Holdings of the ZHB
Though Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions, it's actually quite a new research subject in academia. As a result, Jewish Studies is not among the traditional focuses of the ZHB's collections. The ZHB began to collect literature and other media on this subject after the Faculty of Theology established a Chair of Jewish Studies in 1971.
The specialist department is primarily geared toward students and faculty at the University of Lucerne and takes special account of their research interests. However, the ZHB's holdings also aim to cover the information needs of the general public.
We currently hold some 9,000 titles in our Jewish Studies section and make around 350 new additions per year.
Whenever possible, we purchase classic Jewish literature in the original language as well as in contemporary translations. More recently, in line with the shift in emphasis in Jewish studies, our collection has increasingly become more focused on modern Jewish cultural history in Europe. Most of the secondary literature we have acquired is in German and English, and to a much smaller degree in French. We are hesitant to purchase secondary literature in Modern Hebrew.