Collection Development - Jewish Studies

Collections Librarian : Sarah Becker (x3593)

The collection development policy for Jewish Studies guides the development and management of Jewish Studies materials in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for use by the Wellesley community and the Jewish Studies collections librarian. Building the Library's collection is a collaborative process, and faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

Jewish Studies materials in the Wellesley College Library support Jewish Studies, Religion, Middle Eastern Studies, and other related curricula. They provide resources for undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research.

The Jewish Studies program awards the Bachelor of Arts degree. It is designed to acquaint students with Jewish civilization through interdisciplinary study of Jewish religion, history, philosophy, art, literature, social and political institutions, and cultural patterns. The Jewish Studies program also offers elementary and intermediate Hebrew language courses. Students in the Jewish Studies program may take related courses for credit toward the major from other curricula, including Anthropology, Arab language studies, History, Religion, and Spanish.

Description of the collection

The Jewish Studies collection provides resources for study of the culture, history, and religion of Jewish peoples. It includes materials on the principles, theology, and history of Judaism, on the sources of Jewish religion, including the Talmud, Mishnah, and Bible, among other works, and on Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Judaism. The collection includes works on Jewish contributions to literature, the visual arts, music, and cinema, as well as materials on Jewish history, and on Jewish identity, in Israel and in the diaspora, particularly Europe and the United States. The collection also provides resources for the study of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Judaic archaeology, and Hebrew, among other subjects.

A common thread running through all Wellesley College library collections is an emphasis on the contributions and roles of women. In the Jewish Studies collection, this is reflected in works on women and Judaism, women in the Bible and in the Biblical world, women rabbis, feminist theology, female gods, women and Jewish law, Jewish women authors and artists, gender studies, and other subjects.

Readership Level: The Jewish Studies collection includes works written for basic through advanced undergraduate level and for basic faculty research; masters-level publications are collected selectively; research-level publications are collected very selectively.

Languages Collected: Primary materials and literature originally written in Hebrew or Yiddish are generally collected in English translation. Source documents of Jewish religion, such as holy books, are collected in the original language and in English translation. English is the preferred language for secondary materials on Jewish Studies; secondary materials in non-Roman alphabets are excluded, with the exception of Hebrew. Hebrew books and newspapers are collected to support Hebrew language studies. Important monographs and reference works in Western European languages are collected selectively.

Geographical Areas Covered (intellectual content or publication source): All geographical areas are included.

Chronological Periods Covered (intellectual content): All chronological periods are included.

Chronological Period Covered (publication dates): The emphasis is on works of recent publication, representing current scholarship.

Special emphases: Jewish cultural identity, early and modern Jewish history, anti-Semitism, Holocaust studies

Reference: The reference collection for Jewish Studies follows the general subject parameters of the circulating collection, providing resources on Jewish history, religion, literature, and culture, and for the study of Hebrew. The collection includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, foreign-language dictionaries, research guides and bibliographies, and indexing and abstracting databases for periodical articles and other writings. Reference works may be acquired in print or online, with online generally preferred when available. English is the preferred language for reference works, except for dictionaries and other materials in support of Hebrew language studies. Reference materials are selected by the Research and Instruction Group librarian for Jewish Studies, who may collaborate with the collections librarian for Jewish Studies.

Types of materials: Formats in the Jewish Studies collection include books in print or online, periodicals and newspapers online or in print, online encylopedias and indices, sound recordings, and video recordings.
- Reference works: see Reference section, above.
- Books: histories, theological, sociological, and anthropological studies, cultural studies, biographies, literature, literary criticism
- Periodicals and newspapers: scholarly periodicals on Jewish religion, culture, and history, and on Jewish women; Hebrew-language newspapers
- Sound recordings: compact discs of liturgical and ethnographic Jewish music
- Video recordings: DVDs of significant films and documentaries, in region one coding
- NB: monographs published by major university press and selected trade publishers are added to the Library via its approval plan

Types of materials collected selectively: Bibliographies; foreign-language reference works; foreign-language monographs; research-level monographs; memoirs; dissertations and theses; foreign-language periodicals; DVDs in other than region one coding; VHS videos.

Types of materials not collected: Translations into languages other than English; foreign-language dissertations; single or discrete issues of periodicals; textbooks; workbooks; microforms.

Library locations: Jewish Studies materials are primarily housed in Clapp Library. The Clapp Library materials are not housed together but are arranged by their primary subject:
- materials on Jewish religion are shelved with other books on religion in Library of Congress class BM
- Jewish history materials are located in the history section, DS101 through DS151
- works on Hebrew and Yiddish literature and language are located within the literature section, PJ4501 through PJ5192
and so on. Works on Jewish art and architecture are located in the Art Library , and works on Jewish music are in the Music Library .

The Knapp Media and Technology Center includes language lab facilities for the study of Hebrew.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

Art: The Art Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works on Jewish art, architecture, and visual culture.

Classical Studies: The Classical Studies collections librarian selects works on Middle Eastern archaeology; the Jewish Studies collections librarian selects works on early Judaic religion and culture.

English: The Jewish Studies collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting Jewish literature in English translation, and Jewish literature from outside the United States. Both Jewish Studies and English collections librarians select Jewish-American literature.

History: The Jewish Studies collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials related to Jewish history, although the History collections librarian will supplement this collection.

Middle Eastern Studies: The Jewish Studies collections librarian selects materials related to Jews and Judaism in the Middle East; the Middle Eastern Studies collections librarian selects materials on Muslims and Islam in the Middle East.

Music: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility to select materials related to music and Jewish culture, but may collaborate with the Jewish Studies collections librarian.

Religion: The Jewish Studies collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials related to Judaism.

Spanish & Latin American Studies: The Jewish Studies collections librarian selects English-language materials related to Jewish culture in Latin America and Spain; the Spanish/Latin American Studies specialist selects Spanish-language materials on the same subject.