Page 49 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

Basic HTML Version

E
d e lm a n n
— R
o y a l
L
ibrary
o f
C
o p e nh ag e n
41
and stored un til after the war. T hu s a number of American and
English Judaica, most of which soon were ou t of p rin t, were
procured for the Royal Library.
After the war the Royal L ibrary was no t among the recipients
of the heirless books found in Germany by the allied forces.
But it was able to send hundreds of duplicates to Jerusalem and
other places from the thousands of German books left by the
American and British forces after they had made their selections
from the many libraries the German occupants had established
in Denmark for their own purposes, including a great number
of Antisemitica. T h e Royal Library also bought the collection
of some 1,000 volumes from the widow of the late Chief Rabb i
of Denmark, Moses Friediger (died 1947); several hundred
volumes in Yiddish from the collection left by the late Dr.
Na than B irnbaum (1864-1937), and the Yiddish collection of
about the same size left by S. Beilin in Copenhagen (died 1959).
I t received about 50 volumes of the series “Fun poilishn idn tum ”
as a donation from the Federation of Jews from Poland in Buenos
Aires, more than 1,100 volumes from the Jewish Community of
Copenhagen, mostly older rabbinics and German Jewish peri­
odicals, several hundred volumes from the American Danish
Jewish Committee in New York, and gifts from many other
organizations and individuals. I t should also be mentioned that
about 100 volumes, most of them in manuscript bu t all in Judeo-
Persian, were purchased from Persia. Th is collection is of ines­
timable importance from a linguistic, literary and historical
point of view.
1949 became a memorable year in the history of the Jewish
collections in the Royal Library. In tha t year the imposing
library of the great bibliophile and collector Lazarus Gold­
schmidt of Berlin and London (1871-1950) was purchased with
the help of the Carlsberg Foundation, of donations from various
firms, and of a grant from the Danish government. Th is library
of approximately 2,500 volumes comprises many of the rarest
and most precious Hebrew books, including more than 50
incunabula and several uniques and near uniques. Although
Goldschmidt, like Simonsen, was a scholar for whom books were
tools in his research work, a distinct air of bibliophily pervades
his collection. Composed and treated w ith painstaking care, it
occupies a conspicuous place w ithin the Jewish Department of
the Royal Library. T h e Goldschmidt Collection forms an im­
po rtan t segment of this Department.
During the last few years, substantial additions have been
made to the collections of Hebraica and Judaica in the Royal
Library. From Mr. Leon Forem of New York the library received
a benefaction of a large number of Yiddish books. T h e New York