Rae & Joseph Gann Library
The Rae and Joseph Gann Library of Hebrew College actively supports and advances the academic mission of Hebrew College by providing for the informational and research needs of faculty and students. The library encourages faculty and students to pursue their study, instruction, and research through all means available and from any repository of information required for the support of institutional offerings.
Currently the library is only open to Hebrew College faculty, students, staff, and alumnae, as well as students and faculty at member schools in the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTI).
Students, faculty, and staff have borrowing privileges at the libraries of the Boston Theological Institute (which includes Boston College, Harvard Divinity School and Boston University School) of Theology). Check the individual library websites for their current access policies.
Please note that the library is not accepting book donations currently.
To Search for Articles by Subject
Search first by subject in an online index to periodical literature such as the databases RAMBI —The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies; the Index to Jewish Periodicals; ERIC , or the Database. The library does not subscribe to all of the journals indexed in these databases. You may use the following databases for simultaneous searches in hundreds of journals.
How to Find out If the Library Subscribes to a Particular Journal
The Library provides access to thousands of journals electronically. Search for a journal title in Ebsco’s Publication Finder or search the full text of journals and e-books in the EbscoHost database portal. Search for a journal title in Ebsco’s Publication Finder to learn whether the College has electronic or hard copy access to a journal, and where to find the article in full text, if available. Many titles will link directly to the journal’s home page, where you can then search by title, author, subject, or issue to find full-text articles. Please note that not all issues of a journal may be online, and some may not be in full text. If the article you want is not available, please request it through loan. Full text access to online journal articles and Ebsco e-books is available through the EbscoHost database portal.
Library Hours This Month
Library Holiday Schedule
Become a Member
Find out how to get a library card and privileges for the Gann Library.
For a contribution with an immediate benefit, become a library member. A low annual membership fee entitles you to Gann Library borrowing privileges, interlibrary loan of Judaica materials and free admission to library programming.
Annual membership contributions are as follows (subject to change):
- Individuals: $36
- Families: $50 (includes up to two adults and all minor children living at home)
- Senior citizens and full-time students in institutions of higher education: $20
- Institutional/organizational membership available. Call 617-559-8750 for details.
Membership to the Gann Library does not entitle access to all of the library’s licensed online resources.
We can get the help you need to find your needed resource.
The Hebrew College Library online public catalog system is OPALS from MediaFlex. Eighty percent of the holdings of The Rae and Joseph Gann Library are now in our online library catalog. Older materials are still listed in a card catalog. From the online catalog you can place holds on circulating material, access course reserves, and obtain full-text electronic books and journals.
How to Use the Online Catalog
Enter a search term in the “Keyword” search box on the top line of catalog. The drop down search box with the word “Title” can be pulled down to allow for additional search options including author and subject. Click the word “Advanced” on that line for more search options. For additional information about using OPALS, click the orange question mark icon on the search line.
Register for a Library Account
Register by clicking the registration button on the top right of the catalog. You will be asked for your Hebrew College ID number the first time you register.
Login by clicking on the login button on the top right of the catalog. This will allow you to check on the items you have out. This system will not allow you to renew online. Contact the library to renew. Please note: OPALS currently does not send out courtesy notices ahead of the due date of library materials.
The Library offers thousands of full-text electronic books accessible through the online catalog or directly at ebrary and ACLS History Ebook Project.
Older books are still listed in a card catalog. The English card catalog is located near the public computers on the main level. The Hebrew card catalogs are in the back of the library on the main level near the children’s books. They index material acquired prior to 1999 classified in the Freidus system. The card catalogs may be searched by author or editor’s last name, by title, or by subject. Books with Freidus call numbers are shelved on the upper level of the library. If you have not found what you need in the online catalog, it may be listed in the card catalog, which can be searched in the library or by submitting a Card Catalog Search Request Form.
Note: Currently not all of the e-book titles are listed in the online catalog. We hope to have them entered in the near future.
The Library provides hundreds of Hebrew and English journals in print, and thousands of journals electronically. To find out if Hebrew College subscribes to a particular journal in print or online, check the Serials Solutions Journal/Database Portal.
Available to supplement Library resources by providing material from outside of Hebrew College for patrons’ research needs. It includes the lending of books as well as the electronic delivery of journal articles via email. Items requested could take up to three weeks to arrive. Hebrew College interlibrary loan is limited to Judaica material or research required for Hebrew College classes or faculty.
Hebrew College faculty and students may borrow material directly from Northeastern University or Boston Theological Institute Libraries.
Your support enables us to continue to enrich the services we offer the community, on campus and beyond. You may help us in several ways.
The easiest ways to contribute to the Rae and Joseph Gann Library are online or by writing a check. Checks should be made payable to Hebrew College (in the memo area, please write in “Hebrew College Library”), and mailed to:
Office of Institutional Advancement
160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459
If you wish, you may specify that your donation benefit a Gann Library endowment fund to enhance library collections, services and facilities. Among our current goals are the enrichment of our collections in Jewish education, rabbinics, children’s literature and the expansion of our online resources.
If you have any question about our endowments, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement (617-559-8690).
Book(s) in Honor/Memory of
Would you like to honor or memorialize a loved one in a lasting way? Then consider giving a gift of $50 or more to be used to purchase books needed in the library. These books will have a bookplate with your honoree’s name, as well as your own. This is a wonderful way to honor someone dear to you and to show that you value books and reading. Download the In Honor/Memory gift form (pdf).
The library is not currently accepting donations of books.
Our Move to a New Shared Campus
The library is preparing for the move to Hebrew College’s new shared campus (new library rendering above) in December 2022. The space for the library in the new building will be reduced. We will have room for 10,000 print volumes, in addition to the volumes in the Beit Midrash. We are in the process of selecting the books we will be keeping and have begun to reduce the print holdings of the library.
This past summer, in July 2021, we moved most of the library collections that were on the top floor of the library into storage at the old Andover Newton Theological School library. That includes our collections of Hebrew literature and Hebrew literary criticism; Hebrew language and literature; American Jewish literature; art books; cookbooks; Juvenile and Young Adult literature. The books are accessible on request but be prepared for a delay of a day or two to retrieve books from the ANTS library storage.
At part of the move, we sent most of our print journal volumes to a paper recycling company. Many of our periodicals are available as e-journals. If you are looking for journal articles that are not available online, email the library with a full citation to request the article through interlibrary loan.
As we proceed this next year to select books we are keeping or deaccessioning the records in the library catalog might not reflect the correct status of a book.