Home / Resources / Judaica Collections

Arizona State University Libraries Judaica Collections

Library materials are acquired in support of teaching and research at Arizona State University; therefore the ASU Jewish Studies collection is focused on scholarly literature output, literary works and documentary and feature films pertaining to local research interests. Strategic acquisitions in specific areas are made as needed in support of new fields of study, such as Polish-language East-European Jewish Studies or the Hebrew Bible and Judeo-Hellenistic literature.

A number of collections have also been donated to ASU Libraries throughout the years:

  • Edward and Mae Zipperstein Collection is named after its donors, who gifted the largest book collection ever given to ASU Libraries. The Collection is particularly strong in Judaism, Biblical Studies, Jewish history, Jewish sermons, history of Zionism and Hebrew. In mid 2013, we learned of the passing of Mr. Zipperstein. Yehi zikhro barukh.
  • Norman Drachler Collection is focused on Jewish education and separation of church and state, the fields of study of Dr. Drachler (1912-2000), who led the Detroit school system as superintendent during the turbulent late 1960s and established the Institute for Educational Leadership at George Washington University and in Stanford University. In addition to materials pertaining to Jewish education, the collection consists of many rarities, including dozens of 17th and 18th religious tracts and pamphlets housed in Special Collections.
  • The Kehillah (Community) Collection was purchased with funds provided by an anonymous donor. The collection includes hundreds of books, photo albums and pamphlets telling the story of local, national and regional Jewish communities from around the world, including European countries; Muslim lands and the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, General North Africa, Arab Lands); the Americas (United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Other Latin America & Caribbean); South- and East-Asia; and Sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa, China, India, other Asian countries).
  • Joe Lockard Collection of American and Postcolonial Literature in Hebrew Translation was donated by ASU Associate Professor and Jewish Studies affiliate. The scarce 1912 translation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha by Saul Tchernichowsky (Shirat Hai’aṿatah. Odesah: Hotsa’at Moriyah) is one of the 200 collection books.
  • Marvin Fisher Collection was donated by another ASU faculty, a professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of English. The collection includes 130 photographs taken before 1930 in Poland (mostly in the towns of Gostynin, Gombin or Kutno). Many of the photos are in the form of postcards that were given to Dr. Fisher’s mother, Helena Goldman.
  • Yoram Mor Collection was donated by a Holocaust survivor who fought in the War of Independence in 1948 and was among the founders of Kibbutz Sede-Boker in Israel. The collection is comprised of maps, tour guides, IDF brochures and Hebrew song booklets. Some one-of-a-kind items in this collection are housed in Special Collections.

These named collections are complimented by two distinctive collections of rare materials that users can consult in the Luhrs Reading Room at Hayden Library. Users can request these materials and study them in-house, but due to their brittleness and rarity they cannot be checked out.

  • The Yizkor Book Collection consists of over 250 Holocaust memorial books complied jointly by survivors of East-European Jewish towns (shtetls). These books recount the history of specific towns via interviews, personal memoires, photos and drawings, usually in more than one language, primarily Yiddish, Hebrew and English. Yizkor books serve as living monuments for those perished and provide rich primary sources for scholars.
  • The IsraPulp Collection is a one-of-a-kind research collection and the only repository of Hebrew popular literature outside of Israel. This collection, established in 2004, includes serialized fiction in the form of booklets (some bound), as well as comic books, Westerns, detective stories, science fiction and espionage and adventure stories—all mass-produced for distribution in kiosks and newsstands starting in the 1930s. The now-rare pulps were widely read but never systematically collected in libraries, although they represent facets of Israeli culture as much as canonic literature does. The ASU Libraries is in the process of digitizing the IsraPulp Collection for preservation purposes.