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Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies


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Library Information Page for the Katz CAJS Fellows



Welcome to the Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (LKCAJS). The Center (formerly the Annenberg Research Institute) is the successor to the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning. Like its predecessor, the mission of the Katz Center is to advance the study of Judaism in a non-sectarian and non-theological context.

Dropsie College was the first state-accredited academic institution in the world to confer Ph.D. degrees in Judaic Studies. In the course of its nearly eighty years of existence, from 1907 through 1986, the College awarded more than 200 doctorates and became a major training center for the country's Judaic scholars. Throughout those years it was the publisher of the Jewish Quarterly Review, the oldest continuously published English-language journal of Jewish Studies and one of the most respected scholarly journals in its field.

In 1986 Dropsie College was transformed from a graduate school into the Annenberg Research Institute, a center for post-doctoral research in the comparative history and traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The ARI initiated a year-long residency program, granting fellowships to distinguished scholars from all over the world. In 1993 the Institute merged with the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania to form its Center for Judaic Studies. The Center was renamed the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in 1998 and became the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in 2008.

The Library at the Katz Center holds approximately 200,000 volumes, including seventeen Hebrew incunabula, fifteen Latin incunabula and over 8,000 rare printed works in Hebrew, English, German, Yiddish, Arabic, Latin and Ladino. The rare Hebrew editions offer specimens from a variety of Hebrew printing houses around the world; particularly strong are holdings of early modern rare books printed on the Italian peninsula, including nearly 20 percent of all Venetian Hebrew imprints. The Library's special collections of non-print materials include 453 codices written in eleven different alphabets as well as in twenty-four different languages and dialects as varied as Armenian, Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Syriac, Yiddish and Telugu.

The University of Pennsylvania's Judaica collections are dispersed among five main locations: the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Van Pelt (the main library at Penn), the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the University Museum, and the Biddle Law Library. The combined holdings currently total between 350,000-400,000 volumes. Quantitatively, this amounts to one the largest Judaica collections in the world. Qualitatively, these holdings cover almost every period and area of Jewish life from the Biblical era to contemporary America, and support both undergraduate education and advanced research.


The holdings are strongest in:

  • Bible and ancient near eastern studies
  • Hebrew, Arabic, and Semitic linguistics
  • Classical and medieval rabbinics, law and exegesis
  • Jewish history from antiquity to the modern period
  • Classical and modern Hebrew literature
  • Judaica Americana
  • Yiddish literature

Rare Book Collections

  • About 8,000 printed books with particular strength in Jewish law and liturgy. In addition, there are about 450 codices, primarily in Hebrew, Arabic, and Samaritan, as well as a collection of about 550 Cairo Genizah fragments.
  • 32 incunabula (17 Hebrew, 15 Latin).

Archives and Manuscripts Collections

  • The institutional archives of Dropsie College and various papers of its faculty.
  • The papers of Jewish American scholars and community leaders who lived in Philadelphia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Among them are the papers of Isaac Leeser, Sabato Morais, Mayer Sulzberger, Moses Aaron Dropsie and Cyrus Adler. There are two significant collections of Yiddish archives: the papers of B.Z. Goldberg and Elias Schulman. The archives also house the Lenkin Family Collection of Photographs. The Lenkin collection consists of over 4,000 original photographs of the Holy Land, dating from 1850-1937.

Multimedia Collections


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Circulation Desk:

  • 215 238-1290 x 206


Mondays - Fridays: 9 am to 4:30 pm
Saturdays and Sundays: closed



The Library at the Katz CAJS is divided into open and closed collections:

I. Open collections

  • The 2nd floor Reading Room
    Contains books designated REF, i.e. encyclopedias, dictionaries, basic texts, bibliographies and other reference books, current journals and newspapers, as well as current periodicals designated GAL.
  • The 3rd Floor Gallery
    Includes past issues of selected bound serials, indexes, and the proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies. All these are also designated GAL.
  • Basement B1
    Includes monographs in the following Library of Congress Classification classes:

    A General Works
    B-BJ Philosophy & Psychology
    BL Comparative Religion
    BM Judaism
    BP Islam
    BS Bible
    BR-BX Christianity
    C Auxiliary Sciences of History
    D History
    DS Jewish History
    E-F American History
    G Geography and Ethnography
    H Social Science
    J Political Sciences
    K Law
    L Education
    M Music
    N Art

In addition, B1 contains oversized books designated FOL and FOL+ (classes A-B only), and books designated MEMOR, a collection of Holocaust memorial books.
PLEASE NOTE: Only Fellows have access to B1 stacks from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

II. Closed collections

Basement B2 which includes:

  • books in classes P (Literature and language), Q-T (Sciences and Technology), and Z (Bibliography)
  • undersized books designated MINI or - ("minus"; i.e. books under 16 cm)
  • FOL+ classes D-Z
  • Selected periodicals and newspapers
  • A collection of Dropsie College Doctoral theses
  • Microfilms and microfiche
  • Ephemera items designated STACKBOX

Both the Archives and Rare Book Rooms are located on the ground floor.

