Skip to Main Content

A Guide to Jewish and Near Eastern Studies

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Jewish & Near Eastern Studies

Collection: General

Date Revised: February 2014

Subject Librarian: Deborah Katz



1. General purpose:

The collection supports the research and teaching needs of its primary audience, faculty and students in Jewish Studies, as well as faculty and students in International Area Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies, and History. Each of the aforementioned entities shares joint faculty appointments with JINELC.



2. Subjects excluded:




3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

There is overlap with any collection where a subject has a Jewish component. The Performing Arts librarian and the Art and Architecture librarians collect respectively in Jewish music and theater, and Jewish art. The Harris fund purchases many but not all materials in Holocaust studies. However, Jewish Studies funds purchase ninety percent of all materials regarding Jewish experience and intellectual expression.


4. Languages included and excluded:

Most works purchased for Jewish Studies are in English though there is a Hebrew language approval plan with Weinberg’s in Jerusalem. Primary faculty also request books in German, French, Aramaic, & Syriac.



5. Geographical limitations:




6. Chronological limits:




7. Retrospective acquisition:

In the 1970s a significant number of books were purchased to create a core collection in Yiddish and the Brisman collection of primarily older and some rare books was acquired in this decade as well.


8. Types of material collected and excluded:

  • Judaism
  • Bible
  • Jewish Law
  • History of Jews in all lands and time periods
  • Jewish literature
  • Jewish philosophy
  • Jewish political science
  • Medicine
  • The Holocaust



9. Other factors to consider:

  • The recent opening of the Danforth Center for Religion and Politics may present a need to acquire works in Jewish Studies that are not currently systematically collected.
  • The Cohen Judaica fund makes wide subject area coverage possible though requests for books exceed allocated funds.



10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

Research and Undergraduate level (defined by Choice Reviews)