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Albert S. Cook Library

Jewish Studies

Baltimore Hebrew Institute Special Collections

The Baltimore Hebrew Institute collection is one of the largest academic libraries of Jewish Studies in the mid-Atlantic area and includes numerous unique and rare items.  Among the specialized collections are:

Baltimore Hebrew Institute Artifacts

Rare Books

Holocaust Survivor Testimonies

Jewish Cultural Reconstruction books and periodicals

Yizkor (Memorial) Books


The easiest way to find these materials is to use the Library catalog to do your search:

Rare Book Collection

Cover of rare book from BHI collectionThe BHI Rare Book Collection consists of monographs, manuscripts, artifacts and ritual objects ranging from the 15th to 20th centuries. The scope of the collection includes Biblical studies, Jewish history, Rabbinics, the Holocaust, Hebrew language and literature, Jewish art, and travel.

To search for Rare Books, go to the Advanced Search page in the Library Catalog and select "BHI Meyerhoff Collections--5th Floor--Rare Books" from the "location" pull-down menu. You can narrow your search by author, title, or subject.

Jewish Cultural Reconstruction

Jewish Cultural Reconstruction books were gifted to the Baltimore Hebrew College sometime between 1949 and 1952 as part of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction bookplateefforts of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc. to distribute heirless items confiscated by Nazi Germany among centers of Judaism and Jewish learning. JCR books are identified with a blue and white book plate on the inside front cover.


To locate JCR books, enter "Jewish Cultural Reconstruction " in the Advanced Search box of the Library Catalog. You can narrow your search,by author, title, or subject.


Holocaust Survivor Testimonies

The Holocaust Survivor Testimonies collection is included in the more than 4,500 testimonies of the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University.  The videos record the accounts of refugees from the Nazi threat, survivors ofImage of survivor giving Holocaust Survivor Testimony concentration camps, and servicemen who helped liberate the camps. These testimonies can be viewed in the Special Collections and University Archives Department on the 5th floor of Cook Library.

To request a Holocaust Survivor Testimony from the Fortunoff Video Archive to view at Cook Library, click here.

Yizkor (Memorial) Books

These Memorial books were compiled by survivors of the Nazi regime in an effort to to commemorate those who perished and to Cover of memorial (yizkor) bookremember the cities and towns that once flourished. The BHI collection has approximately 130 yizkor books, located in the BHI stacks on the 2nd floor of Cook Library.


To locate Yizkor books, enter “Memorial books (Holocaust)” in the Library Catalog search box.