The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary has received a $175,300 grant to make available a collection of rare materials from the Jewish communities of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. According to an email sent by Naomi M. Steinberger, Director of Library Services at JTS, the Cataloguing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant comes from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through a program administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). It will allow JTS to make available the collection of Dr. Johanna Spector, a professor of ethnomusicology at JTS who passed away in 2008.
“The Spector Archives offer a fascinating exploration of non-Western Jewish religious and communal traditions that developed and persisted over 2,000 years,” Steinberger wrote in a statement. “These materials are of immense value for a wide range of researchers studying ethnography, history, anthropology, and music.” The collection includes materials relating to the Jewish communities of India, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Armenia, as well as of the Samaritan people.