The Special and Area Studies Collections Department seeks to collect materials that reflect the breadth of human experience in support of the educational mission of the University of Florida. We are committed to acquisition practices that reflect sound stewardship of institutional and community resources. We practice ongoing review of existing collections to ensure diversity and inclusion in description, access, and outreach. Curators collaborate across collections to better represent distinct and overlapping identities and experiences, and to redress gaps in individual collections or across collections.
The impetus for a research-level collection containing Hebraica as well as Judaica was recognized in 1973 with the formation of the University of Florida’s Center for Jewish Studies. Today the Center offers a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish studies as well as a minor certificate as part of a vibrant, multidisciplinary program taught by faculty members drawn from the academic departments of History, Religion, Asian and African Languages and Literatures, and English.
History of the Collection
The University of Florida Libraries’ core holdings supporting Jewish Studies are housed at the Price Library of Judaica, named for Isser and Rae Price of Jacksonville in recognition of an endowment created in 1977 in their honor by their sons, Jack and Sam, both UF alumni. The “3M” foundation collections (Mishkin, Marenoff, Morgenstern) were acquired between 1977 and 1979; to these have been added thousands of new and retrospective titles so that the Price Library, with over 120,000 volumes, is the largest collection of Judaica and Hebraica in the southeastern United States. The collection is, for the most part, a fully cataloged and circulating collection of twentieth-century monographs, these holdings are supplemented by over 450 current periodical subscriptions and an equal number of increasingly scarce serials that are no longer current. At least half of the collection consists of books and scarce pamphlets in Hebrew and Yiddish, while microforms of manuscripts and newspapers and key Jewish Studies databases. The Price Library holds a select number of archives and manuscripts which can be discovered through the Libraries’ finding aids.
Other Local Library Resources in Judaica
Some works relating to Jewish studies in Western languages remain in the Libraries’ Humanities and Social Science (“Main”) collection and have never been transferred to to the Price Library. In addition, scattered materials related to Jewish art, music, and Israeli law may be found in the Architecture and Fine Arts (AFA) Library, the Music Library and the Legal Information Center, respectively. Maps of Israel, including a fine antiquarian Holy Land maps collection, can be found in the Map and Imagery Library. The Judaica Library’s rare materials are in the Judaica Suite.