Spinoza’s Death Mask, and Reflections on Working at the RBML 

Guest post by Marianna Najman-Franks, Barnard ’22. Marianna has done incredible work in the last three years participating in various projects to provide important access to the Judaica collections. Over the past 3 years I’ve been a part of so many incredible projects at the RBML, but by far the most exciting moment I’ve been […]

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Learning from the crowd: the CULHebrewmss Twitter bot

In 2018, we decided to partner with a developer named Russel Neiss to create an automated Twitter account that randomly selects and posts images from the Hebrew manuscript collection on the Internet Archive. In doing so, we have not only made the manuscripts available to an audience that includes people who could not or would […]

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New Acquisition Roundup: Rare and Digital

Special Collections: Although many people have been away from campus over the last year, there has been a significant increase of books available in the Judaica collection at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Some books are newly arrived on campus, while others, like a work with a list of English cantillation marks and descriptions, […]

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Salo Baron and Columbia’s Judaica Collections

This essay was initially published in the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies‘ Spring 2021 newsletter. It is copied here with permission. Salo Baron’s impact on Jewish Studies in America is widely known.  Less well known, however, is the impact he made in building the Judaica collection at Columbia University. Soon after Baron’s arrival at […]

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The Luzzatto family at Columbia

There were many notable Italian Jewish families throughout history. One of the more famous ones was the Luzzatto family, which included many important scholars and rabbis.  According to family lore, the Luzzattos originated in the city of Lausitz in Germany before they migrated to Italy in the mid-15th century. Members of the family settled first […]

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Manuscript in Printed Books

This essay was written for the Insitute for Israel and Jewish Studies’ Spring 2020 Magazine.  The full magazine can be downloaded on the IIJS website. In presenting the rare Judaica to students and other visitors to the libraries, I have learned that sometimes basic terms can be confused.  For instance, many people think that a […]

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