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Hebrew Printed Books

Collection Details

Hebrew Printed Books held at Cambridge University Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The libray has a fine collection of Hebrew printed books, ranging from rare early prints to the most recent scholarly publications from Israel. Its focus is on all aspects of Judaism and Jewish history and culture, and it includes material in Hebrew, as well as in Aramaic and in Yiddish. Altogether, the number of Hebrew books is in excess of 25000 volumes.

History and development

The first Hebrew printed books came into the library soon after its foundation. The collection then expanded through purchase and donations. For a detailed histoy of the library's Hebrew collection, see the preface to Reif's catalogue of Hebrew manuscripts at Cambridge University Library.


The Hebrew collection is particularly strong in early printed editions and translations of Jewish texts, Liturgy, Haggadot, Anglo-Judaica and Festschriften.

General arrangement and access regulations

Hebrew books are currently shelved on the fifth floor of the North Wing in classes 816 to 818. Rare and valuable books have been withdrawn to closed access, and may be consulted only in the reading rooms. The usual library rules on access apply.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.



Languages of material

Aramaic, Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish.


History, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Religion.

Languages as linguistic focus

Aramaic, Hebrew, Yiddish.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types


Total size of collection

There may be more than 25000 volumes in Hebrew.

Size of collection - vernacular


Collection Management Information

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

Annual intake

300 volumes

Content date range

1500 to present

Collection Catalogue Information


Access to the main catalogue is via a web or telnet link which provides a number of search menus and access points. There are separate catalogues of the Chinese collections and of the Japanese Union Catalogue which can be accessed from the main catalogue menu. For other material, and most books printed before 1979, readers must refer to the guardbook catalogue in the library. Descriptions of the oriental collections are also provided in printed form in the 'Cambridge University Library Readers' Handbook' Part, D6

Catalogue transliteration schemes

Chinese - Wade-Giles Japanese - modified Hepburn Korean - McCune-Reischauer Arabic, Persian and Hebrew - LC - South and Southeast Asian languages and Tibetan - LC

Links to other collections

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