The Yiddish collection consists of some 4,000 volumes of books mainly of literary texts, including translations of European literature into Yiddish, plus works of a linguistic, historical, political and cultural nature. Titles date generally from the first half of the twentieth century and are usually inYiddish with a few in English or German.There are also partial or broken runs of some 70 periodicals in the collection.
History and development
The collection has been acquired and developed from the mid 1980s onwards. In 1984 the Taylorian was given ca. 3,000 volumes formerly belonging to Whitechapel Public Library. In 1989 the collection was much enlarged by a gift of some 1,000 volumes of modern literature from the 1930s - 1970s from the personal library of the Israeli Yiddish writer Sholomo Schweizer. A number of other smaller donated collections have also been incorporated and new works are acquired on a regular basis.
The collection includes many titles from the inter-war period including rare items from Eastern Europe. The Whitechapel collection is historically interesting in itself , representing the reading library of the Jewish immigrant community of east London.
General arrangement and access regulations
More than half of the collection is on open access and is arranged in a classified order by period and subject. Primary and secondary literature for individual authors is gathered together. Periodicals are arranged in an alphabetical sequence. The remaining portion of the collection is kept at an out-of-town repository from which deliveries are made twice daily. Members of the library may order such repository books electronically.