Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
2006-2007
Annual Report
| Page 23
Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought,
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, spoke on behalf of the faculty
in acknowledging the Klau Library’s significance for
the research and scholarship not only for the HUC-
JIR community of students and teachers, but for
researchers from around the world.
The Klau Library’s mission is to collect, preserve,
and provide access to the total record of Jewish
thought and experience. Its Rare Book collection
includes important collections of incunabula (books
printed before 1501) and 16th century Hebrew
imprints, and archival and literary manuscripts,
including the unique Chinese-Hebrew collection.
It has the world’s largest collection of early Jewish
Americana, and preeminent collections of Jewish
music, Spinozana, and Christian Hebraica. It also
houses the American Jewish Periodical Center, which
preserves on microfilm some 900 newspaper, journal,
and synagogue bulletin titles.
In her presentation on one of the Klau Library’s rare
manuscripts, Dr. Susan Einbinder, Professor of Hebrew
Literature at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, noted, “It is easy
to marvel at the whims of fate that allow these fragile
artifacts to survive. It is nonetheless a fact of Jewish
history that the fragility of the owners has often been
greater than that of their books. These pieces of paper
and parchment, whether tenderly preserved or torn
and scattered through the years, are what remain to
tell us the story of people and a past that led us here.”
Over 200 Judaica databases and 10,000 digitized
images of works from its collections can be accessed
using the Klau Library’s internal computer network.
It is one of the three conservators in the world of the
negatives of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Its online catalogs
are accessible to a world-wide community of users at
HUC-JIR’s website (
, which
also provides links to timely topics, online exhibi-
tions, subject research guides, online databases, and
local resources.
“‘
Books are for use’ is the first law of librarianship,
and the Klau Library prides itself on making its col-
lections accessible to as wide an audience as possible;
it has a justly earned international reputation as the
lender of last resort’ for Hebraica and Judaica,” said
Dr. David Gilner, HUC-JIR Director of Libraries. “We
are eagerly anticipating a building that will properly
house and preserve the collection far into the future,
as well as provide flexibility for future needs,” added
Laurel Wolfson, Administrative Librarian.
The Klau Library in Cincinnati serves as both the
campus library and the main research library within
HUC-JIR’s four-campus library system, which also
includes the S. Zalman and Ayala Abramov Library
at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem, the Frances-Henry Library
at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, and the Klau Library at
HUC-JIR in New York. It also serves as a resource
for the University of Cincinnati and other local edu-
cational institutions through its membership in the
Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium, the Ohio
College Library Consortium, and the Research
Libraries Group.
Architectural renderings
of the exterior and inte-
riors of the renovated
Klau Library.