The University of Pennsylvania's Judaica Collections constitute one of the world's largest and richest resources on the history and culture of Jews. The collections are dispersed, mainly, among five library locations: the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Penn Museum Library, and the Biddle Law Library.
The combined holdings currently total between 350,000-400,000 volumes in 24 languages and dialects and in a range of formats from manuscripts to electronic resources. 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.
In October 2007, Dr. Arthur Kiron was named the first Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections. The Schottenstein and Jesselson families generously provided the endowment for this permanent named librarianship. The two families also jointly contributed to the endowment of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. In recognition of this gift, the main library reading room at the Center has been named in their honor.
Arthur is the curator of Judaica Collections, and he heads the Library at Penn's Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Penn. His bibliographic responsibilities include oversight of the Weigle Judaica and Ancient Near East Reading Room collection located in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Arthur received a PhD in Jewish History from Columbia University, and an MA in Religious Studies from Stanford, where he focused on the history of Biblical interpretation. His BA is from Brandeis. Before coming to Penn in 1992, he was Manuscripts Curator and Assistant Archivist at the Annenberg Research Institute, which merged with Penn in 1993.