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Jewish Studies Research Guide

About Rose Library's Jewish Studies-Related Holdings

The Rose Library is the home of Emory University’s Special Collections, established in 1940. The Rose Library’s Jewish Studies-related materials have been collected as part of the library’s development efforts and, while forming a unique thematic subcollection, they constitute an organic part of the library’s holdings. (See a quantitative description of the collection here.) These items uniquely contribute to all of the library’s major collecting areas: the African American history and culture collection, the poetry and literature collection, modern political and southern historical collections, Emory University archives, and the rare books collection by relating various Jewish experiences of migration, business endeavors, political activism, state service, artistic, cultural, and religious life in Atlanta, Georgia, and the United States, with notable exceptions, in the twentieth century. Rose Library's Jewish Studies-related items range from prayer books, through research files to personal papers, correspondence to newspaper clippings, photographs to oral interviews. With the generous help of the Geffen and Lewyn Families (whose papers are part of the Rose Library’s holdings), the Rose Library offers a fellowship named after the two families to support research conducted among their holdings and to advance scholarship on Southern Jewish history and culture. In this library guide, an annotated list of the Archival Collections pertaining to Jewish Studies  are described on the separate page "Archival Collections in Jewish Studies" and grouped under the subheadings "Manuscripts and Personal Papers," "Oral History Projects," and "Institutional Archives." 

Additionally, the Rose Library houses collections that were created by or indirectly pertain to the lives and work of Jewish Americans. These include the Nobel-laurate poet, Joseph Brodsky’s Collection, the award winning poet Anthony Hecht’s Papers, the Aaron Bernd Papers documenting the author and journalist work in Georgia, the Alfred Abraham Weinstein Papers, which offer information about the physician and sculptor Alfred Abraham Weinstein’s involvement in the B’nai B’rith organization, and the David Read Evans Winn Papers including information on Jewish soldiers in the Confederate Army. The Jack Stewart Boozer Papers include research on the Holocaust. Two collections, the James C. Davis Papers and the Theodore Draper Research Files contain interviews with the American Communist Party’s Jewish members. The anti-Communist Isaac Don Levine’s Papers contains material the author and journalist collected on Jews in the Soviet Union. The Eliza K. Paschall Papers include materials that the activist collected on the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple in 1986 A number of collections offer materials on the Leo Frank case. These are the journalist Ralph McGill’s Papers that include reporting on the Leo Frank case, the reporter Ernest Rogers’s Papers, in which his notebook and a folder hold material related to the Leo Frank trial, and the Mildred Woolley Seydell Papers, likewise including journalistic material related to the Leo Frank case. Additionally, the Clayton County, GA, Oral History Collection includes interviews with Jewish inhabitants of the county and the American Miscellany Collection houses a  mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (prayerbook New Year and Day of Atonement) that Abraham Alexander from Charleston compiled in 1805–see featured item [link].

Part of the items held in the Rose Library are accessible online as well, through Emory Digital Collections. These include the digital images taken of an early modern Middle Eastern Torah scroll, an Esther scroll of unestablished provenance, photographs of the Royal Order of Ethiopian Hebrews and of Rabbi Matthew, leader of the Black Jews of Harlem who call themselves The Commandment Keepers, in the Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection.