Highlights of the LBI Library

Although the Leo Baeck Institute’s (LBI) Library of 80,000 books and 1,600 periodicals makes it the most comprehensive repository for German-Jewish history and culture, there are several unique collections that deserve distinguished mention. These collections are one-of-a-kind, rare, or exemplify the special nature of the Leo Baeck Institute. Some of the collections are digitized, while others can be accessed in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History.

Send questions or comments regarding the LBI collections to lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org.

The Book Collection of Carl Neuberg

Provenance markings that proved that these books belonged to Carl Neuberg. In the lower right hand corner, a piece of paper has been pasted over Neuberg’s name and address.

A collection of books from the library of the biochemist Carl Neuberg (1877-1956). In 2013 the Central and Regional Library of Berlin (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin, ZLB) restituted 40 volumes (representing 39 titles) from Carl Neuberg’s former library as part of their search for books looted and expropriated by Nazis (NS-Raubgutforschung) among their collections. The…

Wissenschaft des Judentums: The Freimann Collection

Curator Aron Freimann built the Judaica collection at the Frankfurt library to 15,000 volumes between 1898 and 1932. Dismissed from his post after the Nazi's rise to power, he emigrated to New York.

In 2011 the LBI Library was awarded a joint NEH/DFG grant together with the Judaica Collection at the University in Frankfurt to add books to the so-called Freimann Collection. The $180,000 grant will allow the LBI library to digitize about 1,000 books that have been identified as missing from the Frankfurt Library’s Judaica collection as…

The LBI Periodical Collection

A selection of periodicals digitized by Leo Baeck Institute

Digitized German-Jewish Periodicals from the LBI Library at Internet Archives Internet Archives Portal for LBI Periodicals DigiBaeck Portal  for LBI Periodicals The LBI Library has digitized over 100 periodicals from its collections. Researchers can access them via a portal at Internet Archive or through DigiBaeck, LBI’s gateway for digitized materials.  The periodicals are selected for…

Reuchlin/Pfefferkorn Debate: The Rare Book Collection of Frank L. Herz

Reuchlin, Johann. Augenspiegel (1511).

“The Rare Book Collection of Frank L. Herz” focuses on the famous Renaissance controversy between the Christian Hebraist Johannes Reuchlin, who introduced the study of Hebrew to Germany, and the anti-Jewish agitator Johannes Pfefferkorn, who was trying to lobby for the destruction of all Jewish books. Most of the ca. 75 books were published in…

German Exile Literature

Exile publishers typewriter (cropped)
The Leo Baeck Institute Library has a substantial collection of Exilliteratur (German exile literature). Exilliteratur is a category of German-language books written and published by anti-Nazi dissidents, many of Jewish origin, who fled persecution from Germany after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933 and from Austria after the “Anschluss” in 1938. Authors and…

The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London

Letterhead from the Wiener Library

The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide in London is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on modern Jewish history, with special emphasis on the Holocaust, Nazism, Fascism, and anti-Semitism. Founded by Alfred Wiener in 1933 to document the growing threat of Germany’s National Socialist Party, the Library…

The Library of Book Designs by George Salter (1897-1967)

Hersey, John. The Wall (jacket design by George Salter). 1950.

This collection of about 300 books, book covers, and individual graphic designs shows the scope and development of the eclectic design talent of George Salter. George Salter is recognized as one of the most creative forces in modern book design. His innovative work, done for publishers during the Weimar Republic, produced signature pieces for some…

Ephraim Moses Lilien

“Silent Song” from Levussove, M. S. The new art of an ancient people: the work of Ephraim Mose Lilien (1906).

The Leo Baeck Institute Library has a comprehensive collection of books designed by Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925), an internationally renowned Austrian illustrator and printmaker. He is often considered as the most prominent Jewish artist to be associated with Art Noveau or Jugendstil, a new international style coming out of the European Secession movement at the…

Art and Illustrated Books

Walden, Herwarth. Die Judentochter. Dichtung aus des Knaben Wunderhorn, fuer Gesang und Klavier (191?).

An important subset of the Leo Baeck Institute’s Rare Book Collection is a collection of illustrated books, artists’ books, and artists’ portfolios. Among them are many limited editions of 20th century artists’ portfolios and several illustrated 18th century books on Jewish customs. A 2008 Metro Grant provided funds to begin digitizing this collection. A large…

Rare Books

Kirchner, Paul Christian. Jüdisches Ceremoniel (1724).

The Rare Book Collection of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) consists of ca. 3,000 volumes primarily in the field of German Judaica, dating from the earliest period of printing in the 15th century through the annihilation of European Jewry under the Third Reich. These rarities include dozens of Hebrew religious texts from the 17th-19th centuries,…