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Subject guides: Hebrew & Jewish studies

Hebrew & Jewish studies

Printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about:


Printed collections

The principal collection for Hebrew and Jewish Studies is in the Arnold Mishcon Reading Room on the 2nd floor of the Main Library (Wilkins building), which can be reached via the staircase opposite the library entrance stairway. Research material that is not in high demand is kept in our off-site store. Old, valuable, and rare printed material is held at UCL Special Collections, and is available, for reference only, by appointment.

See separate pages for maps, contact details and opening hours.

Book collections

The collection in the Arnold Mishcon Reading Room is shelved in two parts: HEBREW and YIDDISH.

The Hebrew collection includes reference books and general works (shelfmark A 1-9; some encyclopaedias are shelved separately), history of the Jews (A 10 - N), Hebrew and related languages (P), Jewish literature (Q), Bible (QB - QM), rabbinics (R), Jewish mysticism (RS), Jewish philosophy (RT), Jewish literature (S - T), Judaism (W), and arts and sciences in relation to Judaism (X). Large books (quartos and folios) are shelved after the main sequence.

The William Margulies Yiddish collection includes general works (A), language and linguistics (B), literature (C), history and the sciences (D), travel and geography (E), and music, art and film (F). Large books (quartos and folios) are shelved after the main sequence.

UCL Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves; a typical classmark will consist of the name of a subject (indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section; e.g.

HEBREW BA 10 RIC, where:

  • HEBREW indicates that the book is located in the Hebrew & Jewish Studies collection
  • BA denotes British Jewish history
  • 10 denotes the Mediaeval period (up to 1290)
  • RIC shows the first three letters of the author’s last name

There are copies of the classification system in the Reading Room and at the Enquiry Desk.

A classmark beginning with the word STORE, or with a number - e.g. 98-15234 - refers to a work housed away from the UCL Main Library. For these works, you will need to fill in the online store request form or click the Place Request link in Explore. Most but not all items in Store can be borrowed.

Click here for information on the Jewish special collections.

Some of the other collections relevant to Jewish Studies are:

ANCIENT HISTORY (Main Library, first floor, North Corridor) for the history of the Jews in the ancient world.

CLASSICS (Main Library, first floor, North Corridor) for Greek and Roman literature and culture.

HISTORY (Main Library, second floor, South Corridor) for the history of the Jews worldwide.

ARCHAEOLOGY (Institute of Archaeology Library, 31-34 Gordon Square, fifth floor) for the archaeology of the Middle East.

LINGUISTICS (Language and Speech Sciences Library, 2 Wakefield Street) for material on Semitic languages and comparative Semitic studies.

PHILOSOPHY (Main Library, first floor, South Corridor) for material on Jewish philosophers.

SLAVONIC AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES (SSEES Library, 16 Taviton Street) for the history of the Jews in central and eastern Europe.

Click here for instructions on how to find a book using the Explore search tool. Click here to see the system used in the catalogue for transliterating Hebrew and Yiddish using the Roman alphabet. Records added to the catalogue since 2009 (and some older records) also include Hebrew script.You can search Explore on the web using Hebrew characters (you will need to configure your computer to type in Hebrew), but it is not yet possible to do this on the Explore Access Points in the library. Not all material acquired before 1982 is included in the online catalogue, but may be found in the digitised card catalogue.


The library subscribes to Jewish Studies periodicals in both print and electronic format.

There are two sequences in the Reading Room: HEBREW and YIDDISH. Shelving of titles is alphabetical, and they are located after the respective book sections. Recent issues are on display racks.

HUMANITIES PERIODICALS is a collection of multidisciplinary humanities periodicals. This collection is located after the Hebrew and Jewish Studies collection.

For electronic journals, see below.

Click here for instructions on how to find printed and electronic journals and journal articles.


The following resources are available on microfilm/fiche:

  • The Jewish Chronicle: text 1841-1959, indexes 1841-1995
  • Jewish displaced persons periodicals from the collections of the YIVO Institute
  • Tshernovitser Bleter: 1929-1937
  • Yiddish children’s literature from the collections of the YIVO Institute
  • Yiddish classics: Mendele Mocher Sforim, I.L. Peretz, Sholom Aleichem
  • Hebrew manuscript catalogues from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
  • Anglo-Judaic Pamphlet Collection

To consult these microforms, ask at the Main Library Issue Desk. Printing costs 5p per A4 sheet. Printed guides are available.

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Electronic collections

Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. Limited guest access is available. Some resources are freely available on the internet.


The following databases for Hebrew & Jewish Studies are freely available on the Web:

The Library subscribes to a number of bibliographic databases, of which the following might be particularly useful:

  • British Humanities Index Index of published literature in the humanities from 1962 onwards
  • Arts & Humanities Full Text Searches and links to full text of published literature in the arts and humanities
  • SCOPUS Database containing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series and web resources in arts & humanities and sciences (1823 onwards)
  • Web of Science Indexing and abstracting database, incorporating the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-)
  • Linguistics Abstracts Index of articles from linguistics journals from 1985 onwards. Includes abstracts
  • Philosopher's Index Index of scholarly research in philosophy from 1940 onwards. Includes abstracts

The following full-text resources are also available:

Click here for a complete list of databases available at UCL.

Electronic journals

A range of electronic versions of journal titles is available. Start from the list on the Library's web pages.

A range of titles is available through JSTOR - a project to store long back runs of selected journals in electronic form.

Exam papers

Copies of College examination papers for the past 5 years are available online.

Printed copies of the most recent year's papers are held in the South Corridor of the Main Library next to the reshelving area. Previous years are kept in Store and should be requested via a store request form.

Other Web resources

Internet resources of academic quality can be accessed using subject gateways or directories. These gateways are often compiled by subject specialists and can therefore provide a quick and reliable way of finding material of academic quality on the Web.

Gateways specific to Jewish Studies include:

General gateways include:

For more details about the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL click here to access the departmental homepage.

The Jewish Historical Society of England's website includes resources on Anglo-Jewish history. Members of the Society can borrow books from UCL libraries.

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Other libraries

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library has a strong collection in Jewish Studies, especially in Israeli literature and Yiddish. UCL postgraduate students can borrow from SOAS Library. UCL undergraduates have reference access.

The British Library has a strong collection of Jewish Studies materials.

Dr Williams's Library is a theological library which includes material relevant to Jewish Studies.

The Wiener Library specializes, among other subjects, in the history of the Third Reich, Nazism, fascism, antisemitism, and racism.

The Warburg Institute Library has a strong collection in Jewish mysticism, history and art, and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.

Leo Baeck College Library specializes in Bible, Jewish Liturgy, Rabbinics, Modern Judaism, Jewish Philosophy, Jewish History and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.

The London School of Jewish Studies Library holds over 70,000 volumes of Judaica and Hebraica.

A list of libraries holding Jewish Studies material can be found here and in the Jewish Year Book (in HEBREW Periodicals).

Click here for more information about the use of other libraries.

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Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or ask for the subject librarian for Hebrew and Jewish Studies:

Vanessa Freedman
E-mail v.freedman@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: internal: 32598; external: 020 7679 2598
Twitter @UCLHJSLibrary

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Last modified 16 October 2013

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