Skip to Main Content

Rare Illustrated Children's Books and Periodicals in Hebrew and Yiddish, 1900-1929 at the Library of Congress

A Note on Collections Policy in the Hebraic Section

Historically speaking, the Hebraic Section has not sought to collect children’s books on a large scale. A few of the books in Yiddish entered the collections through Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, which redistributed heirless books from the American Zone in Germany after World War II. But by and large, the Hebraic Section has collected what it considers to be a representative selection of children’s publications rather than a comprehensive one. For this reason, the Hebraic Section does not hold titles we might otherwise have expected to find, and while we find one title from a series, we do not always find the others (e.g., no. 38 in Part III). Nevertheless, and thanks no doubt to the good judgement of previous curators, the Hebraic Section also holds titles that have proved to be extremely rare, and in some cases even unique. One case in point is the six books published by Omanut Press in Odessa (Part II, nos. 13-18). While three of these books were already known in the research, three others (nos. 16-18) were known only from a later edition published in Frankfurt am Main, and indeed scholars doubted whether they had in fact been printed in Odessa at all.1 The Library of Congress may also hold unique copies of at least some of the Victorian-style chromolithographs listed in Part I, all of them undated. Only a few of these chromolithographs appear in the standard bibliographies of Hebrew literature, but whether the others are indeed unique copies will be determined only through additional research. May this online guide from the Library of Congress inspire research into this and many other long neglected areas of Hebrew and Yiddish children’s literature. It promises rich rewards.


  1. Brener, "The Odessa Years," pp. 82-88. URL: Back to text