Exhibitions Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica

German/Jew sculpture by Karen Baldner, 2003.The George A. Smathers Libraries celebrate forty years of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida (UF) by showcasing forty of its special items. Dedicated to all of the Judaica Library’s great friends, and in particular their major benefactors, the late Samuel and Jack Price, the new exhibition features rare and unique items from the 15th – 20th centuries. Items vary in format, and represent the Library’s diverse holdings that capture moments of Jewish history in various unexpected ways. Printed books, unique scrolls, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, and works of art are all included.

The forty objects in the exhibition are just a sample of the many riches within. They are divided into five distinct sub-categories; Rarities, One of a Kind, Special and Unusual Collections, Journeys through Time and Space, and Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Items in the Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean grouping have been recently acquired through a historic National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge grant or through digital partnership with other institutions and organizations.

The Library was born in the 1970s in tandem with the development of the Center for Jewish Studies at UF. After a major gift from Samuel and Jack Price of Jacksonville, Florida in support of the Library’s management and growth, it was officially named in honor of their parents, Isser and Rae on March 7, 1981. Today, the Price Library of Judaica comprises over 120,000 volumes, including 10,000 rare books and periodicals; 40 archival and manuscript collections; works in 45 languages, representing over 50 countries, and over 19,000 digitized items online.

40 years 40 objects The Price Library of Judaica is curated by Rebecca J. W. Jefferson. The physical exhibit is on view in the Smathers Library Gallery March 8 – July 30, 2021. An online exhibit including all 40 honored items is available at http://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/40objects. All items are from the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

The Smathers Library Gallery is located on the second floor of the Smathers Library on the University of Florida campus. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., unless otherwise specified and with occasional exceptions for maintenance. All exhibitions are open to the public and free of charge.

For more information, contact Lourdes Santamaria-Wheeler, Exhibits Director, at l.s.wheeler@ufl.edu

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