Reference Sources for Sephardic Studies

Rachel Simon

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Abstract: Some of the main reference sources for Sephardic studies in the broader sense, namely, covering issues    related not only to the Jews of the Iberian peninsula and their descendants, but also to those of the Middle East and North Africa for the same period of time, are described. The categories covered are: Sepharad and Sephardic culture, the Sephardic diaspora, catalogs of special collections, and subject catalogs.


Strictly speaking, Sephardic studies relate to the study of the Jews in Spain (or the Iberian peninsula in general) as well as of Jews exiled from Spain and their descendants: their history, language, literature, and arts, as well as their religious, social, and economic life. Owing, however, to the tremendous influence of the Sephardic exiles on the communities within which they settled, especially in North Africa and the Ottoman empire, it is extremely difficult to treat the non-Sephardic Jews of these regions separately from the Sephardim. The same goes for other regions, such as Italy, Holland, and, to a certain extent, Latin America. Moreover, even in areas where the number of Sephardic settlers was not high, their cultural and socioeconomic influence was decisive. As a result, indigenous Jews oHen adopted Sephardic cultural characteristics to the degree that they started to regard themselve (and often also to be regarded by outsiders) as Sephardim. And, indeed, today the term "Sephardim," though imprecise, refers to Middle Eastern and North African Jews in general, including Jews who are not of Iberian origin. The term is oflen used even to refer to Jews of regions in which Sephardim hardly settled, such as Yemen.

Thus, Sephardic studies are often not limited to "true Sephardim", and this does not refer to the expression Samekh-Tet, sometimes interpreted as "Sefaradi Tahor (pure Sephardi). For that reason, this article deals with reference sources to Sephardic studies in the broader sense, namely, covering issues related not only to the Jews of the Iberian peninsula and their descendants, but also to those of the Middle East and North Africa (for the same period of time). Not cited here are sources that deal generally with the Jews, the Middle East, North Africa, or the Iberian peninsula.

The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the main reference sources for Sephardic studies_it is not intended to cover the whole field and be exhaustive. It is, however, difficult to choose a small number of definitive reference works in the field because of the wide, and somewhat vague, definition chosen here for Sephardic studies. Most reference sources are regionally or linguistically based, and while there are some that cover the whole of North Africa, there are others of a more limited scope, which deal only with one countr, Greece or Yemen, for example. Some compilers published updates to their reference works under different titles; these are treated here as multi-volume sets, because the method that the various tools use is basically the same; they differ only in the publication periods covered and in their titles.

The reference works are discussed under the following category headings. An alphabetical list of bibliographic references follows the text of the paper.

I.     Sepharad and Sephardic Culture

II.    The Sephardic Diaspora
III.  Catalogs of Special Collections Ladino Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic
IV.  Subject Catalogs Periodicals Marriage Contracts Authors Music
V.   Electronic Databases

I. Sepharad and Sephardic Culture

One can start research in this field with a popular work that is very wide-ranging, and which may be helpful for beginners and those looking for quasi-scholarly sources; nonetheless, it includes numerous scholarly works and can direct users in various ways:

Hessel, Carolyn Starman. The Whole Sephardic Catalog: A Guide to Resources and References for Educators and Lay Readers. New York: The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, c1992. 100 p.

The work has five parts: Sephardic experience: where it happened, when it happened; Annotated bibliography; Media selections; Resources: people, places, experiences; Author index.

The first part is subdivided by place or subject. It opens with the Sephardic experience in the Americas, and goes on to the Balkans and other countries. It includes sections on Christopher Columbus, the conversos, Sephardic literature, MuslimJewish relations, and Sephardic-Ashkenazi relations. Each topic is divided into subsections that cite articles, nonfiction books, literature, series, and classroom materials (not all forms appear in all subject categories). Entries in this part include only the author's name and the title of the work.

The second part (annotated bibliography) is divided by form into articles, books, classroom materials, literature, and series. Entries are arranged alphabetically by author; each includes a bibliographic reference as well as a short annotation (between one and five lines). The form of presentation of the work entails an obvious repetition; the two parts could have been combined.

The next part lists media selections (videos, 16 mm films, filmstrips, and slides). They are listed alphabetically by title, including length, date, type, audience, ordering information, and a short annotation. The directory of resources lists organizations from which one can get speakers and entertainers, print materials, and exhibitions. This directory, along with the list of periodical publications, helps one to locate further information.

The lack of a subject index makes it difficult to locate subjects that do not have a heading in the classified section. Although somewhat repetitive and inclined to the popular, this work covers a wide range of materials and guides the user to further information.

More scholarly sources dealing with the core of Sephardic territory, the Iberian peninsula, are listed in the works of Robert Singerman, Head Librarian at the Price Library of Judaica in the University of Florida, Gainesville, and previously Judaica Librarian at Hebrew Union College Library, Cincinnati. He has published two bibliographies related to Sephardic studies:

Singerman, Robert. The Jews in Spain and Portugal: A Bibliography New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1975.
xiv, 364 p.

