian Library may be cited.

BODLEIAN LIBRARY, OXFORD. Classification of Books on Jewish Subjects. [The system of spelling in this list is that adopted by the library authorities.]
  • Shemitic Mythology and Folk-Tales.
  • Comparative Religion—Shemitic—General and Miscellaneous.Judaism: Ancient History; Modern History; Ritual; Talmud; Liturgies and Prayers; Devotional Poems and Hymns; Sermons; General or Mixed Treatises; Encyclopædias; History, Biography, and Methodology of the Subject (Including Jewish Study of the Bible); Targums.
  • Missions to Jews.
  • Jewish Attacks on Christianity.
  • Christian Replies to Them.Voyages and Travels: Syria and Palestine—Ancient and Mediæval—General and Miscellaneous; Jerusalem; Modern—General and Miscellaneous; Jerusalem.
  • Ethnography: "Anglo-Israel"; Shemitic.Climatology and Topography of Health, Mortality, and Medicine: Syria and Palestine—Ancient and General; Mediæval and Modern; Modern Jewish.General Descriptions and Statistics of Manners (Including General Antiquities) and Characteristics: Syria and Palestine—Ancient; Mediæval and Modern; Modern Jews Outside Palestine.
  • Chronology—the Hebrew Calendar.
  • History—General Mediæval; Crusades.The Jews—In Palestine and General: History and Biography of the Study; General Materials; General Histories—Ancient Writers (Josephus, etc.) ; Modern Writers; to the Entry into Canaan; to the Secession of Israel; Kingdom of Judah and Judah ± Israel; Kingdom of Israel; Later Samaritan History; Captivity to the Rise of the Maccabees; Maccabees to A.D. 135; Since.The Jews in Dispersion: History and Biography of the Study (General and Special); General Materials and Histories; Asia E. of the Indies; Asia W. of the Indies; Africa; Spain (and Spain ± Portugal) ; Portugal; Italy; France and Belgium; Switzerland; Austria-Hungary; Balkan Peninsula and Greece; Slavonic Countries; Scandinavian Countries; Germany; Holland; United Kingdom; America; Australasia; Works on Their Re-Migration to Palestine.Writing and Illumination: Moabite; Old Israelite; Samaritan; Aramean and Palmyrene, etc., and Rabbinical Hebrew.Bibliography: Bibliographies of Special Literatures (MSS. as well as printed books)—Hebrew; Bibliographies of Special Subjects—History—the Jews; Catalogues and Histories of Libraries in Syria and Palestine; Law, Jewish.Miscellaneous Biography: Jews—Ancient; Mediæval and Modern (general and special).Genealogy and Monuments: Ancient—Jewish.History, Biography, and Description of General Education: Ancient Jewish; Modern Jewish (general).Philosophy in General—History, Biography, and Criticism: Kabala.Philosophy in General—Works: Kabalistic.Proverbs: Shemitic.

The other great English library, that of the British Museum, has a special classification for its Jewish printed books, elaborated by Zedner; they are divided into fifteen regular sections, with three extra onesdealing with works not considered directly a part of Hebrew literature, as follows:

  • (1) Bibles;
  • (2) Commentaries on Bible;
  • (3) Talmud;
  • (4) Commentaries on Talmud;
  • (5) Codes of Law;
  • (6) Decisions;
  • (7) Midrash;
  • (8) Cabala;
  • (9) Sermons;
  • (10) Liturgies;
  • (11) Divine Philosophy;
  • (12) Scientific Works;
  • (13) Grammars; Dictionaries;
  • (14) History; Geography;
  • (15) Poetry; Criticism.
In addition:
  • (1) Translations of Post-Biblical Hebrew Works;
  • (2) Works in Arabic, Spanish, German, etc., in Hebrew Character;
  • (3) Bibliography.

The Vienna Kaiserliche Hofbibliothek has its manuscripts divided into the following categories:

  • (1) Bible Editions;
  • (2) Masorah;
  • (3) Targumim;
  • (4) Bible Exegesis;
  • (5) Midrash;
  • (6) Talmud;
  • (7) Decisions;
  • (8) Legal Literature;
  • (9) Responsa;
  • (10) Liturgy;
  • (11) Religious Philosophy;
  • (12) Ethics;
  • (13) Cabala;
  • (14) Grammar.
  • (15) Lexicography;
  • (16) Rhetoric;
  • (17) Aristotelian Philosophy;
  • (18) Platonic Philosophy;
  • (19) Ghazali's Philosophy;
  • (20) History of Ḥai ibn Yuḳthan;
  • (21) Medicine;
  • (22) Astronomy;
  • (23) Astrology.
Frankfort Scheme.

