08 May 2008

Netherlands: Jewish libraries

I have previously posted about Salon Jewish Studies - Gateway to Sources for Research in Jewish History and Culture, which provides information on a variety of sources.

A new section is on Netherlands resources:

The Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam - Library of the University of Amsterdam hosts the famous collection of Hebraica and Judaica. Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (more than 6000 titles). search the catalogue here .

The core of the important and extensive collection of Hebraica and Judaica of the University of Amsterdam is the library of Leeser Rosenthal (1794-1868) from Hanover. In 1880 this library, which consisted of approximately 6,000 volumes, was donated by Leeser's children (Georg, Nanny and Mathilde) to the City of Amsterdam and housed in the Municipal Library - afterwards University Library of Amsterdam. Since then the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana has been enhanced considerably through donations and by pursuing a specific policy of acquisition; the collection ranks among the largest in Europe.

The Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana does not only comprise a large collection of printed books, the earliest of which date from the 15th century, but also periodicals, manuscripts (from the 13th century onwards) engravings, photographs and archival material.

It includes Hebraica and Judaica from the Northern Netherlands from the 17th century to the present, an almost complete collection of Menasseh Ben Israel and Jacob Juda Leon Templo; Inquisition material and Sephardic Judaica in the Cassuto Collection; history of the Jews in the Netherlands and Germany, and Jewish book history.

The Bibliotheek Ets Haim - Livraria Montenzinos Amsterdam hosts more than 30,000 titles. The catalog is not yet available online.

The 'Ets Haim Library - Livraria Montezinos' has been part of the 'Ets Haim' seminary since 1616, and has been housed in the 'Esnoga' complex of the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam since 1675. Its 30,000 printed works and 500 manuscripts encompass all aspects of Jewish scholarship, and many aspects of literature, history and the natural sciences. The library's collections provide a detailed picture of Sephardic culture as it emerged from its roots in the Iberian peninsula.

Resources include some 500 manuscripts (1280-20th century), about 30,000 printed works (1484-today). Of 20,000 volumes, about 65% are in Hebrew. Printed materials also include 6 Hebrew incunabula, 400 Hebrew unica, 400 unique Spanish and Portuguese printings and some 750 special event printings. There are also some 250 prints and scores of choral music.

The collections include all standard Jewish works in many editions; languages include Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, English and Yiddish.

The Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Leiden - Library of the University of Leiden hosts a huge collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts. search the catalogue here.

The Oriental Department in the Library of Leiden University houses a considerable and varied collection of Oriental material, consisting of both handwritten and printed pieces, which originate mainly from the Middle East and Indonesia. Smaller collections from Japan, China and India and books and texts in Hebrew and Syriac also form part of the library. The library has been the depository of Oriental books and manuscripts from its very inception in 1586. The first voyage by the Dutch to the Indonesian archipelago, just before the end of the 16th century, resulted for the Leiden Library in the acquisition of a Javanese manuscript on palm leaves, which is now one of the very oldest in existence.

There are also two substantial photograph collections.

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