Jewish History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

The European Jewish History collection comprises primarily of printed and electronic bibliographical works and primary sources, with the addition of a number of reference works, devoted to the history of the Europe’s Jewish communities from the early medieval period to the present day.

About the collections

General material in the European Jewish History collection is at classmark EY, but material on this subject is also held across the other IHR collections.

It is still a relatively new collection but is rapidly growing with over 200 titles in a variety of languages (mainly English and German, but also some in French, Italian and Hebrew).

The library is also continuing to search the web for useful tools and online sources pertinent to Jewish history.

Collection strengths

Most of the physical material we currently have is devoted to the Holocaust, comprising of personal accounts of both the victims of and those who oversaw the genocide, historical bibliographies and archive guides as well as secondary monographs that discuss the development of Holocaust historiography and the nature of how it is remembered.

Other present strengths include works on Jewish historiography, biographical reference resources, as well as electronic access to Yiddish source material.

Other related IHR collections

Given the nature of the Jewish Diaspora, there are many of the IHR collections that have material relevant to a particular nation. Much material on the British Jewish communities can be found in the general British collection (B), London (BL) as well as English Local History (BC). Moreover virtually all the library’s European nation collections have material on the subject; of particular interest are the works we hold on medieval Spanish Jewish history (ES), the Jewish communities in the Low Countries (EN) as well as those in France, Germany and Italy (EF, EFP, EG and EI). Accounting for the nature of Jewish immigration in the nineteenth and early twentieth century material can also be found in our Colonial collection (C), Latin America (LA) and especially the USA collections (UB, UF and US).

Other relevant libraries/institutions

In many ways our own collection is intended to complement the already excellent range of predominately secondary works found in Senate House Library. London, however, is home to a wealth of other institutions vitally important to anyone conducting research in this field; besides the vast collections of the British Library and National Archives other vital libraries include the Wiener Library (General Jewish history, Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Genocide); the collections found at University College London (General Jewish History, Anglo-Jewish History and Yiddish Civilisation), the Institute of Classical Studies (Jewish history during the Classical Period) and the Warburg Institute (General and Intellectual Jewish History).

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