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Signature of Shimeon Brisman

Dublin Core


Signature of Shimeon Brisman


Brisman, Shimeon


This is the signature of Shimeon Brisman (1920-2004), a librarian, bibliographer, and rabbi who provided the Washington University Libraries with the collection that bears his name.

Shimeon Brisman was born in Poland. At the outbreak of World War II, he fled through Lithuania, Russia, and Japan to Shanghai, where he lived for several years before coming to the United States in 1947. His first job was at the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, after which he worked as a publisher, book dealer, and editor of Yiddish and Hebrew works in New York and St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1954 he got a job as a librarian in the Jewish Community Library in Los Angeles. In 1962, Brisman was hired as Near Eastern cataloger at UCLA, eventually becoming the university’s Jewish Studies bibliographer. He also taught classes in Hebrew bibliography and research methods at UCLA. In 1973, Brisman published the first edition of his authoritative bibliography titled Jewish Research Literature; a second, revised edition came out in 1977 and remains a key resource in the field. Shimeon Brisman thrived in the academic environment and remained at UCLA until his retirement in 1988. He died in 2004 in Brooklyn, New York.

One of Shimeon Brisman’s many achievements at UCLA was helping to acquire and evaluate the stock of the Bamberger & Wahrmann bookstore in Jerusalem, which was the leading Hebraica bookstore in Israel in the 1950s. These books provided a foundation for the university’s growing Jewish Studies program. Brisman continued to acquire books from around the world to enrich the collection throughout his tenure. He also generously shared his time and expertise with other academic libraries. In 1972, Washington University Libraries purchased nearly 3,600 volumes from Brisman, probably duplicates from the UCLA collection. Written in Hebrew and other languages, the collection features rare bibliographical works, Yiddish fiction, and many rare books. The Rare Books of the Shimeon Brisman Collection in Jewish Studies online exhibit offers a glimpse into the provenance and publishing history of some of these books, forging a tangible link to a rich cultural heritage.

Brisman's signature reads "Mi-sifre S. Brisman," or, "From the library of S. Brisman."


Brisman, Shimeon


Digital Image: Washington University in Saint Louis










Brisman, Shimeon, “Signature of Shimeon Brisman,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed May 19, 2019, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/14317.