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Popular Culture Studies: The IsraPulp Collection at ASU

About the Collection

The IsraPulp Collection (established 2004) is the only research collection of Hebrew popular literature. The collection encompasses almost two thousand rare books and serialized booklets, from the pre-State period (1928) to present day, representing a wide range of genres—from Westerns (some take place in Arizona) to detective stories, crime novels, science fiction, and children's books. 

To accesses collection items, search the title IsraPulp in the ASU Library Catalog or OneSearch (the latter enables searches with Hebrew characters). Materials are housed in special collections and may be viewed at the Luhrs Reading Room (Hayden Library, fourth floor).

Leket-Mor, Rachel. 2011. “The Israeli Popular Literature Collection at ASU Library.” Judaica Librarianship 16/17: 1-53. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14263/2330-2976.1003.

Nancy Ben-Asher Ozeri, "Pulp Fiction," Arizona Jewish Life Magazine, (Arts, 29–30) April 25, 2016.

Salvatore Caputo, "ASU Lifts Veil on Israel's Pulp Culture," Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, July 13, 2012.

Danielle Grobmeier, "IsraPulp Collection Offers Unique Look into Israeli Culture," The State Press, January 6, 2012.

Evan Lewis, "Israeli Pulp Fiction Collection Distinguishes ASU Library," ASU News, December 9, 2011.

"Israeli Popular Literature." Leket-Mor, Rachel. The Library Channel, ASU Library. October 10, 2008.

Related Collections

Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection, Stanford University: Includes census materials, advertisements (1920s-1930s), maps, postcards, photographs, flyers and publicity for cultural events, movie handbills before 1948, and business ads. Stanford University Libraries also acquired a photograph archive related to the magazines Olam ha-kolno'a ("Cinema World", 1951-1974) and Lahiton ("Hit Parade Newspaper", 1969-1987), documenting the Israeli popular music scene (1950s-1980s).

Time Travel: A digitized project that brings together posters, pamphlets, advertisements, brochures, and other ephemeral materials that represent daily life in Israel (over 150,000 itemsfrom dozens of collections. The project is hosted by National Library of Israel and sponsored by the Arcadia Fund and is a collaborative undertaking with UCLA.

Queer Eye, Israeli fanzine: A digital fanzine published between 2009 to 2011, giving voice to gay and queer issues in the Israeli society. Archived and hosted by the University of Texas in Austin Libraries. 

Jonathan Friedlander collection of Middle Eastern Americana, 1875-2006: "Middle Eastern subjects and themes are in evidence throughout the print genre, in thrillers and mysteries, romances, tales, science fiction and fantasy, geographies, historical and religious fiction, and youth literature. An important sub section of the collection focuses on the influences of the Middle East on the American musical landscape and showcases various genres of music that have appropriated and popularized the Middle East notably in jazz, rock, heavy metal, classical, and in movie soundtracks and sheet music."

IsraPulp Collection: Hebrew Popular Literature

Additional Resources

Books, Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Eshed, Eli. 2002. From Tarzan to Zbeng: the Story of Israeli Pop Fiction. Tel-Aviv: Hotsaʼat Bavel. [Hebrew]

Kershner, Israel, "Israel's Unexpected Spinoff from a Holocaust Trial," New York Times, September 6, 2007.

Rex Weiner, "Tarzan and the Jews: how the king of the apes became an Israeli craze," The Jewish Daily Forward, August 7, 2012.

Weingrad. Michael , "Riding Leviathan: A New Wave of Israeli Genre Fiction,"Jewish Review of Books, Winter 2014.

Primary Source and Collectors Websites (some in Hebrew only)

Children's Hebrew Periodicals: The National Library of Israel site includes a growing number of historic periodicals, some of then include comic stories by authors who were involved in the popular literature circles. 

Eli Eshed's Multi-Universe: The blog of the prolific guru of Israeli popular literature. [Hebrew]

Eli Eshed's Hebrew Comics - A History.

The Israeli Cartoon Museum: The first and only museum dedicated to popular culture in Israel.

The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy: See also the annual speculative fiction anthologies (2009+) Hayo Yehyeh.

Israeli Superheros: The International Catalogue of Superheros; the page was put together by the Israeli Society for Science Function and Fantasy and Eli Eshed. 

The Little Novel / ha-Kulmos: Prof. Gabriel M. Rosenbaum's article about the long-lasting publishing house behind ha-Roman ha-Zaiir romance novels. [Hebrew/ Hungarian]

Tarzan, King of the Jungle: A 1959 Hebrew strip, digitized and uploaded by Daniel Palant. 

Notalgiyah online: An online project aims at preserving Israeli heritage. Includes innumerable images, articles, voice files (including 24/7 online radio) and videos; edited by David Sela. [Hebrew]

Shragah Gafni's Official Site: A bio-bibliographic site commemorating Gafni's life and work, including scans of book covers and some full-text. [Hebrew]

Shamir Brothers - Designers that Became a Symbol: Although not exactly popular culture type of materials, this website aims to preserves the deigning legacy of this family whose work can be traced in popular Israeli culture to this day.


Jewish Popular Literature

Primary Sources

Scholarly Sources

  • Shofar: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesVol. 29:2, Winter 2011 dedicated to comics and graphic novels.
  • Steinlauf, Michael C. 2014. “Entertainment”? (on Yiddish Schund Theater in the Warsaw Ghetto).

Collections and Museums

The Jewish Baseball Museum: The museum celebrates the integration of Jews into  American life through artifacts, life stories of Jewish players, and videos.

Librarian

Rachel Leket-Mor's picture
Rachel Leket-Mor

Liaison with Religious Studies, Philosophy, Center for Jewish Studies, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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