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Building a 21st Century Research Library

July 11, 2018

 

The historic Library of JTS is one of the greatest Judaic studies libraries in the world, renowned for the depth and breadth of its collection and its extraordinary trove of rare materials. When it opens in fall 2019, the new JTS Library will continue to build upon this legacy. It will be a top-tier research library for the 21st century, providing students, faculty, outside scholars, and the public at large with an inviting new space that offers a rich collection of print, manuscript, and digital resources and that expands access to The Library’s unparalleled Judaic collection.

 

Here is what you can expect to find in the new Library of JTS:

 

The Best of Traditional and Digital Resources: Today’s outstanding libraries must offer resources in multiple formats. Therefore, our print collection will continue to be deep and rich, while our electronic resources will be first-rate. Access to online journals and research tools, within the fields of focus at JTS, will be extensive. Appropriate e-book offerings in the same fields will also be assured.

 

A Substantial Print Collection: Approximately 50,000 volumes will circulate on site. This collection will include all books within our fields of study and research published in recent years, as well as enduring, classic works. Some 300,000 other works will be stored off site, available for next-day delivery via our electronic catalog. With the latest and most enduring scholarship on site, most users will rarely need to order books from off site.

 

A Place for Intellectual Discovery: The new Library will continue to offer a book-filled environment that encourages users to browse the shelves and make unexpected discoveries. They will be able to “virtually browse” our catalog, as well, scanning all the books in our collection. We will hold training sessions to help users appreciate the power of our virtual browsing technology.

 

Space for Diverse Activities: The new Library will have room for all types of users, with ample space to work alone, in small groups, or with classes. It will accommodate work with rare and conventional materials, along with digital resources. It will be a place for community, including gatherings that bring more people from outside of JTS to view and learn about our historic treasures.

 

Rare Materials: The new Library will house our entire collection of rare materials, including 11,000 manuscripts, 25,000 rare printed books, and thousands of other materials such as scrolls, broadsides, and ketubbot.

 

Support for Scholarly Research: The Library’s rare, and in many cases unique, collections are crucial for those doing research in almost any field of Judaica, and the new Library will continue to strongly support such research. We will offer a dedicated, secure, and climate-protected space in which scholars can work comfortably while our rare materials are properly protected.

 

A Place to Share Rare Materials with the Public: The Library’s rare materials offer ever-fresh, exciting insights into the complex and diverse realities of Jewish life and thought through the ages. Therefore, our special collections must not be the realm of scholars alone; everyone—from our students and faculty to community visitors to school children—must have the opportunity to learn from and be enriched by these jewels of Jewish culture. In the new Library, this will indeed be the case, with special collections programming, a regular exhibit schedule, and special space for the presentation of our rare treasures.

  

 

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