Page 29 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

Basic HTML Version

J EWI SH B I BL I OGRA PH I C J OURNAL S
By C
h a r l e s
B
erl in
A
great increase in the publication of books of Jewish interest
took place in the nineteenth century. The reasons for this
were several: the development of the Wissenschaft des Judenthums,
scientific Jewish scholarship, in the middle of the nineteenth cen-
tury with its great outpouring of scholarly monographs and peri-
odicals; the literary renaissance brought about by the Haskalah
(Enlightenment) movement; the political awakening of European
Jewry in its struggle for emancipation, and technological advances
in the art of printing. By the middle of the nineteenth century
it was becoming increasingly difficult to cope with this flood of
new material and one could no longer rely on the few dealers'
catalogues available or upon the occasional reviews in the general
press. In addition, the work of the pioneers of the Wissenschaft
movement had demonstrated the importance of bio-bibliographic
research to Jewish scholarship. Thus, the stage was set for the
appearance of a bibliographic journal devoted to the Jewish book.
The first journal to be devoted in its entirety to Jewish bibli-
ography was the
Hebraeische Bibliographie (HB),
which began
publication in Berlin in 1858. Appropriately enough it was edited
by the father of Jewish bibliography, the great Moritz Steinschnei-
der. Issued six times a year from 1858 to 1882, a total of twenty-one
volumes appeared. Each issue was a slim pamphlet of some four-
teen to twenty pages, crammed with a wealth of bibliographic in-
formation. The following sections were included in each issue:
bibliography; periodical literature; catalogues; studies. “Bibliog-
raphy” was a list, often annotated, of new publications, both books
and periodicals; in the latter case, brief surveys of the contents
were often given. “Periodical literature" was a listing of articles
of Jewish interest to be found chiefly in non-Jewish periodicals.
The appearance of catalogues of booksellers and publishers, as
well as those of private and institutional libraries, was duly noted
under “Catalogues." In “Studies" there appeared scholarly studies
of bibliographic interest, including many by Steinschneider, such
as those on Jewish medicine, mathematicians, women, manuscripts,
etc.
HB
was also host to bibliographic studies by many other schoi-
ars including J. Benjacob, A. Geiger, M. Kayserling, J. Kobak,
S. D. Luzzatto, M. Mortara, M. Wiener, J. Zedner, and L. Zunz.
In addition to all this, most issues included brief bibliographic
23