Singerman, Robert. Spanish and Portuguese Jewry: A Classified Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, c1993. xvi, 720 p.

Singerman's purpose, as stated in the first work, was ". . . to bring under bibliographical control a wide range of published materials pertaining to the Jewish presence in Spain and Portugal from antiquity to the present day. It should be emphasized from the outset that our coverage does not extend to the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the 1490's and their descendants in the Old and New Worlds" (p. vii).

This was indeed a pioneering work, due to the lack prior to its publication of any bibliography covering the same topic. Both volumes are rich and updated: the first contains 5,051 entries and the second 5,446 (with corrections and additions, such
as reprints and more reviews). The second work covers not only materials published since 1975, but also earlier publications
which escaped the compiler's attention. (Singerman notes that in Florida he was exposed to more Spanish/Latin American
works than at his previous place of employment.)

Both volumes place an emphasis on the history and culture of the Jews of Spain and Portugal, Christian-Jewish polemics,
works relating to the delineation of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in literature, and works relating to Jewish communities in the Iberian peninsula in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Excluded from the works are the general areas of Biblical exegesis, Hebrew grammar, literature and poetry, Jewish philosophy, and rabbinical literature, though some secondary works in these fields have been included. Also excluded are general works dealing with the Inquisition, as this topic is dealt with in the work by Emile van der Vekene, Bibliographie der Inquisition: ein Versuch (Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1963) and his later work Bibliotheca bibliographica historiae sanctae inquisitionis (Vaduz: Topos Verlag, 1982- 83).

Singerman was aware of the fact that the wide-ranging nature of the material presented special problems of classification, since no item was entered in his bibliography more than once, even if it dealt with several subjects. He preferred the regional aspect of a work over its general subject (for example: a work on expulsion from a certain area is classified in the section dealing with this region and not in the more general section dealing with the expulsion).

Included are unpublished master's theses and doctoral dissertations. No effort was made to locate publishers of monographs, series information, or holdings information. Book reviews are recorded randomly. Hebrew and Yiddish books are cited in Romanization followed by an English translation of the title in brackets, while periodical articles in Hebrew, Yiddish, or Ladino are cited in English followed by an indication of the original language in parentheses. The Romanization in the second volume is better than in the first with regard to vocalization (the first also includes some diacritics, but their use is not consistent, even within a single word or title).

The structure of both works is similar, containing two parts unequal in size, dealing separately with Spain and Portugal. They begin with bibliographies and manuscripts, followed by general history, local history and history by period. The subsequent sections deal with Jewish participation in the Voyages of Discovery, Conversos, JewishChristian controversy, biography, special subjects (including arts, Cabala, education liturgy, law, printing, and slavery), Spanish or Portuguese Jews in literature, description and travel, and communities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both volumes have detailed indexes which include authors' names and subjects (persons, places, and topics).

The division of the classification into a large number of subsections is very helpful, and the index helps to locate items dealing with a specific topic, regardless of where the entries are classified. Attempts to locate primary sources are a little more difficult: although there are sections dealing with manuscripts, citations to them are scattered throughout the subject classification and are not gathered in the index. The same goes for the form bibliographies.

There are several publications focusing on Sephardic culture: language, literature, and folklore. Some of this material is included in the more general bibliographies and those with a geographic emphasis but specialized bibliographies are obviously of great help to the user. An early one is:

Studemund, Michael. Bibliographie zum Judenspanischen. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag, c 1975.148 p.

It contains 1,368 entries in alphabetical order with no index, and is based on materials found in European libraries.

A major bibliography is by David Bunis of the Department of Romance Languages in the Hebrew University:

Bunis, David. Sephardic Studies: A Pesearch Bibliography. New York: Garland Publications, 1981. xix, 234 p.

The bibliography includes 1,891 entries in five parts: general works on Sephardic Jewry; Judezmo language (including its influence on other languages and its place within the framework of Jewish languages); Judezmo literature (including texts, bibliographies, studies, authors, genres, and Judezmo literature in English translation); folklore and folklife (including poetry, music, tales, humor, riddles, drama, games, medicine, magic, cookery, dress, arts, life cycle, calendric cycle, and folklore of specific areas); and historical background. Also included are a directory of institutions and organizations concerned with Sephardic studies in various countries, as well as indexes of authors and selected subjects. The entries are mainly in English, Judezmo, French, and Hebrew; titles in Hebrew characters are Romanized using International Phonetic Association (IPA) symbols, but the Romanization of Hebrew is not consistent.

A complementary bibliography to Bunis' is the one by Paul Wexler from the Department of Linguistics at Tel-Aviv University:
Judaica Librarianship Vol s No.1-2 Spring 199s-winter 1995145 Wexler, Paul. Judeo-Romance Linguistics: A Bibliography. New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1989.xxvii, 174 p.

