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Jewish Studies Collection

Collection Details

Jewish Studies Collection held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

Monographs: 1900 items, of which 200 are in Hebrew. The majority of the stock derives from the old Oriental Section and is not catalogued online. Periodicals: 12 theological journals on specifically Jewish subjects, of which 6 are current.

History and development

The Jewish studies collections of Durham University Library have been built up over the same time span as the rest of the collections and the current level of accessions, though steady, is low. However, the Library is shortly expecting to receive a donation of several hundred volumes of Jewish Studies material, which will strengthen our holdings in this field considerably.


The library's collection of works on Judaism is very strong in general works, with over 600 volumes. There are 400 works of Rabbinic Literature, all held in the ex-Oriental sequences and unfortunately not yet accessible online. 250 items on the sources of Judaism are held, including much material on Talmudic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are lesser but still significant holdings of works on Doctrinal & Moral Theology and Jewish sects and movements.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Jewish studies collections of Durham University Library are split between: 1) A sequence of older material, formerly held in the library's Oriental Section before its closure in 1987, classified in the Library of Congress classification scheme and not catalogued online. 2) Post-1987 material and older material reclassified into Dewey and catalogued online, shelved as part of the main book sequence. Most of the stock on Judaism is on open access (a minority is in store) and items in all languages in the collection are shelved together.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.

Languages of material

English, Hebrew.


History, Language, Philosophy, Religion.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Books, Serials.

Total size of collection

1900 volumes, 12 periodicals

Size of collection - vernacular

200 volumes in Hebrew

Size of collection - western

1700 volumes, 12 periodicals

Collection Management Information

The collection is being actively developed, and the average intake has stayed the same.

Annual intake

c.50 volumes per annum

Content date range

2000 BC to present

Interlibrary loan procedure

Durham lends its Asian Studies material on the same basis as other material.

Collection Catalogue Information


Only 40% of Durham University Library's Jewish Studies holdings are catalogued in the OPAC. The rest - the material still classified in Library of Congress classification - is recorded in the library's manual catalogues - the Oriental Draft catalogue for material received up to 1975 and the Author catalogue, closed in 1990. These are available on Level 2 of the Main Library.

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