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. 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. (LBI Photograph Collection, F 482)

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 reported in the New York Times.

The basis of the Judaica Collection of the University Library in Frankfurt am Main was founded at the end of the 19th Century with the generous support of Frankfurt Jews. The curator, Professor Aron Freimann, who looked after the collection from 1898 until 1933, made it the largest and most significant Judaica collection on the European continent before the Second World War. The collection, with its approximately 15,000 titles, was published in a printed catalog and includes the major historical literature on the science of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums) until 1932.

As a result of the Third Reich and the Second World War, the Frankfurt Freimann collection had suffered losses. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has been instrumental in funding the virtual reconstruction of the former collection through digitization. The main digitization project was conducted in a collaboration between the Judaica Collection in Frankfurt and the Technical University in Aachen. The new 2011 NEH/DFG project together with the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History aims at completing the virtual Freimann collection.

We will continually update this website on the progress of this project.

Send questions or comments regarding the Freimann NEH/DFG project to Renate Evers, Head Librarian, at revers@lbi.cjh.org .