Page 138 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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GEORGE MANDEL
The Kressel Collection at Oxford
T
h e
k r e s s e l
c o l l e c t i o n
,
which consists of a Library and an A r­
chive, was created over several decades in the course of the
literary and scholarly work of Getzel Kressel, of Holon, Israel.
Kressel has written or edited nearly a hundred books and is the
author of thousands of articles in Hebrew newspapers and jou r­
nals. His writings extend over an exceptionally wide range of
subject-matter: Hebrew and Yiddish literature; the history of
Zionism and of the
Hibbat Tziyyon
movement; preparing editions
of the writings of major figures in Hebrew literature, the Hibbat
Tziyyon movement, and th
eyishuv,
each with a comprehensive
introduction and notes; Palestinography; the Jewish workers’
movement in Palestine from its earliest days until the present; and
the history of the Hebrew press. He has published bibliographies
and indexes to a number of Hebrew newspapers and periodicals,
and written hundreds of articles in Jewish encyclopaedias that
have been published in various languages.
It was the needs of this work that led Kressel to start acquiring
the books and periodicals that now form his Library. The Archive
which he gradually created as well, and the extensive biblio­
graphical notes he made and filed systematically over the years,
not only served his own needs but became a focus for enquiries
and requests for help from hundreds of other people — most of
them also writers, whose acknowledgements are recorded in the
inscriptions they added to the copies of their works that are in the
Collection.
Organizing such a collection and keeping it up-to-date require
a great deal of work, which has to be done regularly. The newspa­
per cuttings, for example, which form the largest part of the
Archive, require the scanning (not to mention acquisition) of
dozens of newspapers and journals from Israel and overseas;
cutting out and tagging the articles selected; sorting them alpha­
betically and, eventually, filing them. Newspapers contain a vast
amount of information about people, institutions, events, books,
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