This bibliography focuses on all the JudeoRomance languages attested before the expulsions of the Jews from France and the Iberian peninsula (with the exception of Judezmo) and thus does not include Judeo-Romance languages created after the sixteenth century. It deals with JudeoLatin, Italo-, Gallo-, Ibero- and RhaetoRomance, but not with Castilian, which is dealt with by Bunis. For the sake of brevity, whenever synthetic works (definitive studies discussing and summarizing earlier partial ones) were available for a given topic, Wexler rarely gave earlier entries.

The bibliography includes 1,653 entries in six parts: comparative Judeo-Romance; Judeo-Latin; Judeo-ltalo- Romance; JudeoGallo-Romance; Judeo-lbero-Romance; and Judeo-Rhaeto-Romance, as well as an index of authors and anonymous articles. All parts (except the last) include the subcategories bibliographies, general discussions, texts, terminology, and dialects. Entries in Hebrew (a minority) are cited in Hebrew script and are intermixed with those in Roman script, i.e., they are filed as if they were Romanized. The comparative element is quite strong, including nonRomance Jewish languages, such as Yiddish. Included also are converso dialects. There is no subject index, and so one has to rely on the bibliography's arrangement for access to topics.

II. The Sephardic Diaspora

Since the 1970s, important bibliographies on the Sephardic exiles have been published. These are basically bibliographies of regions where Sephardim settled. A major annotated bibliography on the Jews in the Middle East is:

Cohen, Hayyim J.; Yehuda, Zvi. Yehude Asyah ve-Afrikah ba-Mizrah ha-Tikhon 1860-1971: Bibllyografyah Mu'eret. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1976. xxvii, 453 p.

This work covers the period beginning with the major reforms in the Ottoman empire and the enhanced Western influence including the work of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in the region. It is divided into two major parts: the first is on Asian and African Jews in Israel, and the second on Jews in Middle Eastern Muslim countries. Each part is subdivided by topic.

The first part includes general works, sociological studies, demography, health, economy, education, youth, women's status, culture, religion and customs, and political activity. The second part includes the following subjects for each country, as the literature warrants: general works, travels, demography, health, economy, education, women's status, culture, Jewish organizations, political activity, Zionism, Aliyah, and bibliography. The table of contents lists the subdivisions in each part; to find a specific subject one has to scan through the entries in the broad categories. Each section opens with Hebrew citations: first alphabetically by author, and then anonymous works by date of publication; the same structure is repeated in the mixed English-French part. The bibliography has indexes of places and authors (in both alphabets).

Each entry is followed by a short annotation in brackets (in Hebrew for the Hebrew entries; in English for the rest). Entries are in Hebrew, English, and French and include books and articles that were checked by the compilers in various libraries in Jerusalem. Excluded are articles not in the list of periodicals cited in the bibliography, as well as unsigned articles from certain periodicals which deal with specific communities; these periodicals are, however, recommended for use by scholars studying these regions. The periodicals that were scanned are wide-ranging: from scholarly ones and those focusing on Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews to some that are seldom indexed by similar bibliographies (e.g., ha-Refu'ah, Telamim [of Tenu'at ha-Moshavim], Devar ha-Po'elet). The bibliography thus includes aspects of the subject that are rarely cited. This is indeed a major bibliography on Middle Eastern Jews, because others cover a shorter period and include Jews of other regions.

Several important bibliographies on the Jews of North Africa, some including also the Middle East, were compiled by Robert Attal, the librarian at the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, a research center that specializes in Sephardim and the Jews under Islam. The Institute's library has a very large collection of manuscripts, books, and periodicals on the subject.

Attai, Robert. Yahadut Tsefon Afrikah: Bibliyogralyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon BenTsevi,1973.12, 248, xxxiv p.

Attal, Robert; Tobi, Joseph. "Yehude ha-Mizrah u-Tsefon-Afrikah: Bibliyografyah Mu'eret, 734-736 (1974-1976)."
Sefunot 16 (1980): 401-495. Also published separately by Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1980.

Attal, Robert. Yehude ha-Mizra h u-TsefonAfrikah: Bibllyografyah Muteret, 737-739 (1977-1979): 'Im Hashlamot,
734- 736 (1974-1976). Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi,1986.161, xxii p.

Attal, Robert. Yahadut Tsefon Afrikah: Bibliyogratyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon BenTsevi,1993. 672, ciii p.

The structure of most of these bibliographies is similar. They are divided into general sources on the region followed by sections on each country; some include regions outside the Middle East and North Africa. Those on the Middle East and North Africa are further subdivided by form and topic (e.g., reference works, literature, halakhah, published primary sources, language, arts, and popular literature). Within each section works are listed alphabetically by author and then by title for anonymous works, starting with works in the Hebrew alphabet and followed by those in the Roman alphabet. The author index is also divided into Hebrew and Roman-character sequences.

The 1973 work, with 5,741 entries, and the 1 993 work, with 1 0,062 entries, are arranged only by region and country, but their indexes help one to locate materials on specific topics. The 1973 work has three types of indexes: named persons, places, and subjects. Each entry number is preceded by a letter indicating to which regional section it belongs (e.g., L= Libya,
M = Morocco).