Some of the public libraries have, however, a special division for Hebraica and Judaica. As specimens, the classifications used in the Frankfort Stadtbibliothek and in the Hebrew Union College at Cincinnati may be cited. In the following plan of the first-named library, where the rubrics are quite general, it will be seen that a special rubric is devoted to the history of the Jews of Frankfort.

  • (1) Hebrew and Jewish Journals;
  • (2) Hebrew Philology (General Works; Lexica; Grammars);
  • (3) Hebrew Bibliography and History of Literature;
  • (4) Old Testament in Hebrew;
  • (5) Anonymous Hebrew Works;
  • (6) Hebrew Literature ("Auctores Hebraici Nominati");
  • (7) Judæo-German Literature;
  • (8) Jewish Synagogal Music;
  • (9) Secular Music of the Jews;
  • (10) Jewish Literature and History in Other Languages than Hebrew;
  • (11) Literature and History of the Frankfort Jews.
Hebrew Union College.

The scheme used by the Hebrew Union College contains a special rubric for manuscripts and rare editions (No. xxiv.), and makes provision also for a certain number of non-Jewish books which find their way by gift into the collection. The Roman numerals represent the alcoves into which the collection is divided.

I.Bibles in Various Languages; Koran; Zendavesta, etc.;
II.Exegetics and Biblical History;
V.Responses and Calendars;
VI.Commentaries and Critical Works on the Talmud;
VII.Religious History; Theology; Religious Philosophy; Ethics, etc.;
IX.Philology; Literature; School-Books;
X.Pre-Talmudic Literature;
XI.Midrashim; Homiletics; Sermons; Zohar, etc.;
XII.Special History; Philosophy of History; Biography; Travels;
XIII.Universal, Oriental, Jewish, Grecian, Roman, and French History;
XV.Philosophy; Logic; Political Economy; Education;
XVI.Catalogues and Works on Biography;
XVIII.Mathematics; Natural Sciences; Music;
XX.Liturgy; Prayer-Books;
XXII.Government and State Reports;
XXIII.Reports of Colleges and Schools; Newspaper Almanacs;
XXIV.Manuscripts and Rare Editions;

A peculiar system of designating the various classes of books is followed by the Landesrabbinerschule in Budapest. The signatures (A, B, Bi, etc.) are taken from the actual word designation of each class, as follows:

  • (1) A = Agada (or Haggadah);
  • (2) B = Bible;
  • (3) Bi = Bibliography;
  • (4) C = Codices (i.e., of the Talmudic Literature);
  • (5) Chr = Christian Literature;
  • (6) D = "Decisoren" (i.e., Codes);
  • (7) Di = "Diarien" (i.e., Newspapers, Journals, and Collected Works in Non-Hebrew Tongues);
  • (8) DI = "Diarien" (i.e., Newspapers, Journals, and Collected Works in Hebrew);
  • (9) E = Exegesis;
  • (10) G = Grammar of Hebrew and Aramaic Languages;
  • (11) H = Homiletical Literature in Hebrew;
  • (12) HI = Historical Literature in Hebrew;
  • (13) Hi = Historical Literature of the Jews, General and Special; Biographies in non-Hebrew Languages, Arranged According to Special Groups;
  • (14) I = "Isagogik" (i.e., Introductions);
  • (15) L = Liturgy;
  • (16) Lh = Hebrew, Aramaic, and Talmudic Lexicography;
  • (17) Le = General Lexicography;
  • (18) Nov = Talmudic Novellæ;
  • (19) Nh = Neo-Hebraic Literature;
  • (20) O = Orientalia;
  • (21) P = Jewish Religious Philosophy;
  • (22) Pr = "Predigt Literatur" (i.e., Sermons);
  • (23) R = Talmudic Responsa;
  • (24) T = Talmud, Mishnah, and Introductions to the Same.

There is also a special signature, LG, for German and other literature, the books being arranged according to certain groups. Furthermore, the library of Samuel Löw Brill, presented to the seminary by the Jewish community of Pesth in 1897, is kept separate from the other books and is arranged according to the size of the books (duodecimo, quarto, octavo, etc.) and the alphabetical order of the authors' names. This system, which can be seen also in the catalogues of the Berlin Royal Library, is said to have peculiar advantages.

