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Edelstein Collection
מתוך הספר 'נסיון של שיטת צבעים', וינה 1772

Edelstein Collection

The Edelstein Collection covers all areas of the history, philosophy and sociology of science. It includes sources as well as secondary literature, periodicals and a reference section. Most books are in English, but there are also works in French, German, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Hebrew. The books in this collection deal with the whole spectrum of thought between the exact and the occult, from magic to quantum mechanics, from chiromancy to cognitive sciences, from astrology to space technology.

This collection includes numerous sets of 'Opera Omnia': of Euclides, Aristoteles, Copernicus, Galilei, Descartes, Berkeley, Newton, Boyle, Huygens, Euler, Linneus, Lagrange, Laplace, Poincare, Peirce, Bohr, Schroedinger and others. Besides complete works there are also rich bibliographies to be found on such prominent figures as Darwin, Einstein, Cuvier, Duhem, etc. Like science itself, which is evolving and dynamic, this collection is also continually undergoing expansion: On its shelves, along with the remains of old sciences and theories, some of which became extinct centuries ago (such as phrenology, physiognomy, alchemy) one can see the growth of young shoots of new sciences and issues that have sprung up more recently (for example genetics and eugenics, quantum theory, ecology and environmental science, computer science and information technology, the atomic bomb and nuclear energy).

Phone:  074-733-6495
Email: edl@nli.org.il
Chaya Meier-Herr, Director of the Edelstein Collection.

Opening Hours:
Sunday-Thursday:09:00-14:00​
Library services are available until 15 minutes before closing.

Harry Friedenwald Collection

The Friedenwald collection is one of the most precious treasures of the Jewish National and University Library. It contains an impressive scope of manuscripts and printed works pertaining to the history of medicine, and particularly medicine among the Jews. Beginning with the earliest extant manuscript of a Hebrew medical work, 'Sefer Asaph' (end of the 13th century or beginning of the 14th), the collection contains a variety of manuscripts, many of them illustrated, as well as incunabula and early and modern prints. It also includes portraits and autographs, and is complemented by numerous reprints, some from remote sources, the gathering of which was an achievement in itself. Some of the classical books have marginal notes and additions by Dr. Friedenwald.

The collection covers the history of medicine in general as well as monographs on special medical topics: hygene, materia medica, physiology, anatomy and surgery. It also demonstrates the role of Jews in the advance of medicine and science through the ages. Along with the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, Avicenna, Vesalius, Harvey, Bernard and others, there are works by Isaac Israeli, Ibn-Ezra, Maimonides, Amatus Lusitanus, Paul Ehrlich, books written by Jews and about them, biographies of Jewish physicians, and books illustrating the importance of the Hebrew language for the tradition of medical knowledge. The Friedenwald collection is valuable for the study of the history of medicine, science in general, and, particularly, medieval civilization. For comprehensive research into Jews and medicine, it is indispensable.

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John Yudkin Collection

This collection was compiled by John Yudkin, professor of physiology at the University of London, who was founder of the first university department in the U.K. that taught nutrition at undergraduate level. This is an antiquarian collection devoted to diet and food, which not only provides a deep and detailed look at the history of the subject but also locates it in the wider context of related subjects.

Thus, beside several works by Claude Bernard, von Liebig, Lavoisier and others, which illuminate the growth of chemical and physiological knowledge, and thus supply the scientific background, one can also find books that illustrate the broader cultural background, and deal with gastronomy, cooking, serving and table manners and household management. There are also books that provide the social context for diet, nutrition and hygiene, found in works that deal with medicaments, diet and cooking for the poor, military cooking and hygiene as well as urban ecology (Parmentier, Cadet de-Vaux, Hassall, etc.). An especially fascinating connection between food, the sciences and society is provided by a series of books that deal with the adulteration of food and drugs and with food and drug analysis, a subject that motivated the rise of analytical chemistry.

The collection goes beyond the history of modern western society to include works and early prints by Greek, Muslim and Christian authors and physicians from the Renaissance, the Middle Ages and even the Hellenic period. These are dietetic and therapeutic works of 'regimen sanitatis', Materia Medica, and recipe books (Ibn-Butlan, Bacon, Al-Razi, Cardano, Galen, Porphyry).
Significant as it is for scholars and researchers in the relevant fields of the history of food, diet and nutrition, the Yudkin collection is also a treat for anyone interested in the complex history of science, medicine, society, culture and their interactions.

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Gerald Holton Collection

​This collection represents nearly five decades of research and collecting, and is especially noted for being an exceptionally comprehensive and rich collection. It is devoted to the following subjects:

History of 20th Century Physics and Science

Gathered by Professor Holton, a scientist who himself made notable contributions to high-pressure physics, Professor Holton is also one of the leading historians on the subject. The collection includes nearly every important work relating to the history of 20th century physics in all major languages, including English, French, German, and Japanese. This section also contains numerous volumes of the most important journals relating to the history of science, philosophy and ideas.

Physics of Materials Under High Pressure

As a student and successor of P. W. Bridgman, (Nobel Prize, 1946), Professor Holton built a complete collection of texts dealing with high-pressure physics. Many of the materials found in this section belonged to Professor Bridgman himself. Included here are Holton's own works, copies of his articles, as well as articles sent to him by prominent physicists of his time, and about 100 scientific books from his library. Also included is a contribution of 29 volumes from the Jefferson Physical Laboratory which contain writings by many of the leading physicists of the 20th century. This set is very rare, having been printed in limited numbers only.

History of Physics and Science

As an historian, Professor Holton assembled a formidable collection of books on the early history of physics, concentrating on Newton, Galileo and Kepler.

Physics Education

Professor Holton is a leading contributor to the development of physics education, mainly as the creator of Project Physics, implemented throughout the world. He has gathered an important collection of books on the subject.

Interdisciplinary Research

Complementing the collection are materials belonging to related fields, mostly for interdisciplinary research.

The collection also includes special sections devoted to Nobel laureates – Einstein and others, as well as Professor Holton's own writings on high-pressure physics, the history of physics education and related matters, as well as research papers presented to him by leading scientists, philosophers and historians of the post-war period.

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