The 1993 work has separate author and subject indexes in Hebrew and Roman scripts, i.e., a total of four alphabetic sequences. The subject indexes feature at the bottom of each page the range of entry numbers for each country in order to facilitate the location of materials relevant to a specific country. These arrangements are somewhat cumbersome, forcing one to go back and forth between the index and the bibliography; one might instead scan certain parts from beginning to end. The 1980 work does not have a subject index. The topical subdivision for each section facilitates location of specific topics within geographical boundaries, but it makes the work look quite split- up. Despite some flaws, these bibliographies include a wealth of material and are indispensable for research on Judaism and Jews in the Middle East and North Africa.
A more selective bibliography is:

Deshen, Shlomo A. Yehudim ba-Mizrah.. Bibliyografyah Sotsyologit Nivheret. TelAviv: Universitat Tel-Aviv, 1978. 43 p.

An intensely studied field is that of Yemenite Jewry, on which there are several bibliographies. The most useful ones began publication approximately at the same time: Tobi (1975) and Ratzaby (1976- )

Tobi, Joseph. Yahadut Teman. Yerushalayim: Merkaz Zalman Shazar, 1975.130 p.

This was the first major bibliography on the Jews of Yemen published after those of Avraham Nadaf in 1928 and Erich Brauer in the 1 930s. It includes about 825 entries; there is no sequential numbering: this estimate is mentioned in the introduction_out of some 2500 entries which the compiler had in his private list. It records the major publications on Yemenite Jewry, mainly monographs and articles in scholarly journals. Excluded, with few exceptions, are articles published in more remote journals, works in languages that are less known in Israel, antiquated publications, and entries from daily or weekly periodicals.

The work has four parts: general material (bibliographies, catalogs, historical chronicles, and general books and articles); the Jews in Yemen (history, the Messianic movement, Jewish communities, Jewish society, and relations with the Land of Israel); the Jews of Yemen in the Land of Israel; and spiritual and cultural activity (including rabbinic literature, sciences, Cabala, poetry, language, and folklore). An author index (Hebrew and English) is included. The classification can be quite helpful, but the lack of a subject index makes the location of particular topics difficult.

Ratzaby, Yehuda. Heker Yahadut Teman: Bibliyografyah. Yerushalayim: Hotsa'at Bet ha-Sefarim ha-Le'umi
veha-Universita'i, 736 - [1976 - ].

A major advantage of this bibliography is that it was updated in 1981 and 1989; it thus covers the years 1935-1987 in 2,527 entries numbered sequentially. Even the first part is larger (1,155 entries) than Tobi's work, which was published slightly earlier.

Ratzaby included general publications on Yemen and Jews in the Islamic world that deal explicitly with Yemeni Jews, as well as publications of manuscripts, Biblical and rabbinic literature, Jews in the northern Arabian peninsula, memorial books, and publications of Yemenite Jews. Excluded are general news from periodicals, entries from encyclopedias, theses or photocopied works that are generally unavailable to the public at large, new editions, and book reviews. The work lists bibliographies, periodicals of and about Yemeni Jews, general works, Bible, rabbinic literature, Cabala and philosophy, liturgy, poetry, literature, folklore (including women's poetry), language, history, communities, Messianic movements, learning, books, synagogues, feasts, customs, contacts with the surrounding and other Jewish communities, Aliyah, Yemeni Jews in Israel, biographies and memorial books, and medicine.

Most of the entries are in Hebrew, with the rest primarily in English. Some entries include a short annotation, usually to clarify the main subjects of the item when this is not evident from the title, or to indicate citation in more general works. A unique phenomenon regarding research on Yemeni Jews is the large number of medical publications (relatively more in English than in the sections dealing with culture and social sciences). Each volume includes indexes of authors and book titles in Hebrew and English. The absence of a subject index makes finding specific topics difficult.

A bibliography on the Jews of Greece is another product of Attal:

Attal, Robert. Yahadut Yav?n: mi-Gerush Sefarad ve-'ad Yamenu: Bibliyografyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1984. 215, xxiv p.

The bibliography has 2,297 entries and is primarily an alphabetic list (by author and then by anonymous titles), first in Hebrew and then in Roman-script languages. It includes an appendix of references to Greek communities in the periodicals El Tiempo and La Epocca. The indexes are for subjects, titles of books and periodicals, places, and persons (by alphabet).
A bibliography on Italian Jewry is:

Luzzato, Aldo; Moldavi, Moshe, a cure de Daniele Carpi. Bibliotheca Italo-ebraica: Bibliografia per la storia degli Ebrei in Italia, 1964-1973. Roma: Carucci, c1981. 251 p.

Luzzato, Aldo. Biblioteca Italo-ebraica: Bibliografia per la storia degli Ebrei in Italia, 1974-1985. Milano: Franco Angel), c 1989. 258 p.

