Using the Collections

Thanks in large part to the Alexander Foundation gift, the majority of the Hebraica and Judaica manuscript collections in RBML are searchable through CLIO, Columbia’s online catalog.  For more information on registration policies and access to the RBML, see the Using Collections page on the RBML website.

Searching for Manuscripts:

Most of the Hebraica and Judaica manuscripts are located in the “X” collection.  This is the earliest manuscript collection at Columbia, which was cataloged using the Dewey Decimal System, with an “x” placed at the beginning of the call number.  The majority of these materials begin with the call number “X893.”

To search only the Hebrew manuscript collection, open an “Advanced Search” in CLIO.  Under “Author Keywords,” enter “Hebrew Manuscripts Columbia University Libraries.”  You may then enter any other subject, author, or title keywords you would like (i.e. “Hebrew Manuscripts Columbia University Libraries” and “cabala”).  This will limit your search to the manuscripts.

Singer ms (The Slave) Yiddish transcript of Isaac Bashevis Singer's The Slave, with annotations

Searching for Archival Materials (personal papers, etc.): 

Finding aids for many collections are remotely accessible via the Archival Collections Portal.  Patrons can search across all repositories and collections held in the Columbia University Libraries.

Additionally, all archival collections can be found in CLIO. For tips on finding archival material through CLIO see the Archives and Manuscripts Help Page.

Specialized card catalogs for manuscripts, available in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, allow patrons to search across multiple collections for a specific name or subject.