Celebrating Jewish Book Month 5771 with an Exhibit on the History of Jewish Printing and Publishing

November 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Posted in News, Press Releases, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

The Jewish people has often been called People of the Book.  Through the ages, the written word has been the means to record and preserve our Jewish history and religious heritage.  Cleveland is fortunate to be home to the Aaron Garber Library at Siegal College, connecting the Jewish community with an extensive repository of our written tradition.  The library holdings comprise northern Ohio’s largest Judaica and Hebraica collection, encompassing the vast range of Jewish knowledge.

History of Printing DisplayDuring spring semester 2010, Marla Levine of the library staff, undertook the challenging task of identifying and describing the rare and special books in the Aaron Garber Library collection.  Upon inspection and continued review of these books, the staff was inspired to plan an exhibit to highlight some of these special treasures.
The Talmud
Since Daniel Bomberg (one of the first and most prominent Christian printers of Hebrew books) opened his printing house in Venice in the second decade of the 16th century, many illustrious printers and publishing enterprises have brought Jewish publications to the world.  Bomberg published the first complete edition of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds (1520-23). David de Caderousse of Avignon (c. 1398-1468) is the first known Jew associated with printing, even before the gentile Johann Gutenberg.  While these early editions are not on display, visitors will see significant works published in pre- Shoah Europe, Israel, the United States and other countries in the Diaspora.

In the planning process, the exhibit evolved into a journey through the history of Jewish printing and publishing, highlighting topics relating to publishing, the book industry, Jewish literature, printing, and the history of the book.  Also incorporated are books from the collections of The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, The Ohio State University Libraries, and Case Western Reserve University Special Collections Research Center.

Printed Book on DisplayThe items on display are grouped by topic, rather than chronology.  Each component of the display includes books or objects with a narrative piece to elucidate the grouping.

The items on display are but a small sampling of the rare and unique items owned by the Aaron Garber Library.  The exhibit provides just a taste of the topics related to Jewish printing and publishing.  We encourage visitors to pursue this subject further and invite you to start your research in the Aaron Garber Library. Inside the Library is a book display featuring a display which features books and other sources consulted to compile the research for the display.  Any member of the library staff would be happy to guide visitors through the available resources.

The exhibit includes many works published in pre-Shoah Europe in cities like Lvov, Warsaw, Vilna, Vienna and Berlin.The books on display include Hebrew titles such as the poetic narrative of Nahman Fishman, Sisra, published in Lemberg (Lvov), 1841, and a Hebrew translation of Theodor Herzl’s work on the First Zionist Congress, Ha-Kongres ha-Bazila’I, published in Warsaw, 1897.”
Megillah Scroll
The Aaron Garber library also owns a few exemplars of works published in other venues outside of Europe.  The exhibit includes a work from Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as one from Cape Town, South Africa.

Come view this memorable exhibit of treasured works, some dating back almost two centuries.  The display will continue through December 30th (incorporating Jewish Book Month 5771 and Hanukkah) in the Olyn and Joseph Horwitz Collection exhibit cases in the Siegal College foyer. The College building is open 8:30 am to 5 pm,  Monday through Thursday; 8:30 am to 3 pm, Friday.  (The building is closed November 25, 26, and December 24.)  Siegal College welcomes and encourages visitors to view and discover the diversity and depth of the Jewish written heritage.

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