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With the establishment of the Jewish Studies at the University of Potsdam, a great need for literature on the topic of Judaism emerged. The predecessor libraries of the University Library (Universitätsbibliothek, (UB)) Potsdam had almost no usable literature on the topic in their shelves. The acquisition of important collections over the following years, however, changed this situation fundamentally.
The three most important of these collections are the Israel Mehlmann Collection, the Israil Bercovici Estate, and the Yehuda Ashkenasy Library. Apart from these three great libraries, the University Library was able to incorporate several smaller bestowals into its stock.
In 1995, a part of the historical stock of the library of Israel Mehlmann encompassing about 1500 volumes reached Potsdam. The focus of this collection is on Kabbalah, Hasidism, liturgy, as well as on Yiddish and Hebrew folktales.
In 1997 the library and estate of the literary director of the Jewish State Theater in Bucharest, Israil Bercovici, was acquired. Bercovici leaves behind a magnificent collection comprising more than 2000 works in the Yiddish language.
In 2005, the most comprehensive collection, the scholarly library of the Amsterdam Rabbi Prof. Yehuda Aschkenasy, finally reached the UB Potsdam. It comprises 5600 volumes from all domains of Judaism. Among them are also circa 80 volumes from the Veitel Heine Ephraimschen-Lehranstalt as well as Yemenite handwritings, which are currently being restored.
Unfortunately, not all books in Hebrew script (Hebraica) are listed in the University Library catalog because it is very difficult to catalogue them: They are being incorporated not only in the original script, but as of two years ago, they are also being transliterated. For technical reasons it is not possible to search our catalogue in Hebrew letters. In order to do this, please use the catalogue of the library association GBV: http://gso.gbv.de/
Please direct your questions to the field librarian of the University Library Potsdam, Andreas Kennecke (page in German) [firstname.lastname@example.org]