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Hebrew Studies

Collection Details

Hebrew Studies held at SOAS Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The whole range of humanities and social sciences are covered, including major encyclopaedias, bibliographies, and dictionaries in the field. There are about 12,000 monographs, 200 runs of periodicals, a few microfiche and a number of theses, some submitted to SOAS and others published by University Microfilms International.

History and development

Established at the beginning of the Library's existence. History, language and literature areas enhanced by the acquisition of books from the Jewish Agency, the Levi and Meir Gertner collections, and consistent buying in these fields over the years. Remains an excellent resource for teaching in Hebrew studies at both under-graduate and post-graduate level.


19th and 20th century Hebrew language and literature (one of the most extensive in Europe), and strong on religious, historical, archaeological, social, cultural and political issues relating to Palestine/Israel.

General arrangement and access regulations

Chiefly open access arranged by language (Hebrew) or subject (eg. Hebrew Bible, archaeology of Israel). Periodicals in a separate sequence.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.


Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen.

Languages of material

English, French, German, Hebrew, Russian.


Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Environmental sciences, Geography, History, Human rights, Industries, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Recreation, Religion, Science and technology, Sociology, Travel, Women.

Languages as linguistic focus


Names relevant to the collection:

  • Agnon, Shmuel Yosef, 1888-1970
  • Bialik, Hayyim Nahman, 1873-1934
  • Maimonides, Moses, 1135-1204

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Audio materials (includes cassettes & CDs), Books, Manuscripts, Newspapers (includes microfilm editions), Serials, Theses.

Total size of collection

12,000 volumes, 2 manuscripts, 200 periodical titles, 6 audio materials, 1 newspaper (current issues only)

Size of collection - vernacular

11,500 volumes, 2 manuscripts, 200 periodical titles, 6 audio materials, 1 newspaper (current issues only)

Size of collection - western

500 volumes

Collection Management Information

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

Annual intake


Content date range

1000 BC to present

Interlibrary loan procedure

Collection Catalogue Information


The online library catalogue offers access to all material acquired since 1989 and a substantial part of the material collected prior to that date. Work to add records for the earlier collections from the card catalogue is ongoing and by the end of 2002 all material acquired since 1979 will be included as well as significant parts of the rest of the collection. For those who cannot access the card catalogue on site the Library's catalogues have been published (details below).

Catalogue transliteration schemes

Since 1989 all records have been created using the current Library of Congress transliteration schemes, with the exception of Japanese which uses Modified Hepburn. As records are added to the online catalogue the transliterated records are being updated to these schemes.

Catalogue scripts

The current cataloguing and some of the earlier records for the following languages contain author and title fields in the relevant script: Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Ladino, Persian, Yiddish.

Collection printed catalogues

Library catalogue of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
School of Oriental and African Studies
Boston MA: G.K. Hall & Co., 1963-1978
3 supplements were published by the same publisher in 1968, 1973 and 1978. IDC published a fifth and final supplement in microfiche for 1978-1989 in 1990

Links to other collections

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