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Klau Library HUC Cincinnati

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Our History

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The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History. The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History.  The Klau Library History. 

Welcome to the Klau Library

The Klau Library, Cincinnati, in quantity and quality of holdings, stands at or near the top of all American collections of Hebraica and among the strongest in the world.   The collection includes: 530,000 printed books, 1,200 current periodical subscriptions, 2,500 manuscript codices and many thousands of manuscript pages, 19,000 microfiche & 19,000 reels of microfilm, 100,000 digital images from manuscripts and early printed books, 3,300 sound recordings, 14,000 books in the Rare Book Room, and numerous non-book collections: Maps, Slides, Filmstrips, Bookplates, Stamps, Computer Programs, Games, and Kits.  

Particular strengths of the collection include Ancient Near East Studies, Archives (non-American), Bible, Cabala, Calendars, Early Christianity, History, Jewish Americana, Maimonides, Philosophy, Rabbinics, Responsa, Spinozana, Wit and Humor, and Yiddish.  

The Library is available to any resident of the Greater Cincinnati area, and also lends thousands of items yearly via interlibrary loan. Hundreds of reference questions are answered by the Library staff each year. Rare and important manuscripts, books, and special collections are lent by the Library to other institutions around the world in support of their  exhibits and scholarly research. Treasures from the Rare Book Collection, as well as topical exhibits, are displayed in the Rabbi David Ellenson Rare Book Room and in the first floor exhibit case.

Our Mission

The Klau Library, functions both as a campus library and as the main research library within the HUC-JIR Library system. Guided by the Mission Statement of the HUC-JIR Library system, the Cincinnati Library acquires, preserves and provides access to materials in printed, manuscript and other formats, supporting the teaching functions of the Rabbinic and Graduate programs and meeting the research needs of its various users: the faculty, students and staff of HUC-JIR Cincinnati; the residents of the Cincinnati metropolitan area; and the broader Judaic academic and general community both in the United States and abroad. As the main research library in the system, the Cincinnati Library provides both its depth of resources and various library services to the other HUC-JIR libraries.

Rare Collection Highlights

The wealth and breadth of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections holdings of the Library make it one of the largest and finest Judaica libraries in the world. It would be impossible to categorize in a few words the depth and diversity of the Library’s collections. Instead, here are a few highlights. 

Kaifeng Manuscripts

Incunables and Early Hebrew Printing

The origins of the Jewish community of China likely date to the 12th or 13th centuries. Very few manuscripts from Kaifeng, the community’s largest settlement, survive. The Klau Library holds 59 of 64 known manuscripts (apart from Torah scrolls), the most significant such collection in the world.

Since the advent of movable type in the 15th century, Hebrew was the third language to appear in printed books. The Klau Library holds one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of Hebrew books printed in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Liturgy

Birnbaum Music Collection

From a Genizah fragment of an Italian convert in the 12th century to cutting-edge contemporary Haggadot, the Klau Library holds liturgical collections covering the geographical and historical sweep of Jewish prayer, including Samaritan, Aleppo, Karaite, Roman, Romaniote, Sephardi, Hasidic, and Ashkenazi rites, just to name a few. Especially large are the holdings in Reform liturgy from its very inception.

Eduard Birnbaum was a cantor in Königsberg in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An inveterate collector of rare books and manuscripts, he amassed one of the largest manuscript collections of Jewish liturgical music, an archive currently in the process of digitization.

Programming

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Our Partnership with AJL

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Plans for Our Future

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Contact Us

Cincinnati Contact Info 
Mailing Address 
Klau Library, Cincinnati 
3101 Clifton Avenue 
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2488 

Phone and Fax 
Library Office: 
(513) 487-3276 or ext. 3276 
Fax: (513) 221-0519 
Circulation Desk (Including Reference and ILL): 
(513) 487-3287 

Important Emails
Circulation & Reference: klau@huc.edu 
ILL: ill.cn@huc.edu 
Visitors: klauvisitor@huc.edu 

New York Contact Info
Mailing Address 
Klau Library, New York 
Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion 
Brookdale Center 
One West 4th Street 
New York, NY 10012-1186 

Phone  
Circulation Desk 
(Including Reference and ILL):
(212) 824-2258 

Important Emails 
Circulation & Reference: nycirculation@huc.edu 
ILL: ill.ny@huc.edu 

Los Angeles Contact Info 
Mailing Address 
Frances-Henry Library 
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 
3077 University Avenue 
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3796 

Phone and Fax 
Circulation and Reference:
(213) 765-2125 ext. 4225 
Fax number: (213) 749-1937 

Important Emails 
ILL: ill.la@huc.edu 

Jerusalem Contact Info 
Mailing Address 
Abramov Library 
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 
The Taube Family Campus 
13 King David Street 
Jerusalem 94101, Israel  

Phone and Fax 
(02) 6203270 
(02) 6203272 fax 

Important Emails 
Circulation & Reference: abramov@huc.edu