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Archive - Elkan Nathan Adler Papers

Identifier: ARC-2


Correspondence and other material concerning Adler’s work with Jewish organizations including Chovevi Zion Association, Union of Jewish Literary Societies and its local affiliates, the Sir Moses Montefiore Testimonial Fund, the Federation of Ukrainian Jews, and the Fund for the Jewish Victims of the War; correspondence with book dealers, libraries, and publishers; family correspondence and other material, including correspondence with brother Hermann, and father, Nathan Marcus, chief rabbi of Great Britain; annual reports, meeting notes, and financial statements regarding the Anglo-Jewish Association; articles, speeches, and notes by Adler on Zionism, book collecting, and other subjects; journals of trips to Palestine and the Middle East and Russia; minutes of the Committee on Scripture Reading at the West End Synagogue; and miscellaneous material.


  • Creation: 1827-1944; 1979
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1878 - 1923


Language and Scripts Used

Materials are in German, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish.


Materials are available by appointment only. To make an appointment and request materials in advance, contact


There are no restrictions to accessing this collection, however, written permission is required to print or publish.


Elkan Nathan Adler, born 24 of July, 1861, was an Anglo-Jewish bibliophile, collector, and author. He was the youngest son of Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and second wife, Celestine Adler (nee Lehfeld); brother of Hermann Adler, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain after his father. Educated at London University he earned his B.A. and M.A. In 1930 he received the honorary Doctorate of Hebrew Law from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. A senior partner in the firm of Adler & Perowne Solicitors of London and Paris, he was served on the Board of Deputies, the Council of Anglo-Jewish Association, Jews' College, the Joint Foreign Commission, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He traveled extensively, amassed a large collection of manuscripts and authored of a number of books, includingAbout Hebrew Manuscripts (London, 1905),Jews in Many Lands (Philadelphia, 1905),Jewish Travelers (London, 1930) andHistory of the Jews in London (Philadelphia, 1930). He remained unmarried; he died September 15, 1946 at age 85.


7.9 Linear Feet (in 17 document boxes and one 3x5 card box.)

Collection Arrangement

The following is a rough arrangement which needs further refinement:

Series I. Correspondence
Subseries A. Personal and family related material
Subseries B. Family correspondence
Subseries C. General Correspondence

Series II. Moses Montefiore's Palestine Property

Series III. Book and Manuscript Dealers; Publishers; Libraries
Subseries A. Book and Manuscript Dealers
Subseries B. Publishers
Subseries C. Libraries

Series IV. Organizations

Series V. Writings

Location Note

Materials are available (by appointment only) at The Special Collections Reading Room, The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Email

Source of Acquisition

The Elkan N. Adler Library was purchased in 1923.

Related Archival Materials Note

ARC 3 - Hermann Adler Papers
ARC 4 - Marcus Nathan Adler Papers
ARC 5 - Nathan Marcus Adler Papers

Processing Information Note

The collection was initially surveyed in October 1986 by Daniel Soyer and a preliminary guide was published. The materials were processed in 2004 by student David Berman and the materials placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Minimal description was created but the arrangement was not finalized, nor was description of the materials or editing of the all text.

Preliminary Guide to the Elkan Nathan Adler Papers
1827-1944; 1979
Under Revision
David Berman, Michala Biondi
June 2004; June 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Funding for the retrospective conversion of the original finding aid documents to produce this guide using Archivists’ Toolkit was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary Repository

3080 Broadway
New York N.Y. 10027 USA