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Zachary Baker

Zachary Baker

Zachary Baker

Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections

In September 1999, Zachary Baker joined the Stanford University Libraries as the Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections. He came to us after a career of responsible positions and promotions at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the Jewish Public Library in Montreal. From January 2006 until December 2010, Zachary led the Humanities and Area Studies Resources Group in SUL and since July 2010, he has served as Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has retained the title and responsibilities of the Reinhard Family curatorship since assuming his administrative assignment. 

He has brought in several special collections, overseen the expansion of the general collections, prepared exhibits, and worked productively with faculty and students engaged in Jewish Studies. In addition, he has been elected to leadership roles in the Association for Jewish Studies, the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the Council of Archives and Research Libraries in Jewish Studies. He has made numerous presentations, including endowed lectures, served well on several internal and external committees, taught or co-taught courses, led the development of web sites, and curated exhibits. Zach Baker has published many articles in peer reviewed and other publications. Among the collections he has brought to Stanford that have materially assisted and stimulated advanced research are the Samson Copenhagen Collection of rare books and the Eliasaf Robinson Collection on Tel Aviv,  with extensive holdings of books and ephemera relating to the history of “The First Hebrew City.”


Research Methods in Jewish Studies; Directed Reading in Yiddish


Selected publications (listed chronologically):

 “Bibliography of Eastern European Memorial Books,” and “Geographical Index and Gazetteer,” in From a Ruined Garden, translated and edited by Jack Kugelmass and Jonathan Boyarin (New York:  Schocken Books, 1983), pp. 223-275.  Second, expanded edition (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press; in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, 1998), pp. 273-353.

Co-editor (with Bella Hass Weinberg), Yiddish Catalog and Authority File of the YIVO Library (Boston:  G. K. Hall, 1990).  5 vols.  Includes introduction, “The Yiddish Collections of the YIVO Library:  Their History, Scope, and Significance,” by Zachary M. Baker (reprinted in YIVO Annual, vol. 22 [Evanston:  Northwestern University Press; New York:  YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1995], pp. 253-273).

“Montreal of Yesterday:  A Snapshot of Jewish Life in Montreal During the Era of Mass Immigration,” in An Everyday Miracle:  Yiddish Culture in Montreal, edited by Ira Robinson, Pierre Anctil, and Mervin Butovsky (Montreal:  Vehicule Press, 1990), pp. 39-52.

“The Case of the Soviet Sholem Aleichem:  A Bibliographic Detective Story,” The Book Peddler, no. 17 (Summer 1992), pp. [24]-31.  Revised and expanded version:  “Sholem Aleichem's 80th Birthday Observances and the Cultural Mobilization of Soviet Jewry:  A Case Study,” YIVO Annual, vol.

23 (Evanston:  Northwestern University Press; New York:  YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1996).

“Die Amerikanisierung der jiddischen Wissenschaft:  Gedanken zur 70. Jahresfeier des YIVO-Institutes für jüdische Forschung,” translated by Nico Rubeli-Guthauser, Judaica:  Beiträge zum Verstehen des Judentums, 51.  Jahrgang, Heft 4 (Dezember 1995), pp. 222-236.

“A Gazetteer of Yiddish Place Names:  Review Essay,” in Shofar, vol. 17, no. 1 (Fall 1998), pp. 117-121.

“The Death of an Artist: Maurycy Minkowski in Buenos Aires, 1930,” Stanford University Program in Jewish Studies Newsletter (Autumn 2000).

Translation and notes for “Library and Reading Room in the Vilna Ghetto, Strashun Street 6,”by Herman Kruk, in The Holocaust and the Book:  Destruction and Preservation, edited by Jonathan Rose (Amherst:  University of Massachusetts Press, 2001).

“Art Patronage and Philistinism in Argentina:  Maurycy Minkowski in Buenos Aires, 1930,” Shofar, vol. 19, no. 3 (2001), pp. 107-119.

“Isadora Duncan Among the Hebrews,” Imprint (Associates of the Stanford University Libraries); Spring & Summer 2001), pp. 19-31.

Editor, Judaica in the Slavic Realm, Slavica in the Judaic Realm: Repositories, Collections, Projects, Publications.  New York: The Haworth Information Press, 2003.  Issued simultaneously as Slavic & East European Information Resources, vol. 4, no. 2/3 (2003).  Plus article in volume:  “Resources on the Genealogy of Eastern European Jews,” pp. 169-184.

Ira Nowinski: The Photographer As Witness.  Text by Zachary M. Baker; introductory essays by John Felstiner and Anita Friedman.  Stanford:  Stanford University Libraries, 2004. 64 p. Exhibition catalogue.

“Yiddish Publishing after 1945,” in Yiddish after the Holocaust, edited by Joseph Sherman (Oxford:  Boulevard Books; The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 2004), pp. 60-73.

The Lawrence Marwick Collection of Copyrighted Yiddish Plays: An Annotated Bibliography.  Washington, DC:  Library of Congress, 2004.  Accessible via the Library of Congress website:

“An Embarrassment of Riches: How to Choose 1000 Great Yiddish Books,” The Pakn-Treger, no. 50 (Spring 2006), pp. 37-41.  Published in conjunction with the launching of the National Yiddish Book Center’s Essential Yiddish Books website (, which I compiled.

“Maurycy Minkowski in Vilna,” in Maurycy Minkowski (Buenos Aires: IWO Instituto Judío de Investigaciones, 2006).

“The Samson/Copenhagen Judaica Collection and the Diaspora of Hebrew Books,” Imprint (Associates of the Stanford University Libraries), Summer 2007, pp. 17-28.

“Kletskin, Boris,” and “Di Yudishe Velt,” articles in YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe (Yale University Press, 2008).

Translation of:  Maks Erik, “Sholem Aleichem and Mark Twain: Notes on the Eighth Anniversary of Sholem Aleichem’s Death (1924),” in The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works, edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin (New York:  The Library of America, 2010), pp. 151-157.

“The Painter as Ethnographer: Maurycy Minkowski and the European Yiddish Intelligentsia before World War I,” in Czernowitz at 100: The First Yiddish Language Conference in Historical Perspective (Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books, 2010), pp. 125-135.

“A Bibliographer Encounters the Muses:  Reflections on the Yiddish Theater and Its Legacy,” in Perspectives on the Hebraic Book:  The Myron M. Weinstein Memorial Lectures at the Library of Congress, edited by Peggy K. Pearlstein (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2012), pp. 177-193.