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Digital Collections

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of material does the Library hold?
The Yad Vashem Library seeks to acquire all published material about the Holocaust and related subjects from every discipline and in every language. Currently the Library holds over 125,000 titles in 54 languages. In addition to printed matter, the Library also contains a limited number of audio cds, cassettes and records, and multimedia cds. Original, documentation, film footage and filmed survivor testimonies are kept in the Yad Vashem Archives, and produced films are collected by the Visual Center.

Special Library collections include Yizkor (Memorial) Books; Nazi publications; journals and newspapers from the Holocaust era; and postwar journals and newspapers that touch on the history of the Holocaust.

In addition to material on the Holocaust, there is much material in the collection about: Jewish communities on the eve of the Holocaust and in its wake; published memoirs of survivors, issues regarding Jewish identity after the Holocaust; antisemitism, racism and xenophobia; genocide; the background and essence of Nazi ideology; the history of the Third Reich; the history of World War II; the geography of Europe in the twentieth century; and how different people and groups have dealt with the Holocaust since 1945. The Library includes fictional works inspired by the Holocaust.


Does the Library have every work ever published about the Holocaust?
The Yad Vashem Library tries to collect every work ever published about the Holocaust, but of course it is impossible to know about or obtain every single publication. If you discover a publication that is not in our collection and that you believe should be, please send us its bibliographic details and we will do our best to acquire it.


Who may use the Library?
Anyone may use the Yad Vashem Library on the Yad Vashem premises in Jerusalem.


Who can borrow books from the Library?
Any permanent resident or citizen of the State of Israel over the age of 18 can borrow books from the Library. A modest yearly fee is charged for borrowing privileges. Three items can be borrowed for up to one month. Researchers from recognized institutions can arrange special borrowing privileges.


Can all items be borrowed from the Library?
The vast majority of the Library collection is available for borrowing, but some items can only be used in the Reading Room. Books published before 1950 can only be borrowed with the express consent of the head of the Library's Information and Reference team. Periodicals cannot be borrowed. There are some items in the catalogue that are too fragile for use.


When is the Library open?
The Library-Archives Reading Room is open to the public from 8:30 until 17:00 Sundays through Thursdays. Material must be ordered for use before 15:00


What can I find in the Library's Beit Volhyn branch?
The Library branch in Beit Volhyn focuses on serving pupils, students and educators, and contains primarily material in Hebrew. The Library in Beit Volhyn can be contacted at 03-5718197 ext. 7


How do I obtain what I need from the Library collection?
The Yad Vashem Library has closed stacks, which means the public cannot browse the collection, other than the few thousand items in the Reading Room. Material may be located by searching the catalogue. An order for the desired items must then be placed at the circulation desk in the Reading Room. The ordered items are then sent up from the stacks to the Reading Room. Generally the process takes about 15 minutes to half an hour after the order has been placed.


How do I renew a borrowed item, and what happens if I return it late or lose it?
In most cases, items may be renewed for an additional month in person at the circulation desk, by calling the Reading Room (02-6443745) during Library hours, or sending an email to library@yadvashem.org.il. In the near future online renewals will also become available. The Library reserves the right to refuse renewal of a given item. Items that are returned late or are lost are subject to fines. In extreme cases the borrowing privileges of a patron may be revoked.


Can I put in a request from my home Library for an inter-Library loan?
The Yad Vashem Library does not accept requests for inter-Library loans.


How can I obtain photocopies or scans from an item in the Library?
If you know precisely what you want, please send an email to ref@yadvashem.org.il with your request. If we are able to photocopy or scan the item we will do so for a fee. If you are in the Reading Room, you can ask about photocopying or scanning at the circulation desk. There is a photocopier available for limited photocopying by Library patrons.


I couldn't find a particular item in the catalogue, so what do I do?
First try searching with broader terms and conditions, or wild cards (see Help Screens). If you still are unable to locate the desired item please Contact Us.


I am a researcher and I would like to discuss my project with a librarian, what should I do?
Please contact us and we will arrange a meeting or an online discussion.


I am a researcher planning a visit to Jerusalem and I know what material I want to see, but my time at Yad Vashem is limited. What should I do?
Please contact us, preferably including a wish list of items you want to see and the dates you plan to be at Yad Vashem.


I am a researcher but cannot visit Jerusalem at this time. How can you help me?
Regarding Library materials, we have a limited ability within copyright law and conventions of fair use to duplicate materials for researchers outside of Yad Vashem. When it is permitted, we will do so for a fee that covers our costs. We also do our best to answer limited, specific questions. For more information please Contact Us.


I am a student writing a paper on the Holocaust? How can you help me?
After you have compiled a bibliography we suggest you visit our Reading Room, a Holocaust research center, or University library near you.


My child has to write a paper on the Holocaust. Can you please send me materials?
The first place to look for basic information is on our website in the section: The Shoah Resource Center. For pupils writing in Israel, the Pedagogic Center at Yad Vashem is often the best place to begin. Also our branch in Beit Volhyn may be a good place to start (see FAQ #7) if you live nearby.

You may also Contact Us with a specific question or request if our online resources have not provided you with what you need. Owing to copyright laws we cannot send material freely to people outside of Yad Vashem. However, we hold some material for which Yad Vashem owns the copyright, and depending on what you need, we may be able to provide you with material for a fee that covers our costs.

Please note that it takes a minimum of several days to process such requests, so plan accordingly.


How can I use the Yad Vashem Library catalogue to compile a bibliography on a given research topic?
You may search the catalogue by our subject headings, or define your own subject using Boolean searching. You can then choose appropriate items from the results your search generates and mark the results that interest you with a check mark.


Are any Yad Vashem publications available online?
The entire series of Yad Vashem Studies and the published presentations from Yad Vashem's many international, scholarly conferences are available online at www.lekket.com


I would like to donate material to the Library, what should I do?
If you would like to send us a new publication, please feel free to do so. If you want to send us other material, please send us an email or fax with a list of items you would like to donate. Please include the author's name, title and year of publication of each item. Since we have limited storage space we cannot accept every item offered, especially if we already hold one or more copies. The Library collects, books and scholarly articles, but we do not collect newspaper clippings. Please do not send us material, other than new publications, without contacting us first.


I, or a family member, have written a memoir about the Holocaust. How do I donate the item to the Library?
You may post the item directly to the Library or make contact with the Library offices first to arrange a meeting to present us with it. If the item is in Hebrew, please send us two copies if possible (one for the Library in Jerusalem and one for Beit Volhyn). Contact Us


How do I contact the Library?
Email: library@yadvashem.org.il
Queries about Library, Archive or Hall of Names materials, or specific historical information: ref@yadvashem.org.il
Phones: Reading Room, 972-2-6443712; extending borrowed items, 972-2-6443745; donations, 972-2-6443530
Fax: 972-2-6443663
Mailing Address: Yad Vashem Library, PO Box 3477, Jerusalem 91034, Israel

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