“New” old books at CUL

While Columbia’s collection of Jewish Studies materials in its Rare Book and Manuscript Library is already extensive, we are still actively collecting "new" materials for our collection.

Two recent purchases were made with the help of the Rabbi Nathan Stern fund for Semitic Studies:

1) A manuscript "Commonplace book" from America, c.1825, which includes  "the beginning of a projected substantial Latin-Hebrew dictionary of verbs; Hebrew added only through "C"."  The Hebrew language was an important subject at Columbia from its founding.  The University Archives has a Hebrew-Latin Psalms owned by Samuel Johnson, with Johnson’s handwritten notes in Hebrew square letters.  Johnson was an advocate of the study of Hebrew in the 18th century.

(Call Number: Ms General 199; http://clio.cul.columbia.edu:7018/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=8088878)

2) "Duo volumina epistolarum obscurorum virorum : ad Dominum M. Ortuinum Gratium, attico lepôre referta, denuò excusa, & à mendis repurgata : quibus ob stili et argumenti similitudinem adiecimus in calce dialogum mirè festiuum, eruditis salibus refertum."

This book, written in Latin and published in 1581, is also about the Hebrew language.  It is a series of satirical letters (written anonymously, but attributed to Crotus Rubeanus and Ulrich von Hutten according to recent scholarship) defending the study of Hebrew.  All authors, readers, and disseminators of this book were excommunicated by Pope Leo X.

(Call Number (temp.): 8640042; http://clio.cul.columbia.edu:7018/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=8640042)

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