Page 110 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
be borrowed. Some criteria for the selection of the material
were beauty, importance of the texts, historical significance, re­
flection of Jewish life and customs, evidence of the Hebrew
book as a receiver and transmitter of ideas from and to other
cultures. It was very clear to me as curator that this exhibition
must not have an apologetic tone, or, to state it positively, that
the Hebrew book would be presented as important in its own
right.
One of the next steps was to draw up a list of manuscripts.
I sought out illustrations in books of various kinds, including
printed catalogs, as well as calendars and greeting cards. In
January, 1985 Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson examined Hebrew
manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in
West Berlin and sent back her notes. That summer, while I
was in Paris on a family visit, Michel Garel kindly showed me
Hebrew manuscripts in the collections of the Bibliotheque
Nationale. In November, 1985 I visited the Library of the Jewish
Theological Seminary o f America, where Dr. Menahem
Schmelzer offered invaluable assistance, and the following
month Professor Joseph Gutmann of Wayne State University
in Detroit graciously invited me to his home, where he shared
of his expertise. In November of the following year I made
a trip to the Library of Congress, where Dr. Michael W.
Grunberger and Doris Hamburg showed me the
Washington
Haggadah
, then undergoing restoration and conservation work,
and I also went to Cincinnati, to the Klau Library of the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where Dr. Herbert
C. Zafren, David J. Gilner and Arnona Rudavsky were of great
help, and to the home of Richard D. and Beatrice Levy, private
collectors.
SELECTION OF ITEMS
All of the notes taken during the 1985 visits and from pub­
lished sources were distilled onto cards and sorted and re-sorted
to produce a list reflecting some kind of balance with regard
to kinds of text, place of production and style. In September,
1986 a first round of loan requests went out to libraries, mostly
abroad. The distribution of the material seemed to suggest what
the organization of the exhibition ought to be: Bible, the Oral
Tradition, prayer and celebration, Hebrew language and liter­