Sunday, July 26, 2009

Accessing Nineteenth Century Jewish Studies Journal Articles

Students, scholars and librarians may have been caught up in the frenzy of digital access to full-text articles during the last decade. However, it is important not to lose sight of "oldies but goodies" from the world of printed article indices. One such tool is Moise Schwab's Index of Articles Relative to Jewish History and Literature Published in Periodicals, from 1665 to 1900. [JTS Library Location: REF Z 6367 S41] An augmented edition edited by Zosa Szajkowski was published by Ktav in 1971. The original edition (Part I) had been published in 1899 as Repertoire des Articles, and subsequent Parts and editions were published over the next 25 years.

Most of the articles listed were published in Jewish and secular scholarly journals of the 19th century. The majority of the articles were written in German and French, although many are also in Hebrew, English, and other languages. More than 100 publications were indexed, and articles from a few feschriften are also included.

The bulk of the volume is a list of articles arranged by author’s last name. There is a limited subject index, which is challenging to use because the subjects are in French and the text is handwritten. A Hebrew words index, using the Hebrew alphabet, also functions as a subject index.

Explanations of abbreviations are provided in 3 places: a List of Abbreviations (titles of journals indexed); Initiales (general abbreviations); Initiales et Pseudonymes Hebreux (Hebrew abbreviations of authors’ names). Errors in the author listings have been corrected at the end of the volume.

Moise Schwab was an accomplished scholar in a wide variety of fields, both in Jewish and secular studies. His Index was the first attempt to publish an all-inclusive Jewish studies periodical index. This volume provides a key to serious Jewish studies research of the 1800’s and before. It is also useful as a guide to primary source material for current researchers of Jewish history, biography and historiography.

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