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Jewish Studies

Collection Details

Jewish Studies held at SOAS Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

A wide range of humanities and social sciences are covered, with particular concentration in the area of the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea scrolls, Judaism (including selected rabbinic and modern texts), Jewish languages (Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Persian) and Jewish communities worldwide. There are about 12,000 monographs, 120 runs of periodicals and a number of theses, several submitted to SOAS and others published by University Microfilms International.

History and development

Developed as part of the Hebraica and world religions collections. Enhanced through books from the Jewish Agency, Levi and Meir Gertner Collections, Stencl Collection, and the Whitechapel Judaica Collection. Since the 1980s, the Western language Judaica section has grown in response to the development of courses on Judaism and Jewish texts. Adequate for SOAS under-graduate and post-graduate teaching.


Dead Sea scrolls; Jewish communities of Asia and Africa and resources for their study.

General arrangement and access regulations

Chiefly open access, arranged by subject, area, or language. Periodicals in a separate sequence.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Central Asia and the Caucasus, East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia.


Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Languages of material

Aramaic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, Ladino, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish.


Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Human rights, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Religion, Sociology, Travel, Women.

Languages as linguistic focus

Aramaic, Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, Ladino, Yiddish.

Names relevant to the collection:

  • 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, Computer files (includes CD-ROMs & other electronic material), Serials, Theses.

Total size of collection

12,000 volumes, 6 audio materials, 1 CD-ROM, 120 periodical titles

Size of collection - vernacular

7,000 monographs, 60 periodical titles, 1 microfiche

Size of collection - western

5,000 monographs, 60 periodical titles, 1 CD-ROM

Collection Management Information

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

Annual intake

200 volumes

Content date range

3000 BC to present

Interlibrary loan procedure

Collection policy

The Library aims to acquire the important contributions to Asian and African scholarship published anywhere in the world in the humanities and social sciences, as well as representative collections of literature written in Asian and African languages. It aims to be responsive to changing interests and new developments; at the same time it bears in mind its role as a leading national and international resource for Asian and African studies. For the text of the policy apply to the Director of Library and Information Services.

Retention policy

At present all material is retained with the following exceptions: outdated editions of teaching texts, multiple copies of teaching material no longer used, material for which there is no evident demand, material which has been replaced by microform, unless it is of historic value. Academic advice is normally sought before a decision is taken. Apply to the Director of Library and Information Services for further information.

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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