David Stern Lecture: The Lives of Jewish Books

As we near the close of physical version of The People in the Books (the online version will, of course remain online), we look forward to one more lecture dealing with Hebrew manuscripts.  On January 22, as part of the Grolier Club's Bibliography Week, Professor David Stern (University of Pennsylvania) will be speaking at Columbia […]

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New Acquisitions: Bookdealers and Sabbateans

  I am pleased to announce two new acquisitions for the Judaica collection at Columbia: 1) A small collection of materials from Judaica bookdealers around the world in the first part of the 20th century.  A brief description: Collection of letters and ephemera relating to the Judaica book trade, most from 1926-1955.  The collection includes […]

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The People in the Books: Now open at Columbia and online

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Columbia’s exhibition of Hebrew and Judaic manuscripts, The People in the Books, is now open, through January 25, 2013.  The exhibit is free and open to the public during all RBML hours of operation. Entry is free, and handicapped accessible. Please bring valid government-issued photo ID […]

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Hebrew mss @ CUL: The (Raphael Jesurun de) Spinoza autograph

The advantage to working in a collection such as Columbia's, with its very deep and diverse resources, is that new and interesting materials pop up almost daily.  A couple of months ago, I received a phone call that someone wanted to come and look at our Spinoza autograph.  Columbia is home to the Oko-Gebhardt Spinoza […]

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Lecture: “Defining a Field: Jewish Books in the Age of Print”

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY BOOK HISTORY COLLOQUIUM: SPRING 2012 All programs are in Room 523, Butler Library, on the Columbia campus.  Start time is 6:00 PM. For more information about the Book History Colloquium, please contact Karla Nielsen (kn2300@columbia.edu) April 19, 2012 Emile Schrijver (University of Amsterdam) "Defining a Field: Jewish Books in the Age of Print" […]

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Online Resource: JDC Archives online

The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has been helping Jews around the world since its inception at the onset of World War I in 1914.  Its archives have long been a resource for scholars researching Jewish immigration, anti-semitism, Jewish aid, geneology, and many other topics. Now, for the first time, the JDC Archives from 1914-1932 are […]

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Hebrew mss @ CUL: The Whole Megillah

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Purim (March 8), here is a Megilat Esther from Columbia's Smith Collection.  Professor David Eugene Smith, a professor at Columbia's Teacher's College from 1901-1926, was a scholar in the History of Mathematics who went around the world collecting manuscripts and rare books related to his topic.  He spent […]

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Hebrew Mss @ CUL: The Pope, the Sun King, and a Hebrew prayerbook in Southern France

Throughout the centuries leading up to the French Revolution, the Jews of France were alternatively expelled and invited back many times (the 14th and 17th centuries were particularly confusing in this regard).  Throughout this time, however, there were four cities that remained consistently safe for Jews.  Ironically (but perhaps not too surprisingly for those familiar […]

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Hebrew Mss @ CUL: New Aquisitions in History

In February of 1988, the Library Columns, the publication of the Columbia University Libraries, had a note about a donation from Mr. and Mrs. Schaefler.  The donation described, among other items, "…fourteenth-century documents pertaining to commercial transactions of the Jewish community at Apt in Provence, France."  Six of these manuscripts have been digitized, and are […]

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Two new digital manuscript sites: Dead Sea Scrolls and Maimonides

In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd exploring a cave in the Judean desert came across a fantastic treasure trove of Hebrew documents from the third to the first centuries BCE.  The Dead Sea Scrolls, as we now know them, are now the oldest known Biblical manuscripts in existence.  While they can be viewed today at the […]

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