The most complete classification of works in a Jewish collection is, however, the following, made for the New York Public Library by A. S. Freidus, and reproduced by permission of the director, Dr. John S. Billings.

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY. The Jewish Collection—General Divisions.
Manuscripts: Book Rarities;
Works of Reference;
Literary History;
General Works;
Hebrew Language and Aramaic;
Hebrew Bible;
Pre-Talmudical Literature and Sects;
Talmudical Literature;
The Ritual;
Homiletical Literature;
Doctrinal Theology;
Post-Talmudical Schisms and Dissensions;
Kabbala and Chasidism;
Dialects and Their Literatures, and Languages;
Secular Sciences;
Geography, General History, and Biography;
Jewish History;
The Jewish Race Ethnologically and Sociologically;
Jews and Gentiles.
[The system of spelling in this list is that adopted by the library authorities.]
Bibliography. Literary History.
Paleography (see also Regulations for Scribes);
Catalogues of Manuscripts;
History of Printing;
Catalogues of Book-sellers;
Catalogues of Private Libraries;
Public Libraries;
Catalogues of Public Libraries;
Bibliographies: Countries, Authors (see also Biography), Subjects;
Literary History: Special Subjects, Modern, Judæo-German, Relation of Jewish Literature to Other Literatures.
General Works.
Periodicals in Hebrew;
in Judæo-German (see also Judæo-German Literary Periodicals);
in German;
in English (American);
in English (British);
in French;
in Other Languages;
in Russian;
Societies' Publications in Hebrew;
Societies' Publications in Modern Languages;
Collections (Polyglot);
Collections in Hebrew (see also Literary Collections);
Collected Works of Individual Authors in Hebrew (see also Collected Literary Works);
Collections in Judæo-German (see also Judæo-German Literary Collections);
Collections in Latin;
Collections in German;
Collections in English;
Collections in Other Languages;
Collections in Russian;
Other General Works: Cyclopedias (see also Dictionaries of the Bible; Talmudical Works of Reference).
Hebrew Language. Aramaic.
Biblical: General Works;
Elementary Readers;
Chrestomathies (see also Elementary O. T. Histories; Catechisms; Manuals of Judaism);
Grammars (in Hebrew; see also Grammatical Notes on the Liturgies);
Grammars (in Other Languages): Orthography (Including Alphabet, Vowel-Points, Accents) (see also Masora), Parts of Speech, Syntax, Rhetoric and Prosody (see also Poetry of the Hebrew Bible);
Dictionaries (see also Concordances);
Miscellaneous. Post-Biblical;
Foreign Terms (see also Dialects);
Abbreviations. Modern: Letter-Writers (see also Legal Forms). Aramaic (see also Targums): Chrestomathies;
Hebrew Bible.
General Works;
Poetry (see also Prosody);
Whole Hebrew Bibles;
Masora (see also Grammar);
Textual Criticism, Various Readings;
Targums (see also Aramaic);
Other Versions;
Exegetics (see also General Works on Homiletics);
Collected Commentaries;
Ibn Ezra;
Other Hebrew Commentaries;
Commentaries in Modern Languages;
Collective Biography;
Individual Biography;
Old Testament History (only elementary works or such as have chiefly an exegetical interest go here; for works of historical interest see Pentateuchal Traditions; Entire O. T. Period; see also Fiction Relating to Biblical Times).
Periodicals, Societies, Collections;
General Works;
Inscriptions (see also Epitaphs);
Social and Economic Conditions;
Government (see also Jurisprudence);
Sacred Antiquities (see also Ancient Judaism; Mythology; Idolatry of the Ancient Hebrews; Orach Chayim Laws; Prophecy; The Ritual): Festivals, Sacrifices, Priesthood, Temples;
Other Special Subjects.
(See also Calendar; Education; Geography [Biblical and Talmudical]; Medicine Among the Jews; Palestine; Ten Tribes; Woman.)
Pre-Talmudical Literature and Sects.
General Works: Literature (see also Targums);
Ecclesiasticus, Other Books;
Philo Judæus (seealso Alexandrian School of Philosophy);
Other Hellenistic Literature (see also Josephus). Sects (see also Post-Talmudical Schisms and Dissensions; Sabbathai Zebi; Chasidism);
Samaritans (see also Samaritan Text of the Bible; Samaritan Targum);
Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Therapeutæ.
(See also History—Return from Babylon to Completion of Talmud.)
General Works (see also The Messiah). Historico-Literary Subjects: Lives of Jesus (Jewish);
Lives of Jesus (Christian) (for Jewish Contemporary History see Return from Babylon to the Close of the Talmud);
New Testament;
New Testament Parts;
New Testament and Jewish Literature;
The Fathers and Jewish Literature;
Synagogue and Church. Theologico-Controversial Subjects: Missionary Periodicals;
Missionary Societies;
Christian Doctrine;
Christian Liturgies;
Jews in Christian Theology;
Restoration of the Jews (see also Restoration of the Jews [in Jewish Theology]; Zionism);
Conversion of the Jews;
Conversion of the Jews, Works Against;
Converted Jews (Missionaries);
Converted Jews (Missionaries, Individual);
Miscellaneous Missionary Writings;
Evidences of Christianity;
Christian Polemics (see also Unfavorable Criticism of the Oral Tradition);
Jewish Apologetics and Polemics (see also Apologies of the Jews [against Anti-Semites]; Apologies of the Oral Tradition; The Messiah);
Judaism and Christianity (see also Jews and Gentlies; Judaism and Other Religions).
Talmudical Literature.
The Oral Tradition: Unfavorable Criticism (see also Anti-Semitic Writings; Gentiles in Jewish Law and Literature; Christian Polemics), Apologies, Introductions, Essays, Methodology, Helps, Works of Reference (see also Dictionaries of Post-Biblical Hebrew; Indexes to the Agada), Collective Biography, Individual Biography, History (see also History; Return from Babylon to the Close of the Talmud);
Mishna (see also Aboth): Commentaries;
Literature of the Mishna Period;
Jerusalem Talmud;
Babylonian Talmud: Parts, Minor Treatises, Translations, Selections (see also Agada), Textual Criticism, Commentaries;
General Works;
The 613 Precepts;
Codes of Law (to Maimonides);
Jacob ben Asher (and other writers before Caro);
Joseph Caro;
Later Works;
Codes of Special Laws: Orach Chayim Laws (see also The Ritual; Sacred Antiquities), Special Laws, Yoreh Deah Laws, Dietary Laws (for modern works see Dietary Laws, s.v. Jewish Race, Ethnologically and Sociologically), Purification (see also Codes in Judæo-German), Regulations for Scribes (see also Massecheth Soferim, under Minor Treatises of the Talmud; Paleography), Other Special Laws;
Eben ha-Ezer Laws (for modern works see Special Laws): Divorce;
Choshen ha-Mishpat Laws (see also Government of the Ancient Hebrews; Non-Jewish Law): Modern Works, Special Laws (see also Slavery), Legal Forms (see also Letter-Writers);
Codes in Judæo-German and Judæo-Spanish;
Decisions of Several Authors;
Decisions of Individual Authors.
The Ritual.
General Works;
Special Customs;
Minhagim (see also Superstitions);
Synagogue (see also Ecclesiastical Polity; Synagogue and Church);
Reading of the Law. Liturgies: Works on the Liturgy;
Collections of Liturgies;
Daily Prayers (see also Christian Liturgies; Karaite Liturgies): Commentaries and Grammatical Notes, Rite of Reformed Jews;
Saturday Prayers;
Festival Prayers;
Fastday Prayers: Lamentations;
Occasional Prayers: Prayers for the Sick and the Dead (see also Folk-Medicine);
Private Hymnals;
Synagogue Music.
(See also Orach Chayim Laws; Sacred Antiquities.)
Homiletical Literature.
General Works (see also Exegetics). Midrashim: Collections of Midrashim;
Midrash Raboth;
Other Midrashim to Biblical Books;
Other Midrashim (for Halachic Midrashim see Literature of the Mishna Period; for Kabbalistic Midrashim see Early Kabbalistic Literature);
Yalkutim. Sermons: Sermons in Hebrew;
Other Languages;
Sabbath Sermons;
Festival Sermons;
Confirmation Sermons;
Marriage Sermons;
Funeral Sermons;
Sermons on Other Occasions;
Political and Patriotic.
(See also Agada.)
Works on Jewish Ethics;
Aboth (see also Minor Treatises of the Talmud): Translations, Commentaries;
Miscellaneous Writers;
Judæo-German Writers;
Judæo-Spanish Writers;
Non-Jewish Writers;
Special Subjects (see also Charity; Gentiles in Jewish Law);
Etiquette (see also Massecheth Derech Erez [Minor Treatises of the Talmud]);