These bibliographies contain 2,528 and 2,396 entries respectively, covering publications in Italian, Hebrew, and other languages. Many of the authors of these works are of Sephardi origin. Entries are arranged alphabetically by author or anonymous title. There are indexes of places, persons, and subjects.

III. Catalogs of Special Collections

The location of texts in Ladino and JudeoArabic was greatly facilitated by the publication of catalogs of imprints in these languages held in certain libraries. Many of these catalogs are cited in the above-mentioned bibliographies. The following serves as examples.

Yaari, Abraham. Reshimat Sifre Ladino ha-Nimtsa'im be-Vet ha-Sefarim ha-Le'umi veha-Universita'i bi-Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim: ha-Universitah ha-'Ivrit, 1934. (Special supplement to Kiryat Sefer, vol.10).125 p.

The list includes 859 entries, mainly in Hebrew script. It is divided by subject (e.g., Bible, prayers, Jewish law, history, literature, periodicals, politics) and includes indexes of authors, titles, and places of publication.

Rodrigue, Aron. Guide to Ladino Materials in the Harvard College Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Library, 1992. xii,184, 60, 73 p.

All the entries are in Roman script: most are in Ladino, but there are also titles in other languages, e.g., English and Hebrew. In the Romanized data diacritics are included, but alef and 'ayin are not distinguished. The largest part of the catalog by far is the first, in which the entries are arranged by author/title. The second part has them arranged by subject, and the third by imprint. Thus, many entries are cited two or three times. In addition to bibliographic data, the entries include the local call number as well as reproduction data (i.e., availability of microforms). The inclusion of full information in the subject and imprint indexes is quite helpful, but it has almost doubled the size of the publication. This work is basically a reproduction of the same bibliographic records in three sequences: main entry, subject, and imprint.

Besso, Henry V. Ladino Books in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography. Washington: Library of Congress, 1963 [i.e.1964]. vii, 44 p.

This bibliography includes 289 entries, with authors and anonymous titles in one alphabet. Most entries contain information taken only from the title page, but in a few cases Besso added notes regarding the subject of the work. This was apparently the first Ladino bibliography to be published in Roman characters. A discussion of Ladino and the problems of its transliteration is provided (p. 41-44). The work includes Romanization tables for Ladino and Hebrew, based on Spanish orthography (e.g., "j" is used for het and khaf). The book includes a list of works cited and an index of places of publication_but no subject index. Thus, in order to find works on specific subjects one has to scan the entire bibliography.

Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic

Manuscripts of Maghrebi Jews are listed by Joseph Avivi in:

Avivi, Joseph. Kilve ha-Yad shel Yehude ha-Magreb bi-Mekhon Ben-Tsevi. Yerushalayim: ha-Makhon,1993

The first volume (the only one that has appeared to date) holds 335 entries dealing with rabbinic literature. The manuscripts are cited by country: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The catalog also includes a bibliography and nine indexes: authors, titles, copyists, commentators, owners, persons mentioned, titles mentioned, dates [the oldest manuscript is from 1293], and places. The entries include bibliographic description as well as details on the author and the work, with references. Some facsimiles are included. There is no index by genre (e.g., response, sermons, piyutim.)

Aranov, Saul I. A Descripbve Catalogue of the Bension Collection of Sephardic Manuscripts and Texts. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press,1979. xv,213 p.

The Bension collection at the University of Alberta houses North African manuscripts, mainly from Morocco. The 322 manuscripts include legal documents, medical receipts, riddles, religious writings, and letters. Details on their contents are provided, as are some photographs, but no physical description.

A large collection of Judeo-Arabic manuscripts housed in St. Petersburg is listed in:

Yinon, Y. Y. Reshimat Kitve-Yad be-'ArvitYehudit be-Leningrad: Reshimah Ara'it shel Kitve-Yad be-'Arvit-Yehudit
be-Osfe Firkovits'. Yerushalayim: MeRhon BenTsevi,1991.152, xvi p.

Judeo-Arabic manuscripts (7,340) constitute the bulk of the second Firkovic collection and stem mostly from the Cairo genizah. The first collection contains Hebrew (rabbinic and Karaite) manuscripts as well as some in Judeo- Arabic (cited in Appendix 2 [pp.135-139]).
Other catalogs include:

Makhon le-tatslume kitve-ha-yad ha-'lvriyim (Jerusalem). Reshimat tats/time kitve-ha-yad ha-'lvriyim ba-makhon. Yerushalayim: Bet ha-sefarim ha-le'umi yeha-universita'i, 1957-1968. 3 vols.

The second volume of this catalog of microfilmed Hebrew manuscripts covers the libraries of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland and was edited by Nehemya Allony and E. Kupfer.

Bet ha-sefarim ha-le'umi veha-universita'i bi-Yerushalayim. Katalog shel Osef Z'ak Motsen. Yerushalayim: Bet ha- sefarim, 1990.16, 407, xxix p.

