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Jewish Studies Research Guide

Books Online

Emory's eBook collection is divided between single titles searchable in the catalog and titles that are discoverable under databases, such as Cambridge Core. For example, Dr. Jacob Wright's 2023 book Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its Origins can be accessed by logging on to the Cambridge Core database. To search the catalog for eBooks, select "Online" under "Access" among the left-hand facets in the catalog and below, by clicking on "Resource Type," choose "book." For additional assistance in finding and accessing eBooks in Emory's collection, see the eBook library guide.

Additionally, popular readings in eBook and audiobook forms are available through Overdrive. For recent titles related to Jewish Studies (that is non-scholarly readings about Jewish experiences, thought, and religiosity) visit the Jewish Book Council website or the Association of Jewish Libraries book awards page.

Additional eBooks: is a digital library of Jewish legal and religious texts containing both the Hebrew and English versions.

The Yiddish Book Center offers a broad selection of digitized books in Yiddish.

Books published in Hebrew from the early modern period and until the twentieth century, mostly with religious and legal subjects, are available from Hebrew Books.

See the listing for Yizkor (Memorial) Books under Jewish Literary Genres.

Books Offline (the almost original format)

Emory Libraries hold different formats of physical books produced before and after the invention of printing: scrolls and codices (predecessors of the modern book, the pages of which are made of vellum or parchment), and books (made of paper), while tablets are included among Carlos Museum's holdings. 

Books are arranged in the stacks according to Library of Congress call number order, which is a subject-based order. Except for books in special collections (Pitts and Rose Libraries), Jewish Studies-related books are found in most call number sections. The placement of the different sections is displayed in the library buildings. See here the arrangement in Woodruff Library

Short guide to technical terms pertaining to Jewish books:

Torah -- תורה: Five Books of Moses, the first five of the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible, also referred to as Written Law. Emory Libraries hold a Torah scroll, the format preceding the codex.

Talmud -- תלמוד: compilation of rabbinic teachings and interpretation of the Biblical text, also called Oral Law, produced between the 3rd and 8th centuries. The first layer of teachings is included in the Mishna, which was completed in approx. the fifth century. The second part or layer is called the Gemara. Two Talmuds are referred as such, the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmud, the former bearing stronger influence on Jewish learning and life in the late medieval and early modern periods in western communities.

Siddur -- סידור: prayer book. The Hebrew word's meaning references that prayers are arranged in a certain order. The sidur reflects the rite its owner follows and even the geographical region in which the prayer practice developed. 

Mahzor -- מחזור: prayer book for the high holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). In some communities mahzorim (pl) are issued for other important holidays as well.