Poetical Works;
Maxims (see also Proverbs);
Ethical Wills;
Hortatory Theology.
Doctrinal Theology.
General Works;
Ancient Judaism (see also Mythology; Idolatry [of the Ancient Hebrews]; Sacred Antiquities);
Modern Judaism;
Works in Modern Languages (see also Reformed Judaism);
Special Subjects: Eschatology (see also Sadducees; Pharisees), Restoration of the Jews (see also Palestine; Restoration of the Jews [In Christian Theology]; Zionism), The Messiah (see also Christianity);
Judaism and Other Religions (see also Judaism and Christianity; Religions): Proselytism, Proselytes.
Post-Talmudical Schisms and Dissensions.
General Works (see also Pre-Talmudical Sects);
Works on the Karaites;
Karaite Literature: Liturgies;
Minor Sects;
Reformed Judaism (see also Assimilation; Modern Jewish History): Works Against Reform, Works for Reform, Special Subjects (see also Rite of Reformed Jews);
Dialogues, Irenics.
General Works;
Non-Jewish Philosophers;
Alexandrian School (see also Philo Judæus);
Judah ha-Levi;
Other Philosophers;
Modern Works;
Psychology (for Modern Psychology see Psychology, s.v. Secular Sciences);
Other Special Subjects.
(Works for and against the study of Philosophy go here.)
Kabbala. Chasidism.
General Works;
Sefer Yezirah;
Other Early Literature;
Later Literature;
Miscellaneous (see also Transmigration);
Sabbathai Zebi;
Eybschuetz-Emden Controversy;
Frank. Chasidism: Chasidaic Works;
Chasidaic Legends.
(Polemics against the Kabbala and works in its defense go here.)
General Works (see also Prophecy);
Religions (except Judaism and Christianity) (see also Judaism and Other Religions);
Mythology, Idolatry (of the Ancient Hebrews);
Agada (see also Homiletical Literature): Indexes (see also Talmudical Works of Reference), Selections (see also Selections from the Talmud), Commentaries;
Superstitions (see also Minhagim);
Transmigration, Magic, Folk-Medicine (see also Prayers for the Sick), Other Special Subjects;
Customs (see also Etiquette; Minhagim: Orach Chayim Laws; The Ritual);
Legends (see also The Blood Accusation; Chasadaic Legends): Wandering Jew;
Tales (see also Fiction);
Proverbs (see also Maxims);
Other Popular Literature.
Hebrew: General works (see also History of Modern Literature);
Selections (see also General Collections);
Collected Works of Individual Authors (see also Collected Works of a General Character);
Poetry (see also Ethical Poetry; Liturgies; Poetry of the Hebrew Bible; Prosody): Collections, Individual Mediæval Authors. Individual Modern Authors;
Humor and Satire;
Miscellany. Modern Languages: General Works (see also Anti-Semitic Belles-Lettres; Delineation of the Jew in Literature);
Fiction Relating to Biblical Times;
Fiction Relating to Modern Times;
Humor and Satire;
(See also Dialects and Their Literatures.)
Dialects and Their Literatures. Languages.
Reserved for Dialects as yet Unrepresented in the Collection;
Judæo-Spanish (see also Codes in Judæo-Spanish);
Judæo-German (for Bibliography see Bibliography, Subjects; for Literary History and Criticism see Bibliography and Literary History, Judæo-German);
Dictionaries, Literary Periodicals (see also General Judæo-German Periodicals), Literary Collections (see also General Judæo-German Collections), Poetry (Collections), Poetry (Individual Authors), Fables, Drama, Stage, Fiction, Humor and Satire, Parodies, Miscellanies (see also Codes in Judæo-German; Devotionals for Women; Judæo-German Ethical Writers).
(See also Aramaic; Foreign Terms Used in Post-Biblical Hebrew.)
Secular Sciences..
General Works;
Mathematics Among the Jews;
Mathematical Works: Arithmetic;
Other Mathematical Works;
Astronomy (for Astrology see under Folk-Lore: Superstitions, Other Special Subjects);
Works on the Calendar;
Natural Science;
Natural History;
Medicine Among the Jews;
Medical Works (see also Folk-Medicine);
Psychology (for Metaphysical Psychology see Philosophy: Psychology);
Fine Arts;
Useful Arts;
Cookery, Book-Keeping, Commerce;
Sociology and Economics;
Law. (Other non-Jewish subjects are: Christianity; Games; Geography; History; Jewish Literature and Other Literatures; Judaism and Other Religions; Languages; Logic; Mythology; Philosophy; Religions; Travels; Wandering Jew.)
