The Library of Lost Books
A Pioneering Search for Jewish Books Looted by the Nazis
The Library of Lost Books project is dedicated to recovering the lost collection of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin. This pre-WWII Jewish studies library housed over 60,000 volumes before the Nazis stole them in 1942. Despite wartime losses, about 5,000 books have been rediscovered in collections worldwide so far.
The Largest Citizen Science Initiative of Its Kind
This project marks the first global call to the public for assistance in locating these lost treasures. The Leo Baeck Institute, with support from the German Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) and the German Ministry of Finance (BMF), has created a dedicated platform for this endeavor. The Library of Lost Books website features a database, an interactive map, and an online exhibition detailing the history and legacy of the Higher Institute. Additionally, a traveling exhibition related to this project will visit locations in Israel, Europe, and the US during 2023 and 2024.
Discover Our Stories
Explore our growing collection of blog articles for an inside perspective on the project. These posts range from details of our Berlin launch event to accounts of individual book searches. They provide a glimpse into our methodologies and the unique histories of the books we find. To stay updated with the latest developments, sign up for our newsletter.