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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(899 words)

Author(s): Buda, Zsofia
A colophon, the closing statement at the end of a text, is an important source of information on manuscript production, circulation, and consumption, and for codicological and paleographical typology. Added by the scribe, colophons provide information about the copying of the manuscript in varying length and detail. ⸙A colophon (from κολοφών, Greek for “summit” or “finishing stroke”) is a closing statement written at the end of a text or end of a section of a text in a manuscript. Most often it is added by the scribe, but there are colophons…
Date: 2023-01-31


(2,907 words)

Author(s): Rac, Katalin
Although Jewish culinary literature  has developed for centuries from various, legal, medical, culinary, and other sources, Jewish cookbooks first appeared in the 19th century. Transforming cultural ideals and the changing role of women at home and beyond brought the genre of modern Jewish cookbook to life. Modern Jewish cookbooks preserve traditional cooking practices, ideals of Jewish identification, acculturation, and class identity. Additionally, they record the diversity of Jewish culinary cultures. ⸙ Jewish cookbooks, and cookbooks (or cookery books) in gene…
Date: 2023-04-01

Copenhagen, Bibliotheca Simonseniana

(611 words)

Author(s): Jansson, Eva-Maria
The private library acquired by The Royal Danish Library from Rabbi Professor David Simonsen in 1932. The collection contains manuscripts, printed works, and periodicals, and, in addition, the personal archive of David Simonsen. ⸙When The Royal Danish Library, in 1932, negotiated the acquisition of Rabbi Professor David Simonsen’s (1853–1932) personal library of approximately 45,000 volumes, Bibliotheca Simonseniana was the name he asked to be used for his collection. The name was used on an ex libris pasted into Simonsen’s boo…
Date: 2023-01-31


(2,231 words)

Author(s): Netanel, Neil
Jewish copyright law emerged in the 16th century through a series of rabbinic rulings and reprinting bans, as well as decrees of Jewish communal councils. In the process, rabbis borrowed from the template of early modern book privileges and, later, secular copyright law, even as they imbued that template with halakhic doctrine. Today, rabbis debate whether Jewish copyright law recognizes a right of literary property in authors or a more limited right against wrongful competition. ⸙In 1518, the Rome rabbinic court issued a decree forbidding reprinting Elijah Levita’s (a…
Date: 2023-01-31