(Works on the cultivation of the sciences among the Jews go here.)
Geography. General History. Biography.
Geography: Biblical and Talmudical Geography;
Palestine (see also Archæology; Jews in the Orient; Restoration of the Jews [in Christian Theology]; Restoration of the Jews [in Jewish Theology]; Zionism);
Travels. General History: Special Countries;
United States. Non-Jewish Biography: Non-Jewish Biography (Individual). Jewish Biography: Epitaphs (see also Inscriptions);
Biographical Material (see also Bibliographies of Authors; Ethical Wills; Funeral Sermons; Legends; Legends of Chasidim; Names);
Collective Biography (see also Converted Jews; O. T. Biography; Physicians; Talmudical Biography; Woman);
Collections of Portraits;
Individual Portraits;
Individual Biography (see also Eybschuetz-Emden Controversy; Frank; Individual Converted Jews; Individual O. T. Biography; Individual Talmudists; Lives of Jesus; Proselytes; Sabbathai Zebi).
Jewish History.
Historical Miscellanies (see also Archæology; Blood Accusation; Epitaphs; Karaism; Palestine; Travels);
General Jewish History.
Pentateuchal Traditions;
Entire O. T. Period (for elementary works see Old Test. History, s.v. Hebrew Bible; see also Ancient Judaism; O. T. Biography; Prophecy; Ten Tribes);
Return from Babylon to the Close of the Talmud (see also Pre-Talmudical Literature and Sects; Talmudical Biography and History);
Middle Ages to the Latter Half of the 18th Century (see also Sabbathai Zebi; Eybschuetz-Emden Controversy);
Modern (see also Chasidism; Emancipation; Reformed Judaism; Zionism).
Orient (see also Palestine);
Balkan Peninsula;
Spain and Portugal (see also Judæo-Spanish);
France (see also Judæo-French);
Great Britain;
Minor European Countries;
United States and Canada;
Other Countries.
(See also Bibliographies of Countries; Epitaphs.)
The Jewish Race Ethnologically and Sociologically.
General Works;
Ethnology (see also Assimilation);
Ten Tribes (see also History of the O. T. Period);
Circumcision (for the Halacha of this subject see Other Special Laws, s.v. Halacha; for the Liturgies see under Occasional Prayers);
Dietary Laws (for the Halacha of this subject see under Halacha);
Woman (see also Codes in Judæo-German; Devotionals for Women; Eben ha-Ezer Laws; Purification);
Agriculture (see also Social and Economic Conditions of the Ancient Hebrews);
Trade Unions (see also Socialism);
Mutual Aid Associations;
Communal Organization (see also Synagogue);
Education (see also Hebrew Readers; Letter-Writers; Post-Biblical Hebrew Readers; Elementary O. T. Histories; Elementary Works on Judaism);
Educational Institutions (see also Libraries).
Jews and Gentiles.
General Works;
Delineation of the Jew in Literature and Art (see also Belles-Lettres; Jews in Christian Theology; Wandering Jew);
Works on Anti-Semitism;
Anti-Semitic Writings (see also Unfavorable Criticism of the Oral Tradition);
Anti-Semitic Belles-Lettres;
Gentiles in Jewish Law and Literature;
The Blood Accusation;
Apologetic Writings (see also Apologetics of Judaism Against Christianity; Apologies of the Oral Tradition);
The Jewish Question: Various Solutions, Toleration, Emancipation (see also Modern Jewish History), Assimilation and Mixed Marriages (see also Ethnology; Reformed Judaism), Zionism (see also Jews in the Orient; Palestine; Restoration of the Jews [in Christian Theology]; Restoration of the Jews [in Jewish Theology]).
(Works of this class relating to the Jews of a particular country go with the history of the Jews in that country, an exception being made in the 7th [Blood Accusation] and last two sections in this division, which take all works relating to those subjects.)
  • Steinschneider, Vorlesungen über die Kunde Hebräischer Handschriften, in Beihefte zum Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, vii., Leipsic, 1897;
  • Blau, Studien zum Althebräischen Buchwesen, Budapest, 1902;
  • Schwab, The Library of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, in Jewish Comment, June, 1904.