August 22, 2023 Library of Congress Releases Newly Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts

Collection of 230 Manuscripts Includes a 14th Century Collection of Responsa by Solomon ibn Adret

Press Contact: María Peña, mpena@loc.gov
Public Contact: Sharon Horowitz, shor@loc.gov

The Washington Haggadah. Passover Haggadah according to the Ashkenazic rite.

The Library of Congress has released some 230 newly digitized manuscripts written in Hebrew and similar languages such as Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian and Yiddish. The collection, available online for researchers and the public for the first time, includes a 14th century collection of responsa by Solomon ibn Adret of Barcelona, considered one of the most prominent authorities on Jewish law of all time.

The full digital project, funded by the David Berg Foundation, offers a highly diverse collection of materials from the 10th through the 20th centuries, including responsa or rabbinic decisions nd commentary, poetry, Jewish magic, and folk medicine.

“The generosity of the Berg Foundation has enabled the Library of Congress to achieve a longstanding goal of making its rich collection of Hebrew manuscripts even more accessible to researchers,” said Lanisa Kitchiner, chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division. “The collection reflects an extraordinary manuscript tradition of immeasurable research value. Its existence and online presence are both an inspiration and an invitation to admire, engage, draw upon and advance Jewish contributions to humanity from the 10th century onward.”

Seventeenth and 18th century Italy is particularly well represented in the collection, with numerous manuscripts on a variety of subjects including wedding poetry in Judeo-Italian and a considerable corpus on Kabbalah. Together, the newly digitized manuscripts offer a rich and often intimate glimpse into Jewish life over the centuries.

Other highlights of the collection include:

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 23-070
2023-08-22
ISSN 0731-3527