Non-Circulating Materials:

  • Reference works
  • Periodicals
  • Stack items denoted SPECIAL
  • Rare and fragile materials

Borrowing Procedures

  • Look up the needed titles in Franklin, using either the author/title/subject search or the more advanced "keyword" search method.
  • Print out the results of your search and note the location of the book.
  • If the book is located on B1, you may retrieve it yourself, and bring it over to the circulation desk to be checked out to you. Most books are circulated for one academic year. (September-May), at the end of which they must all be returned or renewed.
  • If the book is located on B2, give the printout to the circulation staff, who will retrieve it and check it out for you.
  • Reference books are designated as non-circulating items, and must be used in the Reading Room. However, Fellows enjoy the privilege of borrowing reference materials on a day-loan basis. Items must be checked out at the Circulation Desk and returned by the end of the day.
  • Current periodicals, and all Gallery periodicals also are designated as non-circulating items. However, Fellows may borrow these materials for up to one week. Periodicals must be checked out at the Circulation Desk.
  • Please note that all non-circulating items, including periodicals, must not be removed from the CAJS building.

  • All library materials in Fellows' offices must be charged out properly. Please do not exchange checked-out books among you; have this transaction done at the circulation desk.
  • To borrow reference works and periodicals after Library hours, and as a courtesy to your colleagues, please fill out a call slip (available at the circulation desk) and leave it at the circulation desk for processing.
  • If the book is located in the Rare Book Room or Archives, please speak to a staff member about paging it for you.
  • Rare books and manuscripts may be consulted between 9 am and 4 pm in the Reading Room of the library on the second floor. You will be requested to fill out a call slip which will be used to page the rare item for you.


  • Penn Library Delivers is a delivery service provided by the Penn Libraries to its faculty, staff, students and visiting fellows. It allows patrons to request delivery of on-shelf circulating items from one Penn library to another. This means you can have, for example, a book at the Museum Library delivered to the Library at the Katz Center; similarly, patrons also are able to request the delivery of a CAJS library book to, for example, the Fischer Fine Arts Library, from Van Pelt to the Library at the Katz Center, etc... Deliveries to and from the Library at the Katz Center and the campus libraries operate three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • For instructions on how to use the Penn Library Delivers service go directly to:

    Here you'll find specific instructions and details how about to use Penn Delivers and how to track the status of your requests.
    [NOTE: you must search for an item in Franklin before placing a request].

    To place a request:

    1. You must first obtain and register your Penn ID card.
    2. Search Franklin, the online catalog, for a specific item.
    3. Display the individual record.
    4. Click on the "Place Requests" tab at the top of the screen.
    5. Enter the last 10 digits of your Penn ID card.
    6. Enter your last name.
    7. From the Request menu, select "Deliver to another library."
    8. Follow the instructions on the form.
    9. Deliveries are made to the Library at the Katz CAJS every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As with local loans, items that have been requested for delivery will be charged to your Penn card library account.

    For more information, or if you have any problems using the system, please contact the Circulation staff at the Van Pelt library (215) 898-7566 or a member of the staff of the Library at the Katz CAJS at (215) 238-1290.

HOW TO BORROW BOOKS FROM NON-PENN LIBRARIES (BorrowDirect/E-ZBorrow/Interlibrary Loans)

  • BORROWDIRECT: Allows you to search the combined collections of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Penn, Princeton, the University of Chicago, Yale, and the Center for Research Libraries and directly request books not currently available at Penn. BorrowDirect books are checked out on your library patron record. The loan period is twelve weeks and is not renewable.

  • E-ZBORROW: Allows you to search the combined collections and directly request books not currently available at Penn from over 40 public and private academic and research libraries in Pennsylvania and nearby states, including Penn State, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Temple, Haverford, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and Lehigh. E-ZBorrow books are checked out on your library patron record. The loan period is twelve weeks and is not renewable.
  • You have the option of either picking up your BorrowDirect and E-ZBorrow requests at the Van Pelt library or of having the books sent, via the bi-weekly shuttle van to the CAJS library. To route your BorrowDirect and/or E-ZBorrow request directly to the CAJS library, please note the following procedure:

    1. First, you will receive the standard system-generated e-mail message from BorrowDirect and/or E-ZBorrow that advises you that books are available for pick-up at Van Pelt.
    2. Please forward that e-mail to, with a brief note requesting delivery of the item to the Library at the Katz CAJS. This email account is for the entire Van Pelt Circulation department and is checked on a daily basis. If you have a specific question concerning Van Pelt circulation services, the Circulation Liaison at the Van Pelt to the Katz Fellows is Diana Davis The Van Pelt library staff will retrieve the requests from the Van Pelt "hold shelves" at the circulation desk and send it to you on the next scheduled truck delivery. (Please do not forward the e-mail indicating the item has been SHIPPED, since it hasn't yet arrived here at Penn). The deliveries arrive three mornings a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to speak to any members of the staff of the Library at the Katz CAJS about this service.

