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Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Access to Collection News
About the Collection
Exhibitions and Public Programs
Connect with the Magnes online

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was established in 2010 at The Bancroft Library after the transfer of the collections of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. The Collection includes art, objects, texts, music and archival materials about the cultures of the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West.

As one of the most respected Jewish collections in the world, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life enhances the research collections and Jewish Studies scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley.

With its new facility in downtown Berkeley (completed in Fall 2011), The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life provides unprecedented access for scholars and the general public to special collections, exhibitions and public programs.

Go to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life website


About the Collection
PLEASE NOTE - The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is split into two separate repositories:

  • The museum and artifact collections reside in a new facility at 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley.
  • The rare books and the Western Jewish Americana archives are integrated into The Bancroft Library.

Museum and artifact collections
Appointments to view collection materials must be made at least two weeks in advance. Research services hours are Tuesday 11am-3pm, Wednesday 11am-3pm, and Thursday 11am-2pm. Requests for access outside of normal public service hours will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Appointments can be made online via the Ask Reference Questions form. Please refer to Collection Services for further info.

Rare books and the Western Jewish Americana archives
Available collections can be accessed in The Bancroft Library Reading Room. Be aware that many items are stored off-site and must be requested a few days ahead of your visit to the Bancroft Library. Please check UC Berkeley's Library Catalog, OskiCat, for locations and details on access. The location for off-site material will be designated as Bancroft (NRLF). You can request information about these materials by submitting an online research request form.


Exhibitions and Public Programs
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life has a fifty-year history of presenting exhibitions and public programs that break new ground in Judaica connoisseurship, explore new paths in scholarship, introduce under-recognized Jewish artists of the 20th century, and take risks with experimental projects by contemporary artists. Many exhibitions have drawn on selections from its collection, or on commissioned works that use the collection as inspiration.

Visitors can check the calendar for upcoming exhibitions and programs co-presented by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and other organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area starting in September 2010.


Connect with the Magnes online


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