Baltimore Hebrew Institute Special Collections

The BHI collection is a rich resource for information about Jewish history, culture, and tradition. Its contents reflect the applied knowledge of Judaism within the context of world civilization, and its scope spans the entire breadth of world history. The collection includes rare books, artifacts, WWII-era Jewish Cultural Reconstruction books, Holocaust survivor testimonies and Yizkor (memorial) books from across Europe, as well as Baltimore Hebrew University records.

Search within BHI Special Collections

Who we are

The Baltimore Hebrew Institute Library Collection is the entire library of the Baltimore Hebrew University. The larger collection is made up of smaller collections from a wide range of disciplines that are unusual and often have special storage and handling requirements. Among the materials in the collections are books, periodicals, artifacts, and sculptures, which date from the 15th – 20th centuries. These collections are housed in the Special Collections and University Archives Department on Cook Library’s 5th floor. 

How we got to Towson University

The distance between Park Heights and Towson, MD is only 8 miles, but it took close to 90 years for the BHU library to traverse that space. When TU incorporated the BHU into its academic programming in the summer of 2009, it also merged the libraries of the two universities into one. The newly formed Baltimore Hebrew Institute Library Collection is now housed within Towson University’s Cook Library.  The main collection is shelved on the 2nd floor, and the special collections, including rare books, are located on the 5th floor in the Special Collections and University Archives Department.

What we offer

The BHI Special Collections consist of:

How we can help

Have a group that’s interested in Jewish Studies collections? Let us know and we can arrange for a group visit!

Curious about Jewish printing in the 17th century?  We can show you some examples!

Interested in Holocaust-era books confiscated by the Nazis?  Ask about our White Gloves Sessions that allow you to handle those books!

Want to view a Holocaust Survivor Testimony?  Towson University is an access site for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. You can request access to testimonials through the Yale website and arrange to view them in the Towson University Special Collections reading room.