Page 193 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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HILL/HEBRAICA AND JUDAICA COLLECTIONS
181
HAYES COLLECTION OF HEBRAIC MANUSCR IPTS
Also maintained in the Lowy Room is the Hayes Collection o f
Hebraic Manuscripts, consisting o f nearly 200 original North
African, Yemenite, Persian and other oriental manuscripts in
Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian dating from
the 17th to the 19th centuries. Among these are biblical texts,
translations and commentaries (some with superlineal vocaliza­
tion), talmudic texts, liturgies and Passover Haggadahs, religious
and secular poetry, mystical and folkloristic texts including
dream interpretations and amulets, and texts o f ritual law, partic­
ularly dietary laws. One o f the most exotic manuscripts is a collec­
tion o f
Pizmonim
(poems in praise o f God) together with
Sefer
Kitsat Yosefha-Tsadik
(an adaptation o f the story o fJoseph and his
brothers) in Arabic written in a very fine oriental cursive script at
Shanghai, China, in 1865. There are also several volumes o f
Judeo-Persian poetry and a book o f fortune-telling written on
blue or green paper during the 19th century, just a few o f the
interesting examples o f oriental papermaking in the collection.
Many o f the manuscripts have original leather bindings, some
containing much older fragments as flyleaves and as linings in the
boards. The collection was named for Saul Hayes, late vice-
president o f the Canadian Jewish Congress, who helped sponsor
its acquisition by the National Library. It is one o f only two sizable
collections o f non-European Hebrew manuscripts found in pub­
lic institutions in Canada.
The Hayes Collection also includes nearly 500 reels o f micro­
films, plus microfiche cards, o f medieval biblical, rabbinic and
Karaitic manuscripts held in major libraries in the U.S.S.R.,
Poland, and Hungary, copies o f which are available in only a few
other libraries outside o f the Soviet sphere. These include 30
reels o f manuscripts from the Firkovich Collection, rich in
Karaitica, in the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Library in Leningrad,
and over 175 reels from theJewish Historical Institute in Warsaw
(incorporating some material held before the war in the Breslau
Seminary). The largest and most important group o f microforms
consists o f over 250 reels o f microfilm, and over 450 microfiche
cards, from the renowned Kaufmann Collection in the library o f
the Hungarian Academy o f Sciences in Budapest. Among the
holdings o f the Kaufmann Collection are many hundreds o f
medieval and later Hebraic manuscripts (including the Mortara