Yemeni writings, mainly manuscripts, but also some printed works are cataloged in:

Nahum, Yehudah Leyi. Tsohar la-Hasifat Ginze Teman. Tel-Aviv: Afikim, 1986. 22, 386 p.

Included are 489 manuscripts and books from Nahum's private library. Most of them are in Hebrew and include works on the Bible, halakhah, liturgy, poetry, language, philosophy, Cabala, science, chronicles, and letters. There are indexes of persons, titles, and places. The entries include bibliographic description, date, and details on the contents.

Another important collection of Yemeni manuscripts is documented in:

Golb, Norman. Spertus College of Judaica Yemenite Manuscripts: An Illustrated Catalogue. Chicago: Spertus College of Judaica, 1972. xv,116 p.

The catalog describes the Maurice Spertus collection, which was contributed to the college in 1967. It includes descriptions of the manuscripts and photographs. It has indexes of books, tracts, and documents; authors; scribes; names of places; and names of persons. A"concordance" of dated texts and documents is arranged chronologically by common era year and indicates the number(s) of the document(s) written in each year.

Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Library. A Reel Guide to the Benaim Collection of Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic Manuscripts: Reels 1-12 from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. [Ann Arbor, Ml]: University Microfilms, [1978?].

Benayahu, Meir. Sefarim she-nithabru beVavel u-sefarim she-neitek,u bah. Yerushalayim: Yad ha-Rav Nisim: Merkaz Moreshet Yahadut Bavel, 1993. 248 p.

IV. Subject Catalogs

Among the specialized catalogs, the following are worthy of mention:

Attal, Robert. ha-'ltonut ha-Yehudit bhTsefon Afrihah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon BenTsevi,1980. 67 p.

Lists 145 periodicals alphabetically by country, providing details on collation and holdings in Jerusalem (including data on microforms).

Gaon, Moshe David, 'arakh ve-hithn Mosheh Katan. ha-'ltonut be-Lading: Bibllyogratyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben- Tsevi, 1965. 305 p.

Entries are arranged in Hebrew alphabetical order and include title and subtitle. For periodicals in Roman script, the title in Hebrew transliteration is given in brackets, followed by the title in Roman script. Also included are place of publication and name of the publisher (person or institution); date of the first issue; size; type of characters (Rash), square, or Roman); Hebrew translation of the title and subtitle; frequency; editors; number and date of the oldest issue seen by the editor, holdings (at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem, the Ben-Zvi Institute, and the private collections of Yitshak De Buton and Binyamin Arditi); and some notes. There are indexes of: dates, places, and people (editors, publishers, printers)_in Hebrew script; and of periodicals, places, and people mentioned in the text in Roman script. Most of the periodicals listed are from Saloniki, Istanbul, Sophia, Izmir, Vienna, and Jerusalem.

Marriage contracts

Attal, Robert. Ketubot mi-Tsefon-Afrikah biYerushalayim. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1984. 41, 30, vii p.

This work lists marriage contracts held in the Ben-Zvi Institute (113), the Jewish National and University Library (141), and the Israel Museum (54). All are subarranged by country: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria Morocco, and Gibraltar (the Museum does not have ketubot from Libya). The list from the Ben-Zvi Institute appears in both Hebrew and French. Some facsimiles are included as well as an index of names of the couples and witnesses.

Agustin Ladron de Guevara, Jose Maria de; Salvador Barahona, Maria Luisa. Ensayo de un catalogo bio-bibliografico de escritores judeo-espanoles-portugueses del siglo X al X/X. Madrid: Ediciones Jose Porrua Turanzas, 1983. 2 vols.

This bibliography lists 2,543 works alphabetically by author, and has an author index divided by century and profession (e.g., cabalist, astronomer, philosopher). It includes a list of publishers/printers (without reference numbers); an index of MSS and places of publication (with reference numbers). Some entries have a short annotation with holdings information or bibliographic data.

Bezalel, Itzhak. Kitve Sotrim Yehudim Sefaradiyim u-Mizrahiyim bi-Leshonot Yehudiyot v,e-Zarot. Tel-Aviv: Universitat Tel-Aviv,1982

The first volume contains a bibliographic survey of fiction in the 20th century. Following an introduction on the subject, the survey includes sections for the following languages (based on their order in the Hebrew alphabet): Italian, English, Bulgarian, Georgian, Macedonian, Judeo-Span

ish, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, French, and Russian (as used mainly by Georgian Jews). The work cites mainly monographs, and only a few citations from periodical literature. Authors are arranged by alphabetical order of their Hebrew names. Each author has a short biographical note, followed by works arranged chronologically. Titles of books are provided also in Hebrew translation. There is information on the topic or form (novel, poetry, etc.) of some of the books. There is no index, and names of authors whose works span several pages are not repeated at the head of succeeding pages.

Dugas, Guy. Bibliographic critique de litterature judeo-maghrebine d'expression fran,caise, 1896-1990. Paris: Universite Paris-Nord, c1992. 95 p.

