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About the Asher Library

About the Asher Library

Special Message for Asher Library Patrons

As a precautionary measure in this time of Coronavirus, Spertus Institute’s Asher Library is closed to students and the public until further notice. The Library staff are available to assist with book requests and online resources via email and telephone.

Please do not attempt to return books currently checked out to you. All items currently on loan will be renewed through February 1. Books borrowed from other libraries through interlibrary loan should be mailed back to Spertus when due. We thank you for your understanding and invite you to explore the many ebooks, journals, and films available through the Spertus website.

The Asher Library at Spertus was established in the mid-1930s (and renamed in 1974 in honor of the generosity of Norman and Helen Asher).

It is one of North America’s largest Jewish libraries. The collection includes Jewish-interest fiction and non-fiction books, plus periodicals, films, and music from all over the world.

The Asher Library serves a diverse populace locally, nationally, and internationally, with a special emphasis on developing collections and services for Spertus students and the Jewish community. Our library is open to the public and responds to inquiries from around the globe.


We are happy to send library books to Spertus Students and Members...
You will be charged $10 for the first volume in the UPS shipment and $2 for each additional volume. For audio-visual material, the shipping charge is $4 for the first item and $1 for each additional item. We ask that our books and other material be returned via a similar trackable (and insurable) means.

And always ready to scan an article or book chapter from our collection...
Scanning and emailing material is a free service for Spertus students and members (for any reasonable request.) Non-members will be charged 20¢ per page for any scanning request beyond a few pages to answer a reference question. 

Or we can obtain material for you from other libraries
Spertus students and members are invited to make interlibrary loan requests for titles we do not hold. In-state ILLs are always free; we will let you know if an out-of-state library requests a fee for borrowing a hard-to-find item, and you decide if you are willing to assume the charge. Spertus members may place up to four interlibrary loan requests per month.

Asher Library Catalog

Asher Library online resources and borrowing privileges are available to Spertus students, faculty and members.


The Feinberg eCollection is a collection of Jewish Studies databases which give full-text access to Biblical and Rabbinic sources as well as scholarly journals.

THE SENTINEL (1911-1977)

Digitized issues of The Sentinel, a Jewish weekly published in Chicago, are fully searchable on the Historical Jewish Press site.


Due to the exigencies of the Coronavirus situation, Spertus Institute's Asher Library is closed to onsite visitors until further notice.



Visit the Resources page to donate materials to the Spertus archive, or to ask research-related questions.