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    Vol. 22 Editor’s Note

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    The Recovery of Nazi Looted Books in the UCLA Library: From Prague to Los Angeles and Back

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    This article details the search for books from the Jewish Religious Community Library in Prague that were looted by the Nazis, and how the institution’s curators are working today to rebuild their original collection. It traces the history of the Prague Library, the Nazis’ policies of confiscating Jewish books for their proposed institutes on the ‘Jewish Question,’ and how some of these confiscated books ended up in the UCLA Library. Librarians at UCLA did not find any professional guidelines for the repatriating looted material from academic libraries, even though the museum and art worlds have dealt with these issues for decades. We share processes we developed and our quest to publicize this issue as broadly as possible. We also discuss methods that European librarians are currently using research provenance. Ours is a singular case, and institutions must understand that each question of repatriation must be considered within its own particular context. We offer some models for addressing repatriation questions and call for an organized English language forum where Judaica librarians in academic libraries and archives everywhere can discuss these issues in order to promote broader understanding, collaboration, and actions.&nbsp

    Scatter of the Literature, March 2020–December 2022

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    Provenance Research, Memory Culture, and the Futurity of Archives: Three Essential Resources for Researching the Nazi Past

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    The rising significance of Holocaust commemoration has advanced provenance research of Nazi-looted material Jewish heritage and has shown the urgent need for reliable resources in order to cope with the particular challenges of identifying Judaica objects. This review essay examines the theoretical foundations of provenance research in Germany and presents two indispensalbe resources that help with practical provenance research. The Lost Art Database, maintained by the Lost Art Foundation, documents cultural assets beeing illegaly confiscated by the Nazis. The Handbook on Judaica Provenance Research: Ceremonial Object, an open access electronic publication, funded by Claims Conference and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), provides detailed information to identify Jewish cultural objects. The theoretical framework of memory culture in Germany is explored in the book by Dora Osborne, What Remains: The Post-Holocaust Archive in German Memory Culture. In this oustanding analysis of the functions of archives in the process of coming to terms with the Nazi past, Osborne rightly emphasizes the archival turn in German memory culture and proves its importance.

    The Baltimore Hebrew Institute Collection: A Jewish Studies Library Re-imaged

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    The Baltimore Hebrew University (BHU) was one of a handful of independent Jewish studies institutions in the United States during the twentieth century. Located in the heart of the Baltimore Jewish community, it grew from a small teachers’ college to a doctoral degree-granting university over the course of its many decades. Several factors, including shifting educational trends, pragmatic economic considerations, and societal expectations altered the academic landscape for this institution; dwindling enrollment forced the once-thriving school to consider options for re-location, re-organization, or closure. A little more than ten years ago, BHU’s programs, faculty, and library were incorporated into a large public university located in nearby Towson, Maryland. As part of this move, the extensive resources of the BHU library were integrated with the much larger library of Towson University (TU), and both collections are now housed in one multi-storied building in the middle of a busy urban university campus. This article addresses the phenomenon of merging two disparate library collections and focuses on both the positive and negative results of consolidating academic libraries of different sizes, content, and cultural heritage. The author was a former librarian at BHU and is currently a librarian at TU

    A History of YIVO’s Prewar Archival Collections from 1925 to 2001

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    This article discusses YIVO's prewar collections, their looting and dispersion during the Holocaust, and the various subsequent efforts to recover them. The article includes a brief overview of YIVO's founding and prewar activities; a discussion of the Nazi looting of YIVO's materials during the Holocaust and the heroic efforts by Jews to save these materials during and after the war; YIVO's shift of its headquarters to New York City in 1939–1940; the US Government restitution of materials to YIVO in 1947; and efforts to reclaim additional materials from Lithuania from 1989 to 2001. The article closes with a brief note on YIVO's newly completed Vilna Collections Project to digitally reunite YIVO's pre-war materials in New York City with materials housed in three Lithuanian repositories.

    DH/JS: Mapping Jewish Studies

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    Hiding in Plain Sight: Toward a Celebration of Hebraica Catalogers

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    This article offers a chance to readers to know better the Hebraica catalogers who have been active in the United States and Canada, currently active, retired and deceased.  There are two parts in this article. First the author presents how the article came into being, the source the author used and the existing bibliography. Then the author presents the field of Hebraica and Judaica librarianship in the “longue durée.” The second part contains testimonies of Hebraica catalogers who accepted to contribute to this article.

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