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Jewish Studies Library

The magnificent collection of printed books and manuscripts formed by Frederic David Mocatta was acquired by the Jewish Historical Society after his death in 1905 and deposited at University College London. Thanks to generous endowments and donations the Mocatta Library grew steadily; in 1924 Sir Hermann Gollancz (1852-1930), on his retirement from the chair of Hebrew, presented his own important library of the College to be housed as a separate collection within the Mocatta Library. This included a collection of tracts on the Jews in England containing some extremely scarce and valuable items.

In 1924 the Anglo-Judaica from the library of Israel Abrahams (1858-1925) were added and on the death of Lucien Wolf (1857-1930) his large library of books, pamphlets and manuscripts which he had bequeathed to the Jewish Historical Society, was housed with the Mocatta Library. The entire library was described and catalogued in the revised edition of Jacobs and Wolf's Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica, prepared by Cecil Roth in 1937.

The 16th and 17th century books are rich in histories, polemical tracts, sermons, Biblical exegesis, liturgies, service books, grammars and dictionaries, and cabbalistic texts. Of particular note are the many editions of the works of the historian Josephus and the Sefer Yosippon of Joseph Ben Gorion.

The Jewish Studies Library also encompasses the collections of Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) and Moses Gaster (1856-1939), as well as the following collections:


The Jewish Studies Periodicals includes a full set of the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England. There is also a full set of the Jewish Chronicle, which is the oldest Jewish periodical still in existence, having first appeared in 1841.

Pamphlet Collection

A large collection of pamphlets is held, covering a wide range of subjects such as Jewish history, rabbinica, Zionism, and the State of Israel. They are designated Mocatta Boxed Pamphlets and are kept in Special Collections.

Anglo-Jewish Pamphlet Collection

This important collection on microfiche was produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and contains 442 rare pamphlets, covering Jewish history in England form the late 16th to the late 19th centuries. A bibliographical list of the collection is held in the Jewish Studies Library and the microfiches are in Special Collections.