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Jacobi Library

Dr. Paul Jacobi’s private library was essentially made up of two sections – works of a general nature (some 11,000 volumes) and works relating to genealogy (more than 1,000 titles).

He bequeathed the former to the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem. These books reflect Dr. Jacobi’s extraordinarily wide-ranging interests, covering archaeology, philosophy, art, poetry, literature, history, sociology, ethnography  and more.

The works of relevance to genealogy, and Jewish genealogy in particular, were bequeathed to the “Jacobi International Center for Research on Jewish Genealogy”, which was set up in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem shortly after Dr. Jacobi’s death. In due course, they devolved to the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center, which was set up in 2004.

Broadly speaking, they are divided in almost equal parts between works in Hebrew and in other languages (mainly German but also English, Spanish and French). These  again sub-divide into three main categories: (i) encyclopaedias and atlases; (ii) family histories and biographical portraits; and (iii) works on Jewish and European history and culture.

Most of these genealogical works are readily available to readers, being located on the open stacks dedicated to Dr. Jacobi in the upper gallery of the Judaica Reading Room at the National Library of Israel on the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.