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The Library of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano “Marshall T.
Meyer”, in Buenos Aires, Argentina., in the opinion of a world-known
Any person interested in researching any subject related to Jewish history, culture, philosophy or current affairs, either in Israel or in the diaspora, would have much of a tough task looking for information if it weren’t for the Library of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary.
Although Buenos Aires belongs to the 10 diaspora cities with the highest Jewish population, there is no cultural creativity or intellectual production on Jewish items.
Within this context it is very easy to deduct that the very few Jewish libraries in Buenos Aires are unable to satisfy the elemental requirements of any serious researcher.
In the light of this, we cannot but admire the work done by the Library of the SEMINARIO RABINICO Latinoamericano. Obviously the highest percentage of books deal with Biblical, Halachical and Talmudic Studies. Nevertheless it is also possible to get bibliographical material related to Jewish history and philosophy, as well as with the evolution and development of the Jewish Communities in Latin America.
Another feature that distinguishes this Library is that this is the only place in Buenos Aires where it is possible to have access to the most important journals devoted to Jewish Studies from Israel, USA, Great Britain or any other countries. It is also the only Jewish Library that has a catalog for articles in serials and collections which provides an analysis of their contents, with entries arranged in alphabetical order by author and subject headings. This is of the greatest help for any researcher.
A special mention deserves the fact that the Library works with almost no budget. But in spite of this, the library’s staff constantly manages to be updated and to obtain the new books that are being published.
Everyone who knows the world of the Jewish Libraries in the city will agree with me that the Library of The Rabbinical Seminary is like an oasis in the cultural desert that characterizes the cultural life of the Jewish community nowadays.
However there is still a lot to be done in order to reach the high standards of other countries. The basis is already there. Maybe something could be arranged in order to share or provide a program that would allow the library to be computerized and at the same time the possibility to have an online catalog like other libraries in the world. This would also help to establish an inter librarian loan which is almost unknown in our country.
As a researcher and patron of the Library I think it is important to highlight the inviting atmosphere of the reading room, thanks to the spirit of cooperation and friendliness rendered by the limited but most efficient staff of the library.
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