Background to the collection development policies for the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica

Center for Jewish Studies

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 twenty faculty members drawn from the academic departments of History, Religion, Asian and African Languages and Literatures, and English. In addition to coordinating course offerings, the Center sponsors public lectures throughout the academic year. The Director of the Center for Jewish Studies is Norman Goda (the Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies).

The Price Library of Judaica

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 100,000 volumes, is the largest collection of Judaica and Hebraica in the southeastern United States. 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supplemented by over 450 current periodical subscriptions and an equal number of increasingly scarce serials that are no longer current.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.

Other Local Library Resources in Judaica

Some Judaica in Western languages remains in the Libraries’ Humanities and Social Science (“Main”) collection and has never been transferred to Price. 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. Rare Judaica and Hebraica, as well as antisemitica formerly held by the Price Library of Judaica, are now organized for use in the Judaica Suite.