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Hebrew Collection

Collection Details

Hebrew Collection held at University of Cambridge Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

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

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.



Languages of material



Anthropology, Archaeology, Communication and media, History, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Women.

Languages as linguistic focus

Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Books, Maps (includes all types of cartographic material), Serials.

Total size of collection

6,400 volumes 68 serials 3 newspapers 30 maps

Size of collection - vernacular

1900 volumes 3 newspapers 1 serial

Size of collection - western

4,500 volumes 67 serials 30 maps

Collection Management Information

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

Annual intake

1400 vols per year

Content date range

1800 to present

Co-operative agreements

  • Informal cooperation with other Cambridge libraries

Collection policy

Available of the Library's web page

Retention policy

Collection Catalogue Information


Included in the Departmental and College Libraries catalogue which is part of the Cambridge University Library's on-line catalaogue

Catalogue transliteration schemes

LCSH with local modifications

Links to other collections

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