The Leo Baeck College Library is a Jewish Studies library in the widest possible sense. Our collections cover every aspect of Judaism, Jewish life and related subjects, including books in English, Hebrew, German, Yiddish, French and Russian, from traditional, professional and academic literature. Our Main Collection is enhanced by rare books, archival and digital material, and donations from rabbis, teachers and scholars which makes researching in our collections an extraordinary voyage of discovery.
At the heart of our Main Collection are the texts of the Jewish tradition: the Hebrew Bible and its commentaries, traditional and contemporary, and Rabbinic Literature including Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, Codes, Responsa and Kabbalah and all the dictionaries, concordances, translations and grammars you might need to study them. Jewish History, Philosophy, Theology and Thought provide contexts and concepts and Jewish Literature, Liturgy, Music and Art present the cultural development of Jews around the world. Our collections are particularly rich in Anglo-Jewry, Holocaust, Pastoral Care and Management, Preaching, Israel, Progressive Jewish Movements, Interfaith Dialogue and Contemporary Halakha (Jewish Law). Texts come from across the religious spectrum, from around the world and throughout Jewish history. Our 60,000 strong book collection is complemented by over 300 journals including several current subscriptions reflecting the diversity of religious studies. We hold a complete set of books published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization and thank the publishers and family for their longstanding support.
Our Special Collections include unique, rare and specialist material that reflects the richness and diversity of Jewish History, Culture and Thought.
Our Rare Books Collection includes books and manuscripts produced over the last 500 years showing the remarkable heritage of Jewish texts and the often miraculous journeys of volumes through the upheavals of Jewish history including our Offenbach, Hochschule and Judaic Conservancy Collections which survived the Holocaust.
Our Education Collection includes resources for teaching in a variety of communal settings and Jewish day schools, supported by practical, academic and theoretical material exploring pedagogy in Jewish and religious contexts, to support Jewish educators wherever they find themselves.
Our Prayer Book Collection includes siddurim and machzorim, daily and festival prayer books from around the world, from the classic texts of the early rabbis to innovative contemporary publications.
Our Pamphlet Collection includes over 10,000 published in the last 150 years showing the vibrancy of Jewish history and ideas.
Our Thesis Collection includes close to 200 dissertations written by rabbinic and masters students since the establishment of the College forming a remarkable record of Progressive Jewish thought, education and leadership.
We look forward to receiving the wonderful Victor Tunkel Music Collection of over 1400 items including books on musicology, research on biblical cantillation, liturgical music, and musical scores which will be joining the library’s rich holdings on Jewish Music.
Click on the titles of the Collections above to find out more about each collection and its highlights.
Our Archive Collections preserve often fragile items recording the thinking and practices of rabbis, scholars and teachers who have had an impact on British and Progressive Jewry, including Rabbi John Rayner, Rabbi Israel Mattuck, Rabbi Willy Wolff and Irene Bloomfield. The LBC Audio Archive includes over 1200 recordings of lectures and seminars given at the college between 1985 and 2005. Delivered by rabbis, academics and professionals they present a fascinating picture of British Jewish life and learning.
Click here to find out more about our Archival Collections
Our Digital Collections make unique and important printed material more easily available to a wider audience by sharing electronic editions online and include the journal Manna Digital Edition and the digitised archive of Rabbi John Rayner’s Sermons and Lectures. Click here to view and find out more about our Digital Collections.
The Library’s holdings are so very rich and varied because of the individuals who have generously donated their personal libraries. This includes LBC lecturers, alumni and other rabbis and scholars and we are grateful to them and their families for their support. Click here to find out more about these contributors and their collections.