Page 196 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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To summarize: Abraham Karp’s collection is very significant
on three counts:
1. the quantity o f materials assembled;
2. the rarity o f a great many individual items, some biblio-
graphically unrecorded, or in manuscript;
3. the diversity o f the collection, which encompasses most as­
pects o f Jewish life in the United States, especially in the 19th
The very great majority of the books, pamphlets and peri­
odicals are in their original bindings, boards or wraps in good
to excellent condition. Five significant works in their original
board binding and in uncut condition are:
The History o f the Jews From the Destruction o f Jerusalem to the
Nineteenth Century,
2 vols., by Hannah Adams, Boston, 1812.
(Torah, Neviim, uKhetuvim) Biblia Hebraica,
2 vols., Philadel­
phia, 1814.
Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States, in
the Years 1813-14 and 15,
by Mordecai M. Noah, New York, 1819.
Instruction in the Mosaic Religion,
translated from the German
o f J. Johlson . . . by Isaac Leeser, Philadelphia, 5590 (1830).
Songs o f a Semite,
by Emma Lazarus, New York, 1882.
The first mentioned book is the first history of the Jews writ­
ten and published in America — by America’s first professional
woman writer. The copy bears a presentation inscription “From
Wm. S. Shaw Esq. March 31, 1812.” Shaw was the Clerk of
the District of Massachusetts. Since it was the practice at that
time to place a copy of a newly published work with the Clerk
of the District for the copyright, it may be reasonably assumed
that this copy was the one so placed. In all probability, this is
then the copyright copy, and equally probable, it was one of
the first — if not the first — off the press. We add that the
collection also has a mint copy of the London, 1818, edition,
“by Hannah Adams of Boston, America,” and an equally fine
copy of the pirated French edition, which gives no credit to
the author of this popular history, the first to contain a chapter
on the Jews in America:
Histoire des Juifs, Depuis la Destruction
de Jerusalem Jusqua ce Jour
. . . Publiee, pour la premiere fois,
en France, par H. Charles Halo . . . Paris, 1826.