SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources · 115
University of Florida
Primary Collection Responsibilities
Center for Jewish Studies
Title page of ‘Shir ha-Shirim’,
Primary Collection Responsibilities
With few exceptions, the Price Library of Judaica's acquisitions program concentrates on 20th-century materials
(monographs, pamphlets, periodicals), as well as microforms, in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and the major
European research languages in the following major divisions of Jewish Studies:
Judaism, broadly interpreted to include Jewish theology, rabbinical literature, Jewish classical texts and
commentaries, liturgy and customs, religious law, mysticism, movements and sects, relations with other
religions, homiletics, philosophy and ethics, rabbinic biography, and synagogue history.
Jewish history, a far-encompassing field spanning 4,000 years of Jewish life in Palestine, modern Israel,
and all countries of the Diaspora, with emphasis on the major population centers of Western and Eastern
Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, North America, and Latin America. Sefardica, Palestinography,
community history and demography, antisemitism, Zionism, Jewish-Arab relations, and the Holocaust (e.g.,
community memorial books) are but a few collecting highlights and strengths.
Israel, with emphasis on the pre-State period synonymous with Turkish rule and the British Mandate, and
more selectively (yet broadly) for the modern State of Israel in its social, and cultural aspects. English-
language materials are preferred for more general treatments of Israel for use by undergraduates, while
works in Hebrew are selectively chosen for specialized yet non-technical treatments of Israeli life seldom
covered by English-language materials. Literature on the Palestinian Arabs in Israel and the Occupied
Territories (Gaza, West Bank) may be found in both the Price Library and the "Main" collections. Very few
works in Hebrew or other foreign languages relating to Israel science, industry, banking and economics,
agriculture, technology, civil and criminal law, medicine, military, etc. are acquired by the Price Library; by
and large, only introductory or survey treatments of these subjects in English intended for non-practitioners
will be considered for acquisition, and then only selectively. Statistical series and government documents,
including those issued by municipalities and regional councils, are not currently being collected beyond the
published Israeli census and the Statistical Abstract of Israel.
Bible, including texts, commentaries, and criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament); biblical
history, theology, institutions, personalities, geography, archaeology, etc., provided the works are
informative of the growth and development of early Judaism and the Jewish people in the Biblical period
and/or said works are from a Jewish perspective or written by authors in the mainstream of scholarly
research. Bible is increasingly a difficult area in which to select because of Christianity's claim on the Old
Testament as a source of inspiration and dogma; works of a Christian doctrinal or devotional nature, or by
authors writing primarily for a non-Jewish audience in the fields of Old and New Testament are typically
acquired for placement in the "Main" collection. The Price Library continues to collect in the fields of
Apocrypha, the literature on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran community, Essenes, etc.
Hebrew language and literature; Yiddish; language and literature; other Judeo-languages. The Jewish
Studies Center’s Hebrew program requires creative writing in Hebrew as well as English translations from
the Hebrew, while the linguistic component of the program (grammar, lexicography, morphology and
syntax, phonology, semantics) is supported by appropriate treatises. In the absence of a Yiddish program,
very few purchases are being made in Yiddish literature, but linguistic studies of Yiddish and Yiddish
literary criticism are routinely added. Studies of other Jewish languages - Judezmo, Aramaic, Judeo-
Persian, Judeo-Italian, Hakitia, Samaritan, etc. - are required as they may support broader ethnographic,
interlingual, or sociolinguistic research.
George A. Smathers
The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaicia
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