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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Since 1754: The study of Hebrew at Columbia (and a new acquisition)

From its inception in 1754, the founders of Columbia University felt that the study of Hebrew was critical to understanding the classics.  Columbia’s collection includes founder Samuel Johnson’s own copy of a Hebrew-Latin psalms with the Hebrew alphabet written in his own hand. Another professor in the 18th century was Johann Kunze, who taught Hebrew […]

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Adventures in the Stacks: Everything Old is New Again

The wonderful thing about Columbia’s rare Judaica collection is that there is so much yet to be discovered – and rediscovered!  A brief foray into the RBML rare stacks always yields wonderful stories.  A couple of weeks ago, I began looking at some of the very largest rare Hebrew books, trying to see if any […]

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New Acquisitions: Prague history, 15th c. Yiddish medicine, and Italian Broadsides

It has been a busy year for Judaica acquisitions at the Columbia RBML.  Three important acquisitions have been added to our collection: A collection of forty Italian Broadsides depicting regulations on various communities (including Ferrara, Padua, Ancona, and others), only one of which is in the extensive Valmadonna collection of broadsides.  We plan to digitize […]

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New Databases for the new academic year! Hebrew books and Talmud Index

Just in time for the beginning of the Fall semester, I am pleased to announce the purchase of two new databases for Columbia’s Judaica collection: 1. Otzar HaHochma – a database of 72,700 digitized Hebrew books, from the 15th century to the present day.  Includes books from the presses of Mossad HaRav Kook and Mekhon […]

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Isaac Newton’s Josephus (and others) at Columbia

Columbia’s printed Judaica collection is composed of many different books, each with their own story to tell.  Unfortunately, however, only about 1/3 of our books were actually in our online catalog.  To rectify this, we hired Hannah Vaitsblit, a Barnard student who has been carefully checking every Judaica book in our rare stacks to make […]

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NEH grant to digitize LCAAJ (Yiddish language archive)

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) has received an award of $150,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize field notes and linguistic surveys from the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ) archive. The LCAAJ archive is an extraordinary resource for research in Yiddish studies that can shed much valuable light on […]

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Free resources on Hebrew language and Israeli elections

In preparation for the elections in Israel, to be held next week on March 17, I’d like to highlight two new freely available resources. The first, created by the National Library of Israel, relates directly to the upcoming elections.  The NLI has created an online portal to the “Election Chronicles,” an online exhibit and information […]

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Eight early American Jewish Newspapers, now available digitally!

I am pleased to announce that the following Early American newspapers are now available digitally through the following links.  With the exception of the American Israelite and American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger, all newspapers are freely available through the Historical Jewish Press website Columbia is very proud to have been involved, with New York University […]

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Recent rare acquisitions in Judaica @ CUL

The past few months have been busy for us, as we’ve acquired a number of new rare books and manuscripts for the Columbia RBML: 1. Divre Rivot – A compilation of various disputes and discussions relating to customs that took place in Mantua in the late 16th and 17th centuries.  The wealthy members of the […]

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