Leningrad Library of Judaica Includes Many Treasures

Treasured volumes in Yiddish and Hebrew and a vast store of books on Judaica in other languages are in the Leningrad Public Library. Both in point of number of books and value the Jewish section of the Leningrad Library is one of the most important among the Jewish libraries in the Soviet Union.

Until a few years ago the Jewish books in the Leningrad Library were in a chaotic condition. Huge stacks of tomes lay around uncatalogued. It was only in 1930 that work was started to put this important collection of volumes into some order. In the last four years, practically all books in Yiddish in the library were arranged and catalogued. An imposing bibliographical work was completed and a bibliographical circle has been formed in the Yiddish section, engaged on important research work. There are still about 20,000 Hebrew books and a vast number of books on Judaica which still remain to be arranged and catalogued, and a vast amount of work is required.

Complaints have been made that the director of the library is neglecting the Jewish section. Social and scientific workers in Leningrad are urging that the staff of the Jewish section should be enlarged. They point out that this year alone, 120 additional members of the staff of the library were appointed, while the Jewish section has still only two members on its staff. The attitude of the directors is described as malicious and deliberate, ignoring all the orders of the party and the government to develop national cultures.

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