Thursday, June 3, 2010

Articles in Festschriften or Jubilee Volumes

Question: I am trying to identify an article about dreams, and how they have inspired medieval Hebrew writers. A colleague believes it was published in the early part of the 20th century, in an "honorary volume", but he does not remember the author or any other information. How can I find it?

Answer: Most likely your colleague, using the term "honorary volume," is referring to a festschrift, a book of scholarly articles published in honor or in memory of a professor, a scholar, or an academic institution. A festschrift is sometimes called a "jubilee volume" or "sefer yovel".

Festschriften in Jewish studies published since approximately 1960 are systematically indexed in the web-based RAMBI Index of Articles on Jewish Studies. Access is by subject, author, and keywords from the article title.

Earlier Jewish studies festschriften have been indexed in two printed volumes: Charles Berlin's Index to Festschriften in Jewish Studies (1971) covering 243 publications from approximately 1936-1970, and Jacob R. Marcus' and Albert Bilgray's An Index to Jewish Festscriften (1937) covering 53 festschriften from the mid-1800's until 1936. Access to individual articles, in both volumes, is by author and subject.

Marcus and Bilgray also provide access by article title, and this leads us to what is probably the article you seek: "Dreams as a Cause of Literary Compositions", by Henry Malter, published in Studies in Jewish Literature Issued in Honor of Professor Kaufmann Kohler on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday (Berlin, 1913), p. 199-203.


  1. The book in question may be found here:

  2. Hi David,
    Thanks for pointing out that this volume is available on The Internet Archive, truly an excellent resource!

    But I don't think we could have found it there without the article's title, which we did not know.

    We were able to identify the article by looking up the subject (dreams) in an index which covers the type of publication (festschrift) in which we were told the article had been published.

  3. Absolutely correct. I was only able to search for the book based on the work you did. I never knew about those index volumes.

    With the title of the book in hand, I checked Google books first, and then I have been very pleased to find works in Jewish studies on both sites.