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I. Edward Kiev papers

 Collection
Identifier: K0001
The material listed in this guide is processed and available for use.

Dates

  • circa 1860-circa 1980

Creator

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Extent

40 Linear Feet

Abstract

Isaac Edward Kiev (1905-1975) was born in New York City to Nathan and Anna (Radin) Kiev. In 1924, Kiev entered the Jewish Institute of Religion [JIR], a new rabbinical seminary established just two years earlier by renowned Jewish leader and activist Stephen S. Wise. In 1925, Kiev began work as a page in the JIR library to help pay for school and soon he took on more responsibilities including cataloging the Hebrew manuscripts. Although Kiev did not complete his studies at the JIR, he continued to work at the library, becoming Chief Librarian in 1942, a position he held until his death in 1975. In addition to his fifty years of service at the Jewish Institute of Religion, which merged with Hebrew Union College in 1950, Kiev also served as chaplain at Sea-View Hospital, a tuberculosis sanitarium, from 1927-75. He later became a pulpit at Congregation Habonim in New York, where he served Associate Rabbi from 1966 until 1973.

Biographical Note

Isaac Edward Kiev (1905-1975) was born in New York City to Nathan and Anna (Radin) Kiev. In 1924, Kiev entered the Jewish Institute of Religion [JIR], a new rabbinical seminary established just two years earlier by renowned Jewish leader and activist Stephen S. Wise. In 1925, Kiev began work as a page in the JIR library to help pay for school and soon he took on more responsibilities including cataloging the Hebrew manuscripts. Although Kiev did not complete his studies at the JIR, he continued to work at the library, becoming Chief Librarian in 1942, a position he held until his death in 1975. In addition to his fifty years of service at the Jewish Institute of Religion, which merged with Hebrew Union College in 1950, Kiev also served as chaplain at Sea-View Hospital, a tuberculosis sanitarium, from 1927-75. He later became a pulpit at Congregation Habonim in New York, where he served Associate Rabbi from 1966 until 1973.

Kiev was involved in Jewish library and book organizations, particularly after World War Two. Kiev was on the Advisory Committee of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., an organization that was responsible inventorying and redistributing Jewish books and artifacts the survived the Holocaust and from 1949-51 he served as secretary. Kiev was president of the Jewish Librarians Association, the predecessor of the current Association of Jewish Libraries, from 1951 to 1959. Kiev worked extensively with the Jewish Book Council, serving as treasurer from 1954 to 1958, secretary from 1958 to 1966. He was an associate editor its publication, the Jewish Book Annual, from 1952 to 1975 and throughout those years wrote the bibliography of American non-fiction books. Kiev was also an editor for Library Trends and Studies in Bibliography and Booklore, contributed to other publications such as the American Jewish Year Book and translated the Kafra Haggadah, published by Feldheim in 1949.

Additionally, Kiev helped support the proliferation of modern Hebrew. He served as chair of the Israel Matz fund, which aided destitute Hebrew writers, including their widows and children, established Hebrew libraries, and funded the publication of literature that promoted Jewish culture. Kiev was a trustee of the Nissan Touroff Foundation that supported Hebrew writers and he chaired the Book Section Committee of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods' Jewish Chautauqua Society, which helped place Jewish-interest books in college and university libraries

During his tenure at the JIR, the library's collection grew from under 10,000 volumes to more than 100,000. In 1957 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. His stature was such that he was listed in Who's Who in America (1974, 1976, 1978); Who's Who in the World (1964, 1976), and Who's Who in World Jewry (1972). In 1971, Ktav published a festschrift in honor of his sixty-fifth birthday entitled, Studies in Jewish bibliography, history, and literature in honor of I. Edward Kiev.

On December 20, 1930, Kiev married Mary B. Nover, who also worked at the JIR Library. Mary went on to become librarian at New York's Temple Emanu-El from 1949-64. The Kievs resided in Washington Heights and had two children, Ari and Aviva.

I. Edward Kiev died in New York City 1975. __I. Edward Kiev developed an extensive personal library of approximately 18,000 volumes, consisting primarily of books related to Judaic Studies.

Collection Organization

Organized into 6 series: Personal and professional papers, Photographs, Music, Pamphlets, Graphic arts, and Artifacts.

Acquisition Information

The I. Edward Kiev collection was donated to Gelman Library by Dr. Ari and Phyllis Kiev and their children, Dr. Jonathan Kiev and Marshall Kiev in 1996.

Bib#

8588663
Title
Partial Guide to the I. Edward Kiev Papers, circa 1860 - circa 1980
Author
Processed by Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Steven Mandeville-Gamble
Date
2006
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America