Johanna Spector Archives at JTS Receives Grant

January 30, 2013?The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary
(JTS) has received a $175,300 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections
and Archives grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through a
program administered by the Council on Library Resources (CLIR). The
grant will make the archives of Dr. Johanna Spector, a major
repository of rare materials related to the dwindling Jewish
communities of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia available for
research and to the public for the first time. The collection will
now be cataloged for use, and rehoused in order to prevent
deterioration of its materials.

Dr. Spector (1915-2008) was a professor of Ethnomusicology at JTS,
and a world-renowned scholar in that field, author of books and
articles, lecturer, and producer of documentary films. Her
collection includes the cultural treasures of the nearly extinct
Jewish populations of India, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Armenia,
as well as of the Samaritan people, offering a window into the life
of these groups in situ before their dispersal from their native

The Spector Archives offer a fascinating exploration of non-Western
Jewish religious and communal traditions that developed and
persisted over 2,000 years,? said Naomi Steinberger, director of
Library Services at JTS. ?These materials are of immense value for a
wide range of researchers studying ethnography, history,
anthropology, and music. We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation
and CLIR for providing the resources to make this extraordinary
collection available to scholars, students, and the general public.?

Home to more than 400,000 volumes and more than 400 archival
collections, The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary contains
the largest and most extensive collection of Hebraic and Judaic
material in the Western Hemisphere. The Library serves the students
and faculty of JTS, and scholars and researchers around the world.

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges
strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments
in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and
communities of higher learning.