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
    If you cannot find what you need in Franklin, or via BorrowDirect or E-ZBorrow, you may be able to borrow books from other academic libraries.
  • Books borrowed from other libraries by Interlibrary Loan normally take 7-14 days to arrive.
  • Some ILL books are renewable, but the status of each book is determined by the lending institution. Whether or not it is renewable is indicated on the information slip attached to every ILL book. If an ILL book is renewable, requests for a renewal must be made 7 days prior to the due date.
  • Please return ILL books promptly.


  • We do not charge fines for most overdue Penn books. There are however, instances in which fines are incurred.
  • For all materials that do accrue overdue fines: the amount of the overdue fine cannot be known until the item is returned or the maximum fine for that item has been reached. In most cases there is a grace period in which overdue material can be returned without accruing a fine. Once that grace period has passed the entire amount will be assessed.
  • Patrons whose fines/fees are in excess of $50 generally have their bills sent to the bursar.
  • Lost books
    • In most cases, once a book been overdue for 28 days, it is automatically marked as lost. For materials with shorter loan periods (e.g. videos, reserve books) the time to lost may be shorter.
    • Patrons automatically receive a hefty fee. The bulk of this is a Lost Item Replacement Fee (amount varies by BorrowDirect, E-ZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan Library), which is waived once the book is returned or renewed. $10 is a Processing Fee, which is applied to every lost book and is not waived except in the most extreme cases.
  • These fees are not forgivable.
    • Borrow Direct/E-ZBorrow fines
    • Patrons are given a maximum of 12 weeks from the date of original check out.
    • After that period expires, fines are accrued at the rate of $1/day.
  • These fines are not forgivable.
    • Interlibrary Loan fines
    • After the loan period expires, fines are accrued at the rate of $1/day.
    • These fines are not forgivable.


The library provides access to two kinds of electronic resources, internal, i.e. the on-line Library Catalogue and CD-ROMs, and external, i.e. resources reached via the Internet.

Internal Resources

  • Franklin is the name of the on-line catalog for all of Penn's library holdings, including those of the Library at the Katz CAJS. It is available through the library's main homepage:
  • The home page of the Library at the Katz CAJS: includes links to numerous academic libraries, museums, historical societies, communities, and a vast number of local, regional, and international resources. The web-page offers an alphabetized list of links as well as separately organized sub-divisions of links by subject areas. The web-page also features links to a large number of (Jewish-related electronic journals and newspapers. I invite you to check out the new web-page ( Click on CAJS library homepage. We welcome any and all feedback.
  • The Library at the Katz CAJS web-pages also allows you to review on a monthly basis all new library acquisitions and purchases in the related fields of Jewish Studies. This page will provide immediate access to information drawn from a new feature on the main library homepage ( called "New Books Plus." If you click on "New Books Plus", you will be able to review all new library acquisitions in various fields of study. You may search, inter alia, by "community" (e.g. "Jewish Studies"), location (e.g. CAJS), or language (e.g. Hebrew).
  • RAMBI (articles in Jewish Studies indexed from 1966 to present), Index to Israeli Periodicals, and Index to Yiddish Newspapers. This fundamental resource is also on the "Databases" web-page via Franklin (see below, under external resources).

At the workstations of the Library Reading Room at the Katz CAJS, located on the second floor, you will find the following full-text databases:

  • Bar Ilan's Judaic Library version 11 [Bar Ilan University Responsa Project] (available at a public terminal in the CAJS library reading room). This important resource is now available and fully-searchable on-line via our e-resource tool. Just search "find it" for the Bar Ilan Responsa Project
  • CETEDOC Library of Christian Latin Texts (CD-ROM) [NB: the Corpus Christianorum is now searchable on-line via the Penn Library's e-resource tool. Search "Find it" by "Corpus Christianorum" or go to
  • The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book. This important resource alos now available and fully-searchable on-line via our e-resource tool. Just search "find it" for the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book
  • The Complete Maus: a Survivor's Tale, by Art Spiegelman
  • Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd edition now available to Penn users on-line
  • The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Koehler, Baumgartner, and Stamm)
  • The Hebrew Bible, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, The Midrashim
  • Index Islamicus
  • Index to Hebrew Periodicals
  • Menasseh ben Israel [electronic resource] : a digital collection of seventeenth-century Jewish printing in Amsterdam / edited by J.J.M. de Haas, A.K. Offenberg and M.G. Ootjers
  • Packard Humanities Index
  • Sol and Evelyn Henkind Talmud Text Databank = Ma'agar 'ede nusah shel ha-Talmud ha-Bavli (Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research; Bar Ilan University) (available in library at public terminal 2)
  • Spanish and Portuguese printing in the Northern Netherlands, 1584-1825 / Harm den Boer
  • Thesaurus Lingua Graeca