This work is similar in purpose to the former bibliography, but has a much more limited scope. The first section is arranged alphabetically by authors' names, followed by their works ordered by date of publication. Each author's country of origin is indicated. The second section is arranged chronologically; the earliest work is from 1880. This is followed by bibliographies on North African Jews; on Jewish literature in general; on Jewish Maghrebi literature; and works on the authors. An appendix lists articles in periodicals; the entries are arranged alphabetically by author.


Seroussi, Edwin. "Sephardic Music: A Bibliographical Guide with a Checklist of Notated Sources." Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, 15/2 (1993): 56-61. (Not seen by the compiler).

V. Electronic Databases

Sefarad is an electronic monthly newsletter edited by Yitzchak Kerem; it has appeared regularly since 1991. The newsletter includes a lot of current information on events related to Sephardic studies_from scholarly publications and data on conferences to musical performances and exhibitions. Each issue usually has the following sections: future Sephardic events, Sephardic events of the current month, past events, publications, music, films, calls for papers, announcements, news, and eulogies. The information in the various issues is somewhat repetitive; numerous entries appear more than once (as future, current, and past events). The reader has to scan through a lot of data, some of which are

only tangentially related to Sephardic studies. Readers are asked to send information on their activities or those known to them in their communities or institutions. Sefarad has started to publish book reviews, and intends to publish full papers.

To subscribe, send an e-mail message to: listserv~

Then type in the message area: subscribe sefarad FirstName LastName


The last two decades have witnessed tremendous growth in the scope of Sephardic studies. The horizons have widened far beyond the classical denotation of the field: poetry, philosophy, religious studies, language, and history of the Jews of the Iberian peninsula. In addition to these, there is now a growing focus on social studies of the Sephardic diaspora and the creative work of the Sephardim, and more sources are considered worthy of research. As a result, more regions and communities are included in the field; they are studied individually and comparatively, as part of one heterogenous entity subject to varied influences and conditions. Furthermore, there are simply more scholars in the field than there used to be, and specialized research centers have developed, mainly in Israel, France, and the U.S.

All these developments have led to a vast growth in the number and variety of publications in Sephardic studies. Consequently, specialized reference sources are even more crucial than they were in the past, since it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep abreast of developments in the field. As a result, there is a conspicuous growth in the number of reference works, many of which have been published in Israel and the U.S. by researchers and librarians. Future reference sources should combine the searching, organizing, and indexing abilities of information specialists and reflect the needs and work habits of researchers. Quantity, though important, is not the only criterion: data should be made accessible through accurate citation, proper internal arrangement, and generous, intelligent indexing.


Superscript numbers following bibliographic references refer to Hebrew bibliographic data below.
Judaica I ibrarianship Vol.9 No.1 -2 Spring 19ss-winter 1995149
Agustin Ladron de Guevara, Jose Maria de; Salvador Barahona, Maria Luisa. Ensayo de un catalogo bio-bib/iografico de escntores judeo- esparioles-portugueses del siglo X al X/X Madrid: Ediciones Jose Porrua Turanzas, 1983. 2 vois.

Aranov, Saul I. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Bension Collection of Sephardic Manuscripts and Texts. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1979.

Attal, Robert. ha-'ltonut ha-Yehudit bi-Tsefon Afakah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1980.12

Attal, Robert. Ketubot mi-Tsefon-Afnkah biYerushalayim. Yerushalayim: Mekhon BenTsevi,1984.11

Attal, Robert. Yahadut Tsefon Afrikah: Bibllyografyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1973.8

Attal, Robert. Yahadut Tsefon-Afrikah: Bibllyogratyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1993.9

Attal, Robert. Yahadut Yavan: mi-Gerush Sefarad ve-'ad Yamenu: Bibliyogratyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1984.7

Attal, Robert. Yehude ha-Mizrah u-TsefonAfrikah: Bibliyografyah Muteret, 737-739 (1977-1979): 'Im Hashlamot 734-736 (1974- 1976). Yerushalayim: Mekhon BenTsevi, 1986.1

Attal, Robert; Tobi, Joseph. "Yehude ha-Mizrah u-Tsefon-Afrikah: Bibliyografyah Muieret, 734-736 (1974-1976)" Sefunot, 16 (1980): 401 -495.

Also published separate3y: Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1980.1

Avivi, Joseph. Kitve ha-Yad shel Yehude haMagreb bi-Mekhon Ben-Tsev/ Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1993 1

Benayahu, Meir. Sefarim she-Nithabru be-Vavel u-Sefarim she-Ne'teRu Bah. Yerushalayim: Yad ha-Rav 2Nisim: Merkaz Moreshet Yahadut Bavel, 1993.

Besso, Henry V. Ladino Books in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography. Washington: Library of Congress, 1963 [i.e.,1964].

