A Note to Researchers
Lynne Avadenka, An excerpt from Shulamith Hareven's
The Miracle Hater (Huntington
Woods, Michigan, 1993).
Shown here is an illustration by award-winning artist and
book designer Lynne Avadenka for an excerpt from Israeli
writer Shulamith Hareven's novel The Miracle Hater,
which explores the relationship of the individual to society.
(Courtesy Lynne Avadenka)
The primary function of the Library of Congress is to serve the
Congress. In addition, the Library provides service to government
agencies, other libraries, scholars, and the general public. All
researchers preparing to come to the Library are strongly encouraged
to pursue preliminary exploration in public, academic, or special
libraries, so that they can make efficient use of their time in
the collections of the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress is a research library whose collections
are kept in restricted, closed stacks. The Library's lending is
limited to official borrowers. Under certain conditions, the Library
lends materials from its collections to other libraries for the
use of their readers.
The Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division
has custody of materials in Hebrew and related languages, including
Yiddish, Ladino, Syriac, and the languages of Ethiopia. For access
to these materials, as well as for specialized reference assistance
in Judaica and Hebraica, researchers should first register for
a reader's card at the Reader Registration Station in the James
Madison Memorial Building (lm 140) and then consult with specialists
in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room on the
second floor of the Jefferson Building (LJ 220).
The reading room contains specialized reference works on Hebraica
and Judaica in all languages. The section's extensive collection
of microforms is served only in the reading room. In addition,
materials from the General Collections -- books and serials in
all languages -- may be consulted in the African and Middle Eastern
Division. Study shelves are available for long-term researchers.
Natural Flowers from the Holy Land
(Jerusalem, ca. 1900). This wreath of pressed flowers
from Jerusalem is included in a souvenir album published
for travelers and pilgrims to the Holy Land. A verse from
Psalm 122 is at the top of the page: "Pray for the well-being
of Jerusalem; may those who love you be at peace." The albums
are bound in olive wood and included pressed flower arrangements
from other sacred sites as well.
Reference inquiries on Hebraica and Judaica should be directed
to the Hebraic Section, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540.
For materials in other formats or specializations, researchers
must visit one of the Library's other reading rooms. For example,
graphic prints are usually found in the Prints and Photographs
Division, and maps may be examined in the Geography and Map Division.
Graphic prints and maps in bound volumes may be housed in the
Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division. One of the
essential tasks of the Library's specialists is to provide assistance
to researchers seeking materials in this large and complex library
of over 110 million items.
Each reading room offers finding aids, bibliographies, and pertinent
reference materials as well as access to the Library's main computerized
The following is a list of the reading rooms and special collections
-- other than those available in the African and Middle Eastern
Division Reading Room -- that could be of value to researchers
interested in Judaica and Hebraica.
American Folklife Reading Room, Jefferson Building
Business Reference Services, Adams Building
Geography and Map Division, Madison Building
Hispanic Division Reading Room, Jefferson Building
Law Library Reading Room, Madison Building
Local History And Genealogy Reading Room, Jefferson Building
Main Reading Room, Jefferson Building
Manuscript Reading Room, Madison Building
Microform Reading Room, Jefferson Building
Motion Picture and Television Reading Room, Madison Building
Newspaper and Current Periodical Room, Madison Building
Performing Arts Reading Room, Madison Building
Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Madison Building
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Jefferson
Recorded Sound Reference Center, Madison Building
Science Reading Room, Adams Building