Jacob Toury Estate

In the early summer of 2005, the Dubnow Institute was endowed with the private and professional library of the Israeli historian Jacob Toury, who had passed away in 2004. This estate represents the largest and most valuable donation that the Dubnow Institute has received to date. The donated library encompasses about 1,000 titles in German, English, and Hebrew, including multivolume works and encyclopedias. Around two thirds of the collection consists of books on Jewish history, with the remaining third consisting of works on European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The collection is of great scholarly value and eminent intellectual importance, as it documents the research interests and readings of a significant social historian of German-Jewish history. The focus of the collections is on Jewish history in Germany from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries: Numerous works are dedicated to the legal emancipation of Jews as well as the social, political, economic, and cultural developments that changed their lives in the nineteenth century. Another prominent focus of the collection lies on the history of Zionism and of Jewish diplomacy. A final thematic focus lies on the Nazi persecution of Jews and the Holocaust.

Many of the works, especially those dating from the first third of the twentieth century, are both rare and valuable and their use is therefore extremely restricted. The collection includes such rare and valuable books as »Ma’ase Tuvija«(The Work of Tuvija), a Hebrew scholarly compendium of the early Haskala printed in Jeßnitz in 1721, which was penned by the Jewish doctor Tuvija Hacohen, one of the first Jewish students of the University of Frankfurt (Oder).

The collection was gifted to the DI by Gideon Toury, a professor at Tel Aviv University, and his son Jacob Toury. The exceptional significance of this donation is acknowledged by its special presentation: The collection is displayed in its entirety in the lecture hall of the institute in custom-made bookshelves. The books can be viewed on request in the reading room.