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LBI collections grew out of our founders’ effort to salvage the material and intellectual culture of German-speaking Jews that was nearly lost in the Holocaust. Today, these collections are an essential resource for scholars, genealogists, families, educators, students, and the public. Browse highlights of the collections below, or see our research and reference guidelines for information on using LBI’s collections online or in the Center for Jewish History.

LBI’s 80,000-volume library is internationally recognized as the world’s foremost collection focused on the history of German-speaking Jews. Rich in rarities including early Renaissance-era pamphlets, first editions of works by Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, and Franz Kafka, and limited edition art books, the Library also collects the latest scholarship in the field. A comprehensive collection of periodicals encompasses publications ranging from congregation bulletins to the major émigré paper, Aufbau.

Library Collection Development Policy

From engravings depicting Jewish life in German lands in the 16th century to abstract works by German-Jewish émigrés in the second half of the 20th century, the works in the art collection complement the archival and library collections as a visual record of German-Jewish history. Among the thousands of paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, and prints are many fine works of great artistic and historical significance. More importantly, the art collection in its totality forms an unparalleled documentation of the material culture of German-speaking Jewry.