Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures Online

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies

Being an encyclopedia on book cultures rather than book contents, this work places textuality and materiality of the book in the center of its investigation. The singularity of the Jewish book can only be understood in full if it is studied in its broader cultural and intercultural context. This encyclopedia does that by focusing on the paleographic features, intended function, cultural significance, readership, acceptance, and design of particular books and genres, as well as the producer-consumer relations involved in the making and circulating of books. It covers more than 2000 years of Jewish book cultures from all corners of the earth.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures Online will appear before the print edition and features full-text searchable, richly illustrated articles. The print edition will be released after all online content is complete and will include one introductory volume, dealing with the fundamental research questions in the wide field of Jewish Book History, followed by three alphabetically organized volumes, offering a classic entry-by-entry encyclopedia, with articles of greatly varying length. The online work reflects this framework and presents the introductory essays as a separate, but strongly intertwined, section.

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Cambridge, University Library

(675 words)

Author(s): Outhwaite, Ben
Cambridge University Library (CUL) as an institution has been collecting Jewish books since at least the 16th century, amassing an important collection of more than 1,000 Hebrew manuscripts. Even before then, Cambridge's colleges were acquiring items in Hebrew. Today, the Cambridge University Library is indelibly associated with its Cairo Genizah Collection.⸙In the realm of Jewish books and manuscripts, Cambridge University Library (CUL) is indelibly associated today with its Cairo Genizah Collection, a trove of unparalleled scale and importanc…
Date: 2023-11-20


(4,209 words)

Author(s): Benhamou, Yonith
Caricatures have been produced by Jews since the beginning of the 20th century in the Yiddish press. Jewish graphic satire was built on a striking pattern that combined sacred sources with profane humor and burlesque jokes. Caricaturists entertained readers by distorting Jewish tradition to provide them with sharp criticism. This unique mechanism has been cherished and bequeathed from the Yiddishkeit to the native Hebrew culture. It became a primary support in the construction of a shared Jewish identity and visual narrative. ⸙The definitions of the word “caricature” are man…
Date: 2023-01-31

Censorship and Censors

(2,593 words)

Author(s): Burnett, Stephen
1. Inquisitional Forthcoming 2. Central and Eastern Europe Censorship of Jewish books in Central and Eastern Europe involved government policies that limited what authors could express in texts and what readers could see. The laws shaped by these policies required the pre-publication vetting of texts, oversight of printers and what they produced, and inspection of books, both at trade fairs an…
Date: 2023-01-31