Rare Book and Manuscript Collection - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Rare Book and Manuscript Collection

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The HUC-JIR Rare Book and Manuscript Collection brings together fine examples of manuscripts, books, bookplates, stamps, maps, and broadsides. Researchers are encouraged to visit the Klau Library in Cincinnati to explore the Library's many historical treasures. Additionally, many of these items have been digitized and cataloged and can be viewed on the HUC-JIR Manuscript website here.


Spanish Rite High Holiday Prayer book

All American books printed through 1875 which relate in any way to the Jews are sought for the Library's Rare Book Collection of Jewish Americana. This collection includes early printed Hebrew Bibles, prayer books, periodicals, Hebrew grammars, travel books about the Holy Land, and books printed by and about Jews and Jewish life in the United States.


Sample of Tooled Leather Book Binding

The Library's collection of unusual and artistic bindings includes those made of wood, ivory, leather, embroidered cloth, and silver; many have fine tooling or other decorations.


Decorative Bookplate

The Library's bookplate collection contains plates commissioned by Jewish owners or executed by Jewish graphic artists. Many artistic techniques are represented: etchings, wood and copper engravings, woodcuts, lithographs, and scissor cuts.


Jewish Book Month 1944-1945 Broadside

The Library's collection of some 10,000 broadsides includes notices to the community, prayers, eulogies, poems honoring a marriage or other special occasion, theater posters, and governmental announcements.


Search for Hametz

The Library's extensive collection of manuscript and printed editions from Europe, Asia, and the Americas includes the First Cincinnati Haggadah (Germany, 15th century) and the Second Cincinnati Haggadah (Moravia, 18th Century).

Jews of Kaifeng

Memorial Book Men's Names

The Kaifeng manuscripts from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) were acquired in the 1920s by the Library from a missionary society. The collection includes Torah portions, prayer books, and the only known manuscripts which contain both Chinese and Hebrew characters.


Ancient Map of Israel

The Library's collection includes both manuscript and printed maps, dating from the fifteenth century to the present. Most of these maps are of Israel and its environs.


The Library's vast collection includes manuscripts and musical scores for cantorial chanting, cantillation (trope) used for reading the Pentateuch and the Prophets, and instrumental and vocal music for synagogue service.


Commemorative Stamp of Hebrew Union College

Among the Library's holdings are stamps from around the world which depict famous Jewish figures, events from Jewish history, and various Jewish themes. Of particular interest is a major collection of the stamps of the State of Israel.


The images included above have been prepared exclusively from its own permanent collection. To include any of these image for publication or to reproduce them in any way, please contact Jordan Finkin, the Rare Book Librarian.

Copyright © 2013 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 
made possible through the generous bequest of Sadie Klau