Columbia University Libraries to Host the Inaugural Norman E. Alexander Lecture
NEW YORK, September 26, 2011 –

On Monday, October 3, 2011 Columbia University Libraries will present a lecture by Professor Jonathan Sarna entitled "General Grant and the Jews: The Election of 1868 and the Origins of Jewish Politics in the United States." The lecture will take place at 6:00pm in the Low Memorial Library.


The lecture explores Ulysses S. Grant's notorious, anti-Semitic decision to expel all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi during the Civil War. During the talk, a copy of the infamous General Order No. 11 will be provided.

Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. In 2004, he was named by Forward newspaper as one of America‚Äôs fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and he is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life.  In 2009, he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This lecture is made possible by the Friends of the Columbia Libraries and a $4 million dollar gift to Columbia from the Norman E. Alexander Foundation for Jewish Studies.  The gift supports both general Jewish Studies collections and special collections in Judaica, as well as the Jewish Studies Librarian position.

The Jewish Studies research collections at Columbia exceed 100,000 monograph volumes and 1,000 current and historical periodical titles. The collection comprises about 60,000 Hebrew and Yiddish titles in addition to its large holdings of Jewish scholarly works in Western and Slavic languages. Columbia also subscribes to many electronic titles, both ebooks and databases, which pertain to Jewish Studies, and is the only repository in New York City for the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation.

To attend the lecture, please email

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:

9/26/11 CUL