Page 49 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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43
F
aber
—J
ew ish
L
ibrary
C
ollections
est to the private collector, such as early Bible prints in many
languages, including Polyglot, unusual Hebrew liturgical materi-
als, entire sets and single copies of the Babylonian and Palestin-
ian Talmuds, various editions of the Zohar, Josephus in all Euro-
pean languages, including Czech. All the materials in this last
group are rare prints from the 16th and 17th centuries.
American Jewish History
All types of materials dealing with American Jewish history—
manuscripts, books, memoirs, newspapers, magazines, even inci-
dental pages with commercial advertisements—are of interest to
private collectors, both scholars and laymen. Typical in this
category is Rabbi Abraham J. Karp in Rochester, N.Y. His field
of specialization is limited to Jews and Judaism in the United
States in the 19th century. Included in this collection are such
rare items as Emma Lazarus’
Poems and Translations
(printed
for private circulation in New York, 1866), sixteen of the original
issues of
The Occident
(Philadelphia, 1843-1868), as well as many
“firsts in Hebrew printed in America.”
The collection of Irving I. Katz in Detroit, Michigan, contains
over 10,000 books and manuscripts relating to American Jewish
history, especially Jewish history in Michigan, and other Hebraica.
Orginally this collection was much larger, but Mr. Katz has been
donating materials in the past ten years to various universities and
institutions. Similarly the library of Edwin Wolf
2
nd, of Wyncote,
Pennsylvania, specializes in American Judaica—books written by
and about Jews in the United States—from 1718 to 1875. I t con-
sists of some 400 selected volumes and 200 manuscripts.
A rt
Various items of Jewish art—paintings, sculptures, illustrated
books, especially Pesah Haggadot and Megillot, decorative items
for Torahs, ketubot—are among the most eagerly sought collectors’
treasures. Since this essay is limited to library collections, the fol-
lowing descriptions may serve as typical examples in that genre.
The collection of Leon L. Gildesgame of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., in-
eludes many richly illustrated Arabic and Persian manuscripts
from the 15th and 16th centuries, well preserved in their original
beautiful bindings. These are appraised by connoisseurs for their
artistic value as much as for their literary merits. In addition, this
collection has many artistically decorated Bibles from early periods
and in several languages. Of equal interest are the many titles
representative of contemporary Jewish art. Foremost in this group