Since we have a limited number of licenses for these databases, they are not available on all PC's. If you work frequently with any of them and require convenient access from your office, please see the Computer Manager, Marcus Johnson (ext. 101, email:


  • Catalog of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, on microfilm.
  • Catalog of the Judaica Reading Room of the Jewish National and University Library, on microfilm.
  • Dropsie College Genizah collection on microfilm (also available on slides). Jewish Theological Seminary of America Genizah, Incunabula, Kabbalah, and Liturgy Collections, on microfilm.
  • Eastern European Hebrew Newspapers: Ha-Karmel, Ha-Shahar, Ha-Shiloah (at Van Pelt), Ha-Tsefirah.
  • Materials for the Historic Hebrew Dictionary.
  • Microfiche edition of Migne's Patrologia Latina.
  • Philadelphia Jewish Exponent (as well other American Jewish newspapers), on microfilm.
  • Vatican Hebraica Collection, on microfilm.
  • Selected additional individual manuscripts on microfilm from around the world, including the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, as well as original microfilms of a significant portion of the Baron Guenzberg Collection (these were made by Abraham Katsh, the former President of Dropsie College, who visited the Soviet Union during the 1960s and was the first to obtain copies of this collection.).


The Library home page provides access to world wide web and on-line catalogs of other University Libraries as well as several useful general library databases, which contain tens of millions of catalogue records.

Combined Catalogs

Click on "Catalogs" (on the right) and select:

  • BORROWDIRECT: Search the combined collections of the Columbia, Penn, and Yale Libraries and directly request books not currently available at Penn.
  • E-ZBORROW: Search over 40 academic and research libraries in Pennsylvania and nearby states, including: Rutgers, Penn State, Temple, and Pittsburgh.
  • WORLDCAT [OCLC]: The most consulted database in higher education, containing over 42 million cataloging records, in over 400 languages, created by libraries around the world. Offers a comprehensive online searching, "First Search," with more than 85 databases and 7 million full-text articles.


Click on "E-Resources and choose Databases" from the library home page to access on-line indexes, abstracts and (in some cases) full-text e-journals in a variety of areas of research, including:


Click here for a full listing of research journals pertaining to Judaic studies.

The listing includes titles such as:

  • American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies
  • American Jewish Archives
  • American Jewish History
  • American Slavic and East European Review
  • Ariel - The Israel Review of Arts and Letters
  • Bavebter Yid
  • Biblical Archaeologist
  • Catholic Biblical Quarterly
  • Compact Memory
  • Da'at
  • Dead Sea Discoveries
  • Forward (Yiddish and English Editions)
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies
  • Ioudaios Review
  • Jewish Quarterly Review
  • Jewish Social Studies
  • Jewish Studies Judaica eJournal
  • Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
  • Journal for the Study of the New Testament
  • Journal of Biblical Literature
  • Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion
  • Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism
  • Journal of the American Academy of Religion
  • Patterns of Prejudice
  • Prooftexts
  • Russian Review
  • Shofar
  • Slavic and East European Journal
  • Slavic Review
  • Slavonic and East European Review
  • Vetus Testamentum
  • Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal
  • Zeek

The Penn Libraries offer over 25,000 electronic journals, accessible by title, topic, or search engine. Go to the Electronic Journals homepage for the full directory.


UPenn Online Books

Bible and Targum
Hebrew and Aramaic
  • Bible - the Jewish canon, with Masoretic vowels (nekudot) (Mechon Mamre - UTF-8)
  • Bible - the Jewish canon, with full Masoretic pointing (nekudot and te'amim) (Mechon Mamre - UTF-8)
  • Bible - JPS 1917 English version (Mechon Mamre)
  • Bible - parallel Hebrew - English (Mechon Mamre)
  • Bible - Targum Onkelos to the Pentateuch (Mechon Mamre)
  • Bible the Jewish canon, with Masoretic pointing - UTF-8 (Unicode) encoded (Pastor Didier Stadelmann, Switzerland)
Other Languages Talmud, Midrash, Rabbinics, and Kabbalah Genizah Other Texts Collections/Archives - Alphabetized by Name Collections/Archives - Alphabetic by Topic Electronic Libraries/Collections Reference


Click on "E-Resources, then Reference Shelf" from the library home page to access on-line reference materials including:

NB: the Van Pelt main library has several electronic texts on CD-ROM, notably, Corpus Christianorum, which can only be accessed from a special work-station ("Moelis") in the Van Pelt Library Reference area.