George Arthur Plimpton and Hebrew Manuscripts

George Arthur Plimpton (1855-1936) was a man of many passions, including book collector, founder of Columbia’s “Friends of the Libraries” and Barnard trustee.  He donated his collection on the history of mathematics (among many other things) to Columbia shortly before his death. We know of a few Hebrew manuscripts that were included in his collection, classified […]

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Exhibition: Yiddish at Columbia (Chang Octagon Gallery, March 5-June 15)

As part of the celebration of the digital publication of the data for the LCAAJ, we will be launching a small exhibition in the Chang Octagon Gallery at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which will be on display from March 5-June 15, 2018.  The exhibition will feature a variety of themes including old Yiddish, […]

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Launching the Digitized Data for the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ)!

Columbia University Libraries is very pleased to announce the launch of the website for the digitized data of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. An accompanying guide to the use of the digitized materials with many supplementary materials is also available. The LCAAJ archive is an extraordinary resource for research in Yiddish studies that can shed much […]

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New Acquisitions: Amsterdam, Shadal, Broadsides, Booklists, and more!

It’s been a busy few months! The following items have been recently added to Columbia’s rare Judaica collections: 18 Letters from the Jewish community of Amsterdam: These letters will join our collection of manuscripts relating to the Jewish community of Amsterdam.  The new collection spans from 1764-1922 and covers topics as varied as kosher cheese, […]

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How to repair books in the early modern era

Between the years 1557 and 1559, the printer Ya’akov Kohen mi-Gazolo worked on producing a mahazor, the standard Jewish prayerbook which included prayers for all holidays, in two volumes, in his Mantua printshop. He produced two editions of the prayerbook; one in large format (folio), perhaps for the prayer leader, and one in smaller format (octovo) […]

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Wandering in the Stacks: the Americas, Spanish & Portuguese, and Christian Hebraists

As part of the follow up on the fantastic work that was done by Kelilah, Hannah, and Avinoam, I have been revisiting some of the interesting materials that they came across while working on cataloging our rare Judaica imprints.  Below is just a sampling of some of the wonderful materials that we have in the […]

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Benjamin Kennicott’s Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum (the Columbia connection)

Benjamin Kennicott is probably best known today for the incredible illuminated manuscript at the Bodleian Library at Oxford that bears his name.  However, his magnum opus was a two-volume print edition of the Hebrew Bible, based on extensive research from various manuscripts. We have discussed here earlier the great interest in Hebrew texts by various […]

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Exposing the Hidden: Highlights from CUL’s rare printed Hebraica

Happy New Year! December 2016 marked the end of a three year project to catalog Columbia’s rare Hebraica and Judaica collections.  While Columbia has been collecting Judaica since its inception (with a donation from Kings’ College founder Samuel Johnson that included his Hebrew-Latin Psalms), many of the books were left uncataloged due to lack of […]

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Hasidic Autographs in the RBML

Guest post by Avinoam Stillman, CC ’17.  Avinoam, a CC senior, has just completed a project to catalog our rare printed Judaica collection.  The post below is highlights some of Avinoam’s discoveries. Although Columbia’s campus has had its share of Hasidic celebrity since Hasidic pop star Lipa Schmelzer enrolled at GS, maybe the best place […]

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