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Fanny Goldstein


GOLDSTEIN, FANNY (1888–1961), U.S. librarian. Born in Kamenets-Podolsk, Russia, Fanny Goldstein was taken to the United States at an early age. She entered the Boston public library system in 1913 and served as librarian of the West End branch from 1922 until her retirement in 1957, developing there a notable Judaica collection later housed in the main library. In 1954 she was appointed curator of Judaica, the first woman in America to receive this title.

Throughout her career she was active in promoting interest in Jewish books and writers among Jews and non-Jews alike. In 1925 she introduced the celebration of Jewish Book Week in Boston; it was subsequently made a national event. In 1940 she became the first chairman of the National Committee for Jewish Book Week and in 1941 was made honorary president of its successor organization, the Jewish Book Council of America. She was well known for her listings of Judaica published by the Boston Public Library, and those which appeared in the American Jewish Year Book (43 (1941–42), 499–517) and the Jewish Book Annual (5 (1946–47), 84–100; also vols. 11–16, 1952–59). In 1958 she presented her own large collection of Judaica to the Boston Public Library, where it is now maintained as the Fanny Goldstein Collection.


Sources:C. Angoff, in: JBA, 20 (1962/63), 70–72.

[Harry J. Alderman]

Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.