He was educated at the Jewish school and the Talmud Torah at Strasburg. From 1857 to 1866 he was secretary to Salomon Munk; then for a year he was official interpreter at the Paris court of appeals; and from 1868 was librarian at the Bibliothèque Nationale. In 1880 he was sent by the minister of public instruction to Bavaria and Württemberg to make investigations with regard to early Hebrew printing-presses.
1879. Des Points-Voyelles dans les Langues Sémitiques.
1879. Elie de Pesaro. Voyage Ethnographique de Venise à Chypre.
1881. Al-Ḥarisi et Ses Pérégrinations en Orient.
1883. Les Incunables Hébraïques et les Premières Impressions Orientales du XVIe Siècle.
1883. Bibliotheca Aristotelica (crowned by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres).
1888. Monuments Littéraires de l'Espagne.
1889. Maqré Dardeqé, Dictionnaire Hébreu-Italien du XVe Siècle.
1890. Deuxième Edition du Traité des Berakhoth, Traduit en Français.
1896-99. Vocabulaire de l'Angélologie.
1899-1902. Répertoire des Articles d'Histoire et de Littérature Juive (3 vols.).
1900. Salomon Munk, Sa Vie et Ses Œuvres.
1904. Rapport sur les Inscriptions Hébraïques en France.
His most important work is Le Talmud de Jérusalem, which was commenced in 1867 or 1868, before the appearance of Zecharias Frankel's Introduction or of the special dictionaries of the Talmud. The first part appeared in 1871 and was well received, although the critics did not spare Schwab. He then sought the cooperation of the leading Talmudists; but he was unsuccessful and had to complete the work alone.