Page 195 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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KARP / T H E KARP CO LLEC T ION OF AMER ICAN JUDA ICA
187
ish historic experience, wherever composed or published. Thus,
for example, letters
to
as well as from America; works by early
American Jewish notables published abroad; reports on Jews
and Judaism in America in German Jewish or Russian Hebrew
periodicals. The vast majority of the items in the collection, 85
to 90 per cent, were written or published in the United States,
and about the same percentage before the end of the 19th cen­
tury.
Dr. Menahem Schmelzer, who examined the collection in No­
vember, 1989, described it in these words:
It is generally in an excellent state o f preservation. A good
number o f the books are dedication or association copies. Most
o f the collection is in English, but there are also many books
in Hebrew and in German. The following subjects are represent­
ed: Grammars and dictionaries by Jewish and non-Jewish au­
thors; travels to Palestine, mainly by non-Jewish authors; mission­
ary works that describe Jewish practices; and Biblical antiquities,
again, mainly by non-Jewish authors.
Especially strong are the sections on the American synagogue
and Jewish communal organizations, such as hospitals, foster
homes, homes for the aged, etc. Here are included constitutions,
dedications, reports, ledgers, minute books — some in manu­
script.
The collection o f liturgical works is very rich. It includes, e.g.,
twenty o f the first thirty Haggadoth printed in the United States,
as well as editions o f the Pinto, Leeser, Wise, Einhorn,
Merzbacher, Szold, Jastrow etc. prayerbooks and booklets con­
taining special services.
Among the materials special mention should be made o f items
relating to rabbis, cantors,
shamashim
and
shohetim.
These include:
ordinations, contracts, letters on various (rabbinic and commu­
nal) conflicts, etc. The section containing American Rabbinic
works is very strong. In it one also finds the first products o f
Hebrew printing in a number o f American cities. Sermons by
American rabbis are found in large number.
Books, pamphlets by and concerning such notables as Isaac
Leeser (including ca. one hundred Hebrew, English, Yiddish and
German letters to him, as well as . . . by him), Isaac M. Wise,
David Einhorn, Samuel Hirsch, M.M. Noah, Emma Lazarus, Ben­
jamin Szold are richly represented.
In the collection o f periodicals there are complete or very con­
siderable runs o f
The Jew, The Occident, The Israelite, Die Deborah,
Zeitgeist, New Era.