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This essay situates the Ottoman-born Abraham S. Yahuda (1877–1951) at the center of modern Jewish historiography. In the process, the essay demonstrates how Yahuda held a Jewish studies chair at a major Western university a full decade before Salo Wittmayer Baron (1895–1989) and Harry Wolfson (1887–1974). One intervention offered by this essay is methodological: the recovery of this forgotten figure, whose papers are dispersed across archives in multiple continents, suggests not only the ways that the material archive can challenge given historical narratives. Such work also provides a kind of history of a discipline, albeit through an encounter with its limitations; in the case of Yahuda these limitations are inextricable from the complex legacies of scholarship, empire, and the state and can therefore be studied as part of a process of coming to terms with such forms.