Special Collections

The Gelman Library has the most comprehensive holdings in the broad field of Judaic Studies in the Washington Research Libraries Consortium, with over 60,000 volumes in every area of Jewish history, literature, religion, and culture, as well as a variety of specialized archival collections.

Highlights of the Judaica holdings include:

  • The I. Edward Kiev Collection, donated by the family of Dr. Ari and Phyllis Kiev, comprised of more than 28,000 volumes on Jewish religion, philosophy, biblical, classical and medieval literature, Hebraica, German Judaica and art. Its predominantly 19th and 20th century holdings are complemented by representative examples of Hebrew printing and Christian Hebraica from earlier centuries, as well as archival collections in American Jewish history, graphic art, ceremonial objects, and music.  Housed in the Kiev Room on the 7th floor of the Gelman Library, the collection continues to add rare Hebraica from around the world and extensive reference and bibliographic literature in Hebrew and Judaic studies. Displays of rare books and archival materials are mounted in the Kiev Room's permanent exhibition gallery and online.
  • The Special Collections Research Center, of which the Kiev Judaica Collection is a part, also holds institutional and personal archives and other special collections relating to Judaic Studies, such as the Halperin Collection of Maps of the Holy Land (1550-1890), American Bibles of the 19th Century, records of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington (1937-1988), and private papers of a number of Jewish political, communal and literary figures in and around Washington, DC.
  • The Judaic Classics Library on CD-ROM, and extensive electronic resources in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
  • The Jewish Heritage Video Collection, supporting teaching about Jewish life, history and culture, a gift of the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

For further information on the Kiev Collection and other Judaic collections in the Special Collections Research Center, click here.

Gelman Library Research Guides

Gelman Library provides a guide to general research materials and reference resources in Judaic Studies as well as materials and resources in Holocaust Studies.

GW Online Exhibition Highlights Rare Hebrew Books

Hebrew texts from one of Jewish civilization’s historic centers are only a mouse click away.