Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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The collection of the late Dr. Mordekhai M. Kosover of Elm-
hurst, N.Y. represents another illustration of a professional schol-
ar’s wide ranging interests in materials relating to his research.
Beyond his direct concerns with Jewish history, folklore, and
social studies, Dr. Kosover assembled a sizeable collection of
unique items, including hundreds of volumes of pre-modern Yid-
dish literature, books of unusual appearance in format and size,
and many rare prints. This collection also includes an index of
about 100,000 cards to the fields of Jewish folklore and philology.
The library of Dr. Fritz Bamberger of New York City special-
izes in first and early editions in major disciplines of philosophy
published before 1850. Of unique interest are some 1,500 titles,
either by or about Barukh Spinoza published before 1820, as well
as many hundreds of works by and about Moses Mendelssohn pub*
lished before 1840. Of further special interest are all the writings
by Solomon Maimon in their first editions. Other philosophers of
Jewish origin are represented in this collection although their
respective works are not all related specifically to Judaism and
Jewish thought.
Manuscripts, Incunabula and Early Prints
Two outstanding, widely renowned collections belong to this
category. Rabbi Manfred Lehrman of Cedarhurst, N.Y., possesses
some 400 complete manuscripts in the fields of rabbinics, mysti-
cism, Bible commentaaries, and responsa, approximately dating
from the 13th century until the middle of the nineteenth. A
number of additional fragmentary manuscripts date back as early
as the 10th century. These materials hail from Italy, North Africa,
Poland, Russia, Persia, Palestine and Yemen. Of very special
significance to the historian are manuscripts of
pinkasim
from the
Jewish communities of Hagenau, Hamburg, Halberstadt, and
Venice. Rabbi Lehrman has also assembled ten of the rarest
Hebrew incunabula, and over fifty titles in rabbinics printed in
the first half of the 16th century in Bologna, Fano, Ferrari, Piz-
zaro, Riva, Venice, Salonica, and Istanbul. All these materials
are generally sought as precious collectors’ items. Another section
of the Lehrman collection includes some 10,000 titles, books and
scholarly journals, in many languages, specializing in rabbinics,
Jewish history and archeology.
The incunabula collection of Jacob M. Lowy in Montreal, Can-
ada, is perhaps the most significant library of this type in Amer-
ica. It includes thirty-five titles in Hebrew and nine in Latin,
covering the fields of Bible, Talmud, Hebrew grammar, Jewish
philosophy, Josephus, and Thomas Aquinas. In addition, the
Lowy library has some 250 titles which are of extraordinary inter­