The David Berg Rare Book Room is a new state-of-the-art space presenting exhibitions and collections of rare books, first editions, illuminated manuscripts and letters dating back hundreds of years. It provides for the first time a shared exhibition space for the Center partners’ treasures.
Designed as a contemporary jewel box for the historic materials contained within, the room allows members of the public to engage with material in unprecedented ways. Visitors can virtually turn the pages of digitized volumes using touch technology.
The David Berg Rare Book Room at the Center for Jewish History was made possible by a $2.5 million grant from The David Berg Foundation. David Berg, the youngest son in a struggling immigrant family who came to Ellis Island from Russia in 1904, was a real estate lawyer who established the foundation in 1994 to support Jewish, education and law-related charities. The David Berg Foundation is a supporter of major cultural institutions around the world.
The Center for Jewish History is home to the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The partners’ collections total more than 500,000 volumes and 100 million documents and include thousands of pieces of artwork, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films and photographs. Taken as a whole, the collections span more than 700 years of history and comprise the largest repository of Jewish experience in the world.