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College of Liberal Arts Says Goodbye to Hebrew Studies Bibliographer Nathan Snyder, 1944-2009

The University of Texas at Austin is mourning the loss of Nathan Snyder, who served for 27 years as the Hebraica and Judaica librarian and was the namesake of the Nathan I. Snyder Library, which was dedicated earlier this year. 

Snyder was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago and passed away Sunday, Oct. 25. 

“As a bibliographer at the Perry-Castaneda Library, he avidly sought funding for and added thousands of volumes, many quite rare, in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and other languages that resulted in a comprehensive and in some ways unique collection of Judaica,” said Robert H. Abzug, director of Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies and the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History. “It was his life's devotion.” 

Friends at the university and in the broader community helped Snyder as he fought his illness, Abzug said.

 “As a result, he faced these last months with dignity and companionship,” Abzug said. 

A native of Boston and graduate of Boston University, Yeshiva University, and Drexel University, Snyder studied in the Middle East and worked at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago before coming to the University of Texas in 1980. 

After he became ill in 2007, he gave his 3,000-volume personal library to the Schusterman Center. In its own right a rich and wide-ranging treasure, this collection has become the seed of a growing library and meeting place for Jewish Studies faculty and students. 

The Austin Jewish Outlook profiled Snyder’s many achievements and contributions earlier this year.