Over 170,000 items
Correspondence and papers of Dr Moses Gaster (1856-1939), his family, and the family of his wife Lucy (née Friedlander), 1796-1973, dating largely from the 1870s to the 1930s, also including some material on Gaster's life and work which post-dates his death. Many papers relate to Gaster's activities in his official posts, notably as Haham, to his interests in Jewish affairs and Zionism, and as a scholar, but the collection touches upon a wide range of topics in late 19th and early 20th century history, including the history of Rumanian Jewry and Anglo-Jewry. The bulk of the collection comprises Gaster's correspondence, which includes letters from Jewish and Zionist organisations in Britain, Europe and Jerusalem, from newspapers, periodicals and publishers, and from a large number of individuals outside Gaster's family, including eminent British, European and American Jewish scholars, rabbis and public figures, such as members of the Adler, Gollancz, Mocatta, Montefiore and Rothschild families, and with non-Jewish public figures. Gaster was born in Romania and settled in England after being expelled from Romania for protesting against the treatment of Jews. As well as letters from many important individuals of the day, the collection also contains Gaster’s own notes, manuscripts, illuminated certificates, photographs, press cuttings, posters, notices of lectures, ephemera, picture postcards and Victoriana. The subjects range from rabbinica and Judaica to philology, Slavonic and Oriental Studies, and refugee issues.
The collection was given to UCL in 1974, but was originally on loan from 1960.
Trude M.Levi The Gaster Papers, UCL Library, Occasional Publications, 2 (London, 1976), a biographical guide to Gaster's correspondents in the years 1870-1897.
A card index held in the Special Collections reading room gives the names of Gaster's correspondents. The collection is awaiting a complete catalogue and parts of the collection are restricted due to the poor condition or unsorted nature of the material.