The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is the premier research library for Judaica and Hebraica in the Western Hemisphere. The Library's holdings consist of more than 425,000 volumes, which represent all areas of Judaica, Hebraica, and related subjects, and reflect the geographic diversity of Jewish settlement throughout history. The Library is renowned for its strengths in Bible and biblical commentary, rabbinics, and mysticism, with materials from France, Germany, Italy, Persia, Spain, and Yemen, among other countries. As the largest repository of Hebrew manuscripts in the world, The Library serves as a global center for scholarly research.

The Library's collections consist of items from the 10th to the 21st centuries in a wide variety of formats. Manuscripts, printed books, periodicals, archival papers, sound recordings, microfilms, videos, DVDs, electronic databases, musical scores, photographs, prints, maps, ketubbot, megillot, slides, greeting cards, postcards, micrographs, and broadsides are found on its shelves and website.

Through its active digitization program, The Library is making its collections available to an ever-wider range of users over the web. The Library website is a gateway to many different resources, including:

  • the catalog;
  • digital collections;
  • electronic resources;
  • reserve readings via Blackboard;
  • reference guides in Jewish studies; and
  • online exhibitions.

The reference collection consists of a core collection of classic Judaic texts in print and online format, as well as encyclopedias, concordances, dictionaries, atlases, indexes, bibliographies, and standard scholarly works. More than 1,800 periodical titles from around the world are found in the collection, in print and through online subscriptions.

The Special Collections Department houses the finest collection of rare books and manuscripts in the Western Hemisphere, along with significant archives and an extensive collection of Jewish art. The Special Reading Room is available to users by appointment; please contact to make arrangements.

Located in the public areas of The Library are specially designated collections, including the Elias J. Bickerman Collection in early Christianity, the Educational Resource Center, the Sabin Family Music Library, the Helen and Norman Asher Audio-Visual Center, and the Louis Ginzberg Microfilm Collection.

Circulation privileges are granted to students, faculty, and staff of JTS; students, faculty, and staff of Columbia University; and faculty and students from other institutions with which JTS has a consortium agreement. JTS alumni can borrow materials at a reduced membership fee. Library membership is available to the general public. The Library also participates in interlibrary loans with libraries across the United States.

The Library is open to the public for onsite use with presentation of a valid photo ID.