N. E. Alexander Library’s Celebration of Collections 2022!

Poster for the Alexander Lecture, to be held on Novmeber 14, 2022.

We are very pleased to announce the 2022 Norman E. Alexander Celebration of Collections on November 14, at 12:30 PM EST, featuring Charles E. Steinman, Dr. Susan Einbinder, and Dan Klein. Collections discussed include a medieval French manuscript that echoes the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, a 17th century manuscript discussing the plague in […]

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The Jews of Corfu: Between the Adriatic and the Ionian

Poster with event details (as in text below)

UPDATE: Zoom information added for the conservation talk on November 7. Please note that at present, visits to Columbia Library by non-Columbia affiliates are by appointment only. To visit the Columbia exhibition during library hours (10-4), please contact Michelle Margolis (mc3395@columbia.edu) with the names of the visitors and the date that you would like to […]

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Life, Love, Loss, and the Shaking of the Earth in Livorno

Books tell stories. Not only through the texts written or printed within them, but also through the ephemera and paratexts – the bindings, the inscriptions, even wax seals casually stamped in the back of a volume. Such is the case with a volume in Columbia’s collection, cataloged with the call number B893.14 Y11.  There are […]

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New electronic resources: Holocaust primary sources, Jewish Book history, and lots of e-books!

We are constantly adding new physical books to the library’s Judaica collection, but during the summer, when Butler Library seems far away, electronic resources are key to scholarly research. In recent months, we have added a number of databases, e-books, and e-journals to our virtual collections which are accessible to Columbia users everywhere. Note that […]

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“Be Ready”: Anti-Fascist Yiddish Children’s Drawings in the Szajkowski Collections

Guest post by Daniela Goodman Rabner, BC ’22. Daniela spent the Spring 2022 semester inventorying and identifying Yiddish materials in the Zosa Szajkowski archive, so a new and significantly updated finding aid can provide increased access to the collection. She found some incredible gems along the way – some of the documents shown here will […]

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Manuscripts and Printed Books – all bound up

In the very name of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library is a distinction between printed books and those written by hand, or manuscripts. Columbia’s printed books are housed separately from the manuscript codices, and they’re generally considered to be separate kinds of materials.  In the early modern library, however, print and manuscript books sat […]

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New and newly cataloged manuscripts from around the world

In recent months, we have been able to add many important materials to the Judaica collection.  We acquired another set of letters (in Spanish, Hebrew, and Ladino) from the earliest days of the Amsterdam and Hamburg Sephardic communities in the 17th century (including one relating to the founding of the Sephardic community of Hamburg). These […]

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Places and Spaces, Sights and Sounds in the N.E. Alexander Library

Please join us at the 11th annual Norman E. Alexander Lecture in Jewish Studies! All are welcome to this virtual event, but registration is required. This year’s event focuses on researchers studying space and place using resources from the collections. Francesca Bregoli (Queen’s College) will discuss her research in the archive of a cross-Mediterranean family […]

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Censorship gone wild: Painting over liturgical prayers

Many thanks to Lucia Raspe for sharing her work on censorship in early printed Selihot, which was very helpful in writing this post. The Jewish month of Elul, coming right before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is a particularly solemn one in Jewish religious life. Special penitential prayers, called Selihot, are […]

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