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Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals and newspapers

The British Library holds over 650 Hebrew and some 250 Yiddish periodical titles. About a third of these are current. 

Our collection of Hebrew periodicals is of particular significance because many of its titles represent milestones in the history of the Hebrew press. It also has an impressive geographical spread.

 Loshn un Lebn. [Language and Life]

Loshn un Lebn. [Language and Life] Yiddish literary monthly edited by A. N. Stencl, London, 1946-1981. Issue for May 1979. [17100.a.47] © The British Library.

The collections

Noteworthy among the Hebrew journals are

  • Kohelet Musar [Ethical adviser], the first Hebrew literary periodical issued in Berlin (about 1750)
  • ha-Magid [The Preacher], the first modern Hebrew newspaper issued in Lyck and in other places, 1856-1903
  • ha-Levanon [The Lebanon], the first newspaper issued in Jerusalem and afterwards in Europe, 1863-1886

Current journals cover a broad spectrum of subjects, with art, bibliography, history, literature, law, linguistics, philosophy and religious studies being particularly well represented. Among the frequently requested scholarly journals held in the collection, worthy of mention are

  • Da'at [Knowledge]
  • Moznayim [Balance]
  • Pe'amim [Steps]
  • Sefunot [Hidden treasures]
  • Tsiyon [Zion]
  • Zemanim [Times]

The Yiddish periodical collection is especially strong in American titles, many of which are held in microform. There is also a fair number of 19th and early 20th century Yiddish serials from England and Eastern Europe in the collection. Examples include

  • Di Tsukunft [The Future], issued in New York in 1892
  • Forverts [Forward], issued in New York in 1897
  • Loshn un Lebn [Language and Life], a London literary title, published 1946-1981 and edited by Abraham Stencl
  • Der Idisher Ekspres [The Jewish Express], first published in Leeds in 1896

The collection of Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals is supplemented by a small number of journals in European languages, and various official publications issued by Israeli government departments.

Catalogues and guides

Finding items in the British Library's collections

Judaic journals in European languages, Israeli official publications and some Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals are searchable on Explore the British Library.

Journals are also listed in:

Tahan, Ilana. A handlist of Hebraica and Judaica serials in the British Library. London 1994 - computer printout containing 4 separate divisions: Hebrew; Yiddish; English and Western languages; official publications. The titles in the Hebrew and Yiddish divisions are romanised. Available in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room (ORC.HEB PBS 7).

Yiddish newspapers (125 titles), issued mainly in England and Poland during the 19th and early 20th centuries, are held by British Library Newspapers in Colindale, north London. To search for this material and some other titles of Jewish interest you need to use Explore the British LibraryRestricting your search to the Newspaper catalogue subset may help to narrow the results.

General references: Electronic resources

The Index to Jewish periodicals provides references to articles and reviews in more than 180 periodicals of Jewish concern. It can be accessed via Electronic Resources & Journals: Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections, English language resources. For licensing reasons, this resource can only be accessed from within the Library’s reading rooms.

Contact

Ilana Tahan, M.Phil., Lead Curator, Hebrew and Christian Orient Studies
Asian and African Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7646
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: ilana.tahan@bl.uk