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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.

Borrowers may arrange for curbside pickup and dropoff of borrowed items by calling (312) 322-1745.

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 asked to supply credit card information for reimbursement of the cost. We ask that our books and other material be returned via a similar trackable (and insurable) means.


We are always ready to scan an article or book chapter from our collection...
Scanning and emailing material is a free service for Spertus students only. 

Or we can obtain material for you from other libraries
Spertus students 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.

Asher Library Catalog

Asher Library online resources and borrowing privileges are available to Spertus students, faculty and SpertusNet 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 ask research-related questions. Please note that Spertus is not currently accepting donations of books, archival material, or artwork, and will not respond to queries about such donations.