The Hebrew section aims to cover Hebrew language teaching material in the classical, medieval and modern eras. Hebrew Bible texts, commentaries and background material to Biblical studies are the basis of the collection. Also included are Syriac and Aramaic language materials and texts and also studies in comparative Semitics. There are sections on background to the Old Testament and the archaeology of the Holy Land. A medieval Hebrew and Rabbinics section contains texts and commentaries of medieval Jewish writers and publications on Jewish history, religion and institutions. Hellenistic Jewish literature, Greek and Latin Bible are also represented. There is a fast-growing modern Hebrew section which covers literary and critical works of twentieth century Israeli writers and also the modern history of Israel.
History and development
The Hebrew collections date back to the early days of the Faculty Library and along with the Arabic and Sanskrit collections formed the founding collections of the Library in the 1930's. The Hebrew collection contains volumes from private bequests of Cambridge scholars such as of C.H.W. Johns and W.P.M. Walters on Septuagint studies. The section has also been developed by the purchase of publications concerning Biblical Hebrew and Rabbinics which support students reading for the Hebrew Studies Tripos. The modern Hebrew section has grown rapidly since the start of the teaching of the modern language in the Faculty in the 1970's.
The major strengths of the collection lie in the areas of Biblical studies, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac language studies. Also, the modern Hebrew language and literature section is a fast-growing area.
General arrangement and access regulations
The Hebrew collection forms one section of the Faculty Library. All the books about Hebrew and Biblical studies are shelved together, whatever their language, using an in-house classification scheme. Periodicals are shelved with the rest of the Library's periodical holdings. Some older volumes are shelved in a basement store within the Faculty building