22 January 2009

The Vatican: Hebrew manuscript catalog published

The Vatican has published a catalog of some 800 Hebrew manuscripts in more than 11 of its collections, edited by the National Library of Israel's technical staff.

It will be presented January 30 at an event attended by the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, the Vatican librarian and the former director of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts of the Jewish National and University Library.

It will be interesting to see what is included in this collection.


  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Hmmm.... Given the Vatican's history, it would be very, very Christian of them if they donated all their Hebrew manuscripts to Israeli institutions.

  2. It would be nice ... but don't hold your breath! At least it appears the manuscripts have been copied and will be available to other institutions. Experts believe that the Vatican holds many more than these 800 catalogued items, in addition to rare early volumes and Judaica.

  3. Anonymous8:04 AM

    I didn't know that being a christian meant giving away ones property. I'll be sympathetic to the idea of the Vatican giving up its property when I find such a move among American Christians.

  4. Unfortunately, these Hebrew manuscripts are really not the property of the Church, except in possession. Documents/Judaica/books were taken/confiscated over centuries of history from Jewish collections, libraries, archives, synagogues, from individuals accused during the Inquisition, etc. While the Church acquired these items in a variety of ways - whether or not we agree with those methods -they have preserved them and are now making them public. On the other hand, no one really knows what else is hidden in their vaults. It would be nice to discover what else has been hidden away.