Bet ha-sefarim ha-le'umi yeha-universitati biYerushalayim. Katalog shel Osef Z'akMotseri. Yerushalayim: Bet ha-sefarim, 1990.18

Bezalel, Itzhak. Kitve Sotrim Yehudim Sefaradlyim u-Mizra,hiyim bi-Leshonot Yehudiyot veZarot Tel-Aviv: UniversitatTel-Aviv, 1982-3

Brauer, Erich. "Yehude Teman: Bibliyografyah", Kiryat Sefer, 10 (1933-34): 119-130, 236-248, 515-524.4
1 50Judaica Librarianship Vol. 9 No. 1 -2 Spring 1995-Winter 1995

Bunis, David. Sephardic Studies: A Research Bibliography New York: Garland Publications, 1981.

Cohen, Hayyim J.; Yehuda, Zvi. Yehude Asyah ve-Afrikah ba-Mizrabha-Tikhon 1860 1971: Bibliyografyah Muieret. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi, 1976.17

Deshen, Shlomo A. Yehudim ba-Mizrah: Bibllyogratyah Sotsyologit Nivheret. Tel-Aviv: UniversitatTel-Aviv, 1978.6

Dugas, Guy. Bibliographic critique de la litterature judeo-maghrebine d'expression fran,caise, 1896-1990. Paris: Universite ParisNord, c1992.

Gaon, Moshe David; 'arakh ve-hitkin Mosheh Kat an. ha- 7tonut be-Lading: Bibllyogratyah. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi,1965.5

Golb, Norman. Spertus College of Judaica Yemenite Manuscripts: An Illustrated Catalogue. Chicago: Spertus College of Judaica, 1972.

Hessel, Carolyn Starman. The Whole Sephardic Catalog: A Guide to Resources and References for Educators and Lay Readers. New York: The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, c1992.

Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Library. A Reel Guide to the Benaim Collection of Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic Manuscripts: Reels 1- 12 from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of Amenca. [Ann Arbor, Ml]: University Microfilms, [1978?].

Luzzato, Aldo; Moldavi, Moshe, a cure de Daniele Carpi. Bibliotheca Italo-ebraica: Bibliografia per la stone degli Ebrei in Italia, 1964-1973. Roma: Carucci, c1981.

Luzzato, Aldo. Biblioteca Italo-ebraica: Bibliografia per la storia degli Ebrei in Italia, 1974-1985. Milano: Franco Angel), c1989.

Makhon le-tatslume kitve-ha-yad ha-'lvriyim (Jerusalem). Reshimat Tatslume Kitve-ha-Yad ha-'lvriyim ba-Makhon. Yerushalayim: Bet hasefarim ha-le'umi yeha-universita'i, 19571968. 3 vols.19

Nadaf, Avraham. Hoveret Seride Teman. Yerushalayim, 1928 20

Nah, um, Yehudah Leyi. Tsohar la-Hasifat Ginze Teman. Tel-Aviv: Afi k m, 1986.21

Ratzaby, Yehuda. ,He,ker Yahadut Teman: Bibllyografyah. Yerushalayim: Hotsa'at Bet hasefarim ha-le'umi yeha-universita'i, 736[1976 _22

Rodrigue, Aron. Guide to Ladino Materials in the Harvard College Library Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Library,1992.
Sefarad(electronic newsletter),1991

Seroussi, Edwin. "Sephardic Music: A Bibliographical Guide with a Checklist of Notated Sources." Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, 15/2 (1993): 56-61.

Singerman, Robert. The Jews in Spain and Portugal: A Bibliography. New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1975.

Singerman, Robert. Spanish and Portuguese Jewry: A Classified Bibliography Westport, CT Greenwood Press, c1993.

Studemund, Michael. Bibliographic zum Judenspanischen. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag, c1975.

Tobi, Joseph. Yahadut Teman. Yerushalayim: Merkaz Zalman Shazar,1975.14

Vekene, Emile van den Bibliographic der Inquisition: ein Versuch. Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1963.

Vekene, Emile van den Bibliotheca bibliographica historiae sanctee inquisitionis. Vaduz: Topos Verlag, 1982-83.

Wexler, Paul. Judeo-Romance Linguistics: A Bibliography New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1989.

Yaari, Abraham. Reshimat Sifre Ladino ha-Nimtsa'im be-Vet ha-Sefarim ha-Le'umi veha-universitati bi-Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim: ha- Universitah ha-'lvrit, 1934. (S6necial supplement of KiryatSefer, vol.10).1

Yinon, Y. Y. Reshimat Kitve-Yad be- 'Arvit-Yehudit be-Leningrad Reshimah Ara'it shel KitveYad be- 'Arvit-Yehudit be-Osfe Firkovits'. Yerushalayim: Mekhon Ben-Tsevi,1991.15

~Revised version of a paper delivered at a session entitled "Panel on Bibliographic Resources," held at the 29th Annual Convention of the Association of Jewish Libranes, Atlanta, GA, June 20, 1994.

Published in Judaica Librarianship 9 (Spring 1994/Winter 1995): 144-150, 160