Our Duke Libraries are among the most robust sources for Jewish Studies collections. Here, you will find rich and diverse collections representing different disciplines and a vast array of interests. Resources include current publications, films and videos, to rare and unique manuscripts and archival collections.
Managing the collection and helping others navigate through the materials is Rachel Ariel, librarian for Jewish Studies in the International and Area Studies Department of Duke University Libraries. As a subject specialist for Judaica and Hebraica, Rachel selects all types of materials for the library: print, electronic and visual. She collects materials from and about Israel, as well as from many other parts of the world, in Hebrew and in other languages. A member of the Association of Jewish Libraries, Rachel serves as a liaison to the Center for Jewish Studies and provides specialized reference assistance, research consultations and instruction to library users.
Jewish Study Collections
For more than 100 years, scholars have used the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to write new histories, explore significant lives, study ecological change, trace the evolutions of texts, understand cultural shifts, and create new art and literature. The Rubenstein Library holds more than 350,000 rare books and 10,000 manuscript collections and includes a wide variety of Judaiac materials:
- Religious Literature: Includes information about Haggadot collections as well as Jewish Orthodox literature in the Rubenstein Library.
- Jewish Life in America: Includes information on notable manuscript collections related to Jewish life in the the southern US, as well as Jewish serials and newspapers in the US, all at the Rubenstein Library, and general and online resources. A recent addition is the personal archive of the distinguished Jewish rabbi and human rights activist Marshall T. Mayer.
- Jewish Life Around the World: Includes information on notable manuscript collections and popular searches in the Rubenstein Library and links to a very useful LibGuide that collects resources outside the Rubenstein Library on the Jewish Diaspora.
- Jewish Art: Includes information on relevant manuscript collections, visual materials, illustrated volumes, and popular searches at the Rubenstein Library.
- Anti-Semitism: Includes information on visual materials, notable manuscript collections, and books and periodicals in the Rubenstein Library, as well as links to resources within Perkins Library and beyond.
- Human Rights Activism: Includes information on 3 very important manuscript collections in the Rubenstein Library: Abraham Joshua Heschel, Marshall T. Meyer, and Marty Rosenbluth.
Other Jewish Studies Collections
- Perkins Library holds a growing collection of modern Hebrew literature, both in the original Hebrew and in translation, as well as modern Jewish history, Zionism, the history and society of Israel and the Arab Israeli Conflict.
- The microform collection includes Testaments to the Holocaust from the Wiener Library, and the Guenzburg Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts in the Russian State Library, as well as Historical Hebrew Newspapers, to name but a few.
- The Divinity School Library holds our collections of ancient and medieval Jewish history, as well as Biblical studies, Ancient Near East archeology and cultures, and Rabbinic literature.
- The Lilly Library has a unique collection of art books by Jewish and Israeli artists, some dating back to the 19th century.
- An impressive collection of Passover Hagadot is hosted in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
The Duke Center for Jewish Studies, in connection with the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina (JHFNC) is happy to announce the birth of Down Home: A Virtual Museum. While hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians saw the exhibit in person at one of its several venues, Raleigh, Charlotte, or Wilmington, mounting our interactive site means that Down Home will live on for many years to come on the internet. All of the images are taken either from the original installation at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh or from the last iteration of the exhibit in Charlotte, at the Levine Museum of the New South, where it was featured at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. We hope that you enjoy seeing the exhibit in this new format and will share it with friends and recommend it to public schools for use in the classroom and to local synagogues for use in their respective communities and congregations. And please note that significant parts of the Down Home exhibit are on display at the Levine JCC in Charlotte.