Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

The Library of the Israeli Historian Jacob Toury (1915-2004)

Jacob Toury (right) with his son Gideon Toury

In the early summer of 2005, the Dubnow Institute was given a special donation: the private and research library of Prof. Jacob Toury, the Israeli historian who passed away in 2004. This library is the largest and most valuable single donation of books to the Dubnow Institute ever made. The collection was given to the Institute by Prof. Gideon Toury, Tel Aviv University, the son of Jacob Toury. The library is of great scientific value and intellectual importance, since its holdings document the broad spectrum of research interests and reading material of one of the most eminent social historians in the field of Jewish history.


The Toury Library contains 1,023 works in German, English and Hebrew, including several works comprising a number of volumes and a number of encyclopedias and dictionaries. About two-thirds of the Toury Library consists of books on the history of the Jews, while about a third deals with general history, principally European history in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In keeping with Jacob Toury’s interests in research, emphasis is on the history of the Jews in Germany from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Many books deal with the legal emancipation of the Jews, and with social, political, economic and cultural developments in the life of the Jews in Germany in the nineteenth century.  Books on the history of Zionism and Jewish diplomacy also have a prominent place in the Toury collection. A further focus is on the history of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews and the Shoah.