19 February 2008

JTS launches digital library

Founded in 1893, the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York has one of the most famous Judaica collections. It has just launched its digital library to provide global access to some of the most outstanding treasures of Jewish history.

The first collection to be made accessible includes 250 rare wedding poems which can be accessed by anyone with a computer anywhere in the world. The collection has already attracted scholars and historians, and offers cantors and rabbis new creative material to utilize in wedding ceremonies.

"The Library recognizes that as important as it is to collect and preserve the literatures and treasures of the past, these materials are worth little if they remain eternally on the shelf,” said Naomi Steinberger, director of Library Services. “The digital library brings us closer to realizing our mission of making our extensive collections available around the globe.”

The site already includes Judaica Americana, exceptional manuscripts and other rare materials. Among the resources are the full text of the 1607 Venice Haggadah (one of the earliest printed illuminated Italian hagaddot); the 1290 Esslingen Mahzor from Ashkenaz; and the c1300 Prato Haggadah, an unfinished Spanish illuminated manuscript.

The next collection available will be some 2,500 bookplates primarily from the Leah Mishkin Collection representing personalities, such as Sigmund Freud.

Recently digitized and to be available in the near future is a unique collection of field recordings of biblical chanting styles of different ethnic groups in British Palestine during the pre-world War II period.

The library also has a world-famous ketubbot collection (Jewish wedding contracts).

Access the JTS Library digital library here.

For the Wedding Poem collection, see results in brief form, table view or full view. The poem creators are listed providing additional surnames. Click on the poem to view, save or send it. There are 217 from Italy, 6 from Germany and 14 from other countries.

The collection is a treasure house for those searching Sephardic families and there are some unusual ones in the list:
ABULAFFIO, ADLER, AMAR, ASHKENAZI, AVIAD, AZIZ, AZCARIEL, BARAFFAEL, BASSAN, BENVENISTI, BEHREND, BERLA, BIANCHINI, BONAVENTURA, BULLAFIO, CAHANA, CANTARINI, CANTON, CAPARUSI, CARAVALIO, CARPI, CASES, CASTELNOVO, CASTILLE FRANCO, CASTILLO, CAZICHIN, CHAFETZ, CIVIDALE, CLERLE, COCHAV (KOCHAV), COHEN PORTO, COLOMBA, COLON, CONEGLIANO, CONIAN, CONSIGLIO, CONSOLO, CONSTANTINI, CORCOS, DE BENEDETTI, DE LA TURE, DE PAZ, DEL MONTE (ME-HA-HAR), DIES (DIEZ), DINA, ENRIQUES MIRANDA, ESTE, FANO, FOA, FINZI, FIZ, FORMIGGINI, FRANCHETTI HARRARI, FRANCO, GALICHI, GANSI, GERSTEL, GHIRONDI/GIRONDI, GONZAGA, GREGO, GRIGO, HABIB, HAI, HALEVI, HEILPRON, HEFETZ (GENTILI), KATZ, KALONYMUS, LEONCINO, LIOTZI, LISSA, LOPEZ CARDOZO, LURIA, LUSTRO, LUZZATTO, MACHIORO, MALCHIR, MALTA, MARINI, MECHIAVISH, MELAODA, MINERVI, MOCHATI, MODENA, MANDELBAUM, MASSOD, MENDOLA, MODIGLIANI, MESHULLAM, MILA,MORENO, MORPURGO, MOSES, MOTA, NAHMAN, NAVARRA, NECHAMI, NORZI, OTTOLENGHI, OZILLIO, PADUA, PAVIO, PERLI, PESARO, PESILIA, POLISSI, PORTO, POVINI, PRIESTER, PUGLIESE, RECANATI, RICARDO, RIMINI, RINAINO, ROCCA, ROMANIN, ROMANINO, ROSELLO, SAADIAH, SANGUINETTI, SAR SHALOM, SAROVI, SFORNO, SHALIT, SHAF, SHALOM, SIZZI, SULLAM (SCALA), TAGLIACOZZO, TEITELBAUM, TOSCANO, TRIESTE, TREVES, TUSCANO, TZARFATI, URBINO, UZIEL, UZITTO, VITALE, VIVANTI, VOLTERRA, YAKOR, ZIVITTA.

Searching for Germany: ACKERMAN, BARKANY HACOHEN, ITZKAVISKI, RAZAZ, SCHUSTER, ROSENBLUTH. Searching other countries: DUBAH, FONSECA, HENRIKES DI CASTRO, KAZZIN, MANGID, MAS KLEIN, MENDES, MIRTAN, PEREZ, SHASHU, SHNEUR, TEXEIRA DI MATOS.

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