The special collections in the library are based in part on private collections donated to the library..
Some of the collections are accessible on an open shelf in the reading halls, but stand on a separate shelf from the general collection, and some in closed shelf for various reasons: the rarity of the materials in them, their shape, physical condition or scientific value.
The collections include rare and unique materials in the areas in which they focus, and allow in-depth research on selected topics.
The development of the collections is carried out through selective purchases and donations.
The books in the collection refer to Italian history, literature and logic, emphasizing the part of Italian Jewry throughout the ages. The collection consists of books, journals and dictionaries.
The collection, commemorating Benzion and Pearl Margulies, comprises some 4,000 books and journals in Yiddish and in other languages.
Habib Levy Collection focuses on the historical and cultural heritage of Iranian Jews. The collection consists of dictionaries, encyclopedias, journals, literature, various non-fiction titles on
medicine & sciences, religion and politics and many titles related to the historical and cultural heritage of Iran.
The Herbert Cohen Collection comprises many rare books and journals, some of them quite old,
covering a diversity of subjects with an emphasis on the humanities and on Judaism.
The Horodisch Collection on the history of books and printing comprises some 10,000 titles – books and journals emphasizing the important, crucial role the book had played in developing human culture in many aspects: Historical, technical, artistic and many other.
The Borah Collection, named after Prof. Woodrow W. Borah, focuses on the history and civilization of Latin America, and was donated to the Sverdlin Institute for Latin American History and Culture.
The collection, based on Prof. Woodrow's personal library, includes more than 7,600 titles.
The Avraham and Sara Jaffe Collection focuses on the research of Hebrew liturgy and poetry and the research of children literature.
The collection comprises more than 10,000 titles in Hebrew and texts using Hebrew letters (e.g. Yiddish).
In 1974 The Tel-Aviv University was given, by The Tel-Aviv Municipality, Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch's scientific collection. Dr. Faitlovitch, a researcher and an Orientalist, lived among the Ethiopian Jews, studied their history and their culture and worked vigorously for them and for strengthening their bonds with the Jewish communities throughout the World and with the State of Israel.