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Primary Sources for Jewish History
Table of Contents:

About Primary Sources
What are they and how do I find them? Archives & Special Collections
  • American Jewish
    The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry. Our collection policy is available here.
  • Upper Midwest Jewish Archives
    Important archival holdings of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest (JHSUM) with records, photographs and stories of the earliest Jewish settlers in the Midwest
Web sites
  • Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
    CHNM uses digital media and technology to preserve and present history online, transform scholarship across the humanities, and advance historical education and understanding. Includes links to information on: Children and Youth in History, Historical Thinking Matters, History Matters, Imaging the French Revolution, Interpreting the Declaration of Independence by Translation, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, Logo for Women in World History, Making the History of 1989 (fall of Communism in Eastern Europe), Object of History, Popular Romance Project, Probing the Past: Virginia and Maryland Probate Inventories,, Women in World History, World History Matters, and World History Sources
  • VHA Visual History Archive Authentication Required
    The Visual History Archive is the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s digital collection of audiovisual interviews, with 54,000 testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust as well as other genocides including the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide, the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, and also Guatemala (1980s) and Cambodia (1970s).
    Note: most testimonies run about two hours, with the exception of Armenian massacre testimony recordings, which are shorter. Developed by the USC Shoah Foundation for Visual History and Education; Presented by the University of Minnesota Libraries and the University of Minnesota Office of Information Technology.

    In addition to our subscription access to the full range of testimonies, there is public access to over 1,600 testimonies.

Searching MNCAT for Primary Sources
  • Strategy for MNCAT searching
    In Advanced Search
    First row:

    Set the left box to "subject"
    Set the middle box to "contains"
    In the right box to enter the word sources in one box

    Second row:
    Enter a term central to your topic

    Third row (optional):
    Enter additional term central to your topic

    See examples below. You can change subject or keyword terms as needed, retaining sources in subject for one of the settings.

I. From the Bible to Rabbinic Judaism
  • Torah : the five books of Moses
    "A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic text" / "The text is consistent with the 1999 printing of the JPS Hebrew-English TANAKH"--T.p. verso. ISBN 082760680X 9780827606807
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library BS1223 1999 Regular Loan
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Commentators' Bible : the JPS Miqra'ot gedolot = [Mikraot gedolot]
    Note Hebrew text based on Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia Note Bible text in Hebrew and English; commentaries in English. ISBN 0827608128 9780827608122
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Folio BS1223 .C37 2005 Regular Loan
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Jewish Study Bible (print)
    "Jewish Publication Society Tanakh translation."
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library BS895 .J495 2004 Regular Loan
  • Blackwell companion to the Hebrew Bible
    Note: Some text is accessible via Google Books -- Use the link in the MNCAT record or search title in Google Books
    • Location(s): Wilson Library (BS1171.3 .B53 2001)
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Zohar
    Zohar. English The Zohar / translation and commentary by Daniel C. Matt. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2004-<2009>
    TC Wilson Library Reference BM525.A52 M37 2004
II. From Medieval to Modern
  • The Jew in the medieval world : a source book : 315-1791
    Jacob Rader Marcus ; with an introduction and updated bibliography by Marc Saperstein. Cincinnati : Hebrew Union College Press, c1999.
    TC Wilson Library DS124 .M34 1999
    Free Internet access: link above is to full text partial preview in Google Books (click on Contents to view available text)
  • Qur'an online
    source University of Southern California Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement
  • Zohar. English
    Zohar. English The Zohar / translation and commentary by Daniel C. Matt. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2004-<2009>
    TC Wilson Library Reference BM525.A52 M37 2004
  • Spinoza - via Past Masters database
    Title Past masters [electronic resource].Published Charlottesville, VA : InteLex Corp., c1997.
    INCLUDES: Spinoza, Benedictus de, 1632-1677. Works. English. IN The Continental rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz
    Internet Access for University of Minnesota, Twin Cities only.
III. Modern History
  • IIIA. World War II and the Holocaust
IV. Jewish Thought and Culture in Historical Perspective V. Sacred Time, Spaces and People

Selected Titles in the University of Minnesota Libraries collections

Selected Primary Sources for Jewish Studies

Anti-Semitism in Europe : Sources of the Holocaust. Ed. David W. Zisenwine. New York: New York : Behrman House, 1976.

Back to the Sources : Reading the Classic Jewish Texts. Ed. Barry W. Holtz. New York: New York : Summit Books, 1984.

Barber, Russell J. The Emperor's Mirror : Understanding Cultures through Primary Sources. Ed. Frances Berdan. Tucson: Tucson : University of Arizona Press, 1998.
The Blackwell Companion to Judaism. Ed. Alan J. (Alan Jeffery) Avery-Peck. Malden, MA: Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

The Canon Debate. Ed. James A. Sanders. Peabody, Mass.: Peabody, Mass. : Hendrickson Publishers, 2002.

Classics of Jewish Literature. Ed. Arthur F. Beringause. New York: New York : Philosophical Library, 1987.

Deutsch, Nathaniel. The Gnostic Imagination : Gnosticism, Mandaeism, and Merkabah Mysticism. Leiden ; New York: Leiden ; New York : E.J. Brill, 1995.
Elbogen, Ismar, 1874-1943. Ha-Tefilah be-Yiśraʼel be-Hitpatḥutah Ha-Hisṭorit. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv : Devir, 1972.

---. Jewish Liturgy : A Comprehensive History. Philadelphia : New York: Philadelphia : Jewish Publication Society ; New York : Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1993.

Faith and Piety in Early Judaism : Texts and Documents. Ed. Michael E. Stone. Philadelphia: Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1983.

Glatzer, Nahum Norbert,1903- comp. The Judaic Tradition; Texts,. Ed. Nahum Norbert Glatzer. Boston: Boston, Beacon Press, 1969.

Hertzberg, Arthur. Judaism : The Key Spiritual Writings of the Jewish Tradition. New York: New York : Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Holo, Joshua, 1971-. Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Into that Dark Night Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939. Ed. Drew University. Jerusalem : Madison, N.J. : Chapel Hill: Jerusalem : Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority ; Madison, N.J. : Drew University ; Chapel Hill : distributed by the University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans : Primary Readings. Ed. Meyer Reinhold. Minneapolis: Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1996.

Judaism and Islam in Practice a Sourcebook. Ed. Jonathan E. Brockopp. London ; New York: London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.

Judaism in Practice : From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period. Ed. Lawrence Fine. Princeton, NJ: Princeton, NJ : Princeton Univ. Press, 2001.

Kramer, Naomi. The Fallacy of Race and the Shoah. Ed. Ronald Headland. Ottawa: Ottawa : University of Ottawa Press, 1998.

Law in the Documents of the Judaean Desert. Ed. Inc ebrary. Leiden ; Boston: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2005.

Modern Jewish Thought : A Source Reader. Ed. Nahum Norbert Glatzer. New York: New York : Schocken Books, 1977.


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