Conference Proceeding: The “First Hebrew City”: Collecting on Tel Aviv and Israel at Stanford

In December 2005 the Stanford University Libraries acquired collection of
rare archival documents, ephemera, maps, posters, photographs, books, pamphlets, and
journals devoted to Tel Aviv—the “first Hebrew city “—from its founding in 1909 until
Israel declared its independence in 1948. These materials belonged to Eliasaf Robinson,
one of Israel’s leading antiquarian booksellers, and he assembled this collection over a
period of four decades. This presentation will focus on the collection’s contours and on
issues that have arisen in the course of its processing. It will view the collection’s
acquisition in the context of other Israeli-oriented collections at Stanford and in the
broader academic context of Israel Studies as an emerging sub-field within both Jewish
and Middle Eastern Studies. With the approach of the Tel Aviv’s centenary, the
Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies is making plans to hold a conference marking
that event and the Stanford library will mount an exhibition of some of the important and
unusual documents in the collection. Portions of the collection will be digitized to
facilitate access.