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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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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Conservation and book repair, historical and modern

The Conservation Department at Columbia University Libraries is an often unsung hero of the libraries.  The work of their talented conservators encompasses all areas of the library, and ensures that our collections, both modern and ancient, will endure for years to come. Many times, in a routine conservation activity, hidden aspects of books come to […]

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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: All this has come upon us…

We are very pleased to announce the recent acquisition of a haunting and beautiful portfolio of exhibition prints entitled All this has come upon us…, created by Dr. Mark Podwal.  This series of images was created for an exhibition at the Terezin Ghetto Museum from April to July 2014.  The series includes images relating to […]

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New Acquisitions: Travels of Moise Vita Cafsuto

In 1733, a man from Firenze, in Italy, named Moise (Moses) Vita (Hayyim) Cafsuto (Cassuto) set off on a journey to the Holy Land.  He kept a diary of his travels throughout the Middle East, where he noted interesting sites (specifically Jewish ones, like graves and synagogues) and scenes along his journey.   We recently acquired […]

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Yosef Yerushalmi Papers: Processed and available for research

The papers of noted Columbia professor, Yosef Yerushalmi, have now been processed and are mostly (with the exception of some closed correspondence) open for use in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Many thanks go to Jacob Goldwasser and Carrie Hintz for their tremendous work on the archive. More information can be found in the […]

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Hebrew Mss @ CUL: New Acquisition: Franchetti Family Archive

I am pleased to announce the acquisition of manuscripts from the archive of the Franchetti family.  The Franchettis were hatmakers, originally from Mantua, who moved to Tunis and established their hat business there.  The business quickly became global, with connections in Leghorn/Livorno and Izmir.  This new collection includes 8 volumes of business correspondence and records.  […]

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Discoveries in the vault – a book collector’s book

One of the wonderful things about being the first librarian for Jewish Studies at Columbia is the constant discovery that takes place as I research and document the history of the Judaica collection.  In the process of reviewing a list of Hebrew books in the Columbia Manuscript Room (which included both rare printed books and […]

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