Collections of the Past the Present and the Future

The Hebrew Manuscript Digitisation Project at the British Library

Description: 

The aim of the project is to provide free online access to Hebrew manuscripts from the British Library’s collection, through manuscript conservation and imaging, catalogue creation and online presentation. The British Library’s collection of Hebrew manuscripts includes items representing Jewish cultural, religious and scientific endeavor between the 10th century and the beginning of the 20th century, covering a vast geographical expanse from Europe and North Africa in the west, through the Middle East to China in the east. By the end of the first phase of this project (July 2016), the digitisation of 1,300 manuscripts has been finalized, capturing over 435,000 images. The PowerPoint presentation will show the stages of the project, focusing on the progress made to date and the main challenges faced by the project team.

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The Hebraica and Judaica Collection in Frankfurt am Main/Germany - Past, Present and Future

Description: 

The Hebraica and Judaica Collection in Frankfurt am Main/Germany The University Library JCS houses the largest collection of literature on Judaism and Israel in the Federal Republic of Germany. Formed by librarian Prof. Dr. Aron Freimann (1871-1948), the collection turned into the largest Hebraica and Judaica collection of the European continent before World War II. Most parts remained unharmed during the war. In recent years the historic resources have been digitized and are freely accessible in the internet. The presentation will give an overview of the development of the collection and introduce the digitization strategy of the library. The online portal “Digital Collections Judaica” offers a wide range of Hebraica and Judaica databases, including Hebrew manuscripts and Incunabula, Yiddish prints, historic prints and sheets of music, the unique collection of newspaper clippings about the Rothschild family, the Freimann collection of books and Compact Memory with periodicals. The new “Specialised Information Service Jewish Studies” is being developed as an innovative information infrastructure, aiming to facilitating access to resources and services for the research community.

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The End of an Era: The Jewish Studies Library at the University of Cape Town

Description: 

The protest movements “Rhodes Must Fall” initiated at the University of Cape Town in March 2015 and its outgrowth “Fees Must Fall” caused widespread unrest at universities throughout South Africa. With the resultant introduction of austerity measures, the Jewish Studies Library, whose hours of opening had already been reduced in 2006 and the librarian’s post downgraded in 2013, was now threatened with closure and the transfer of the books into the Main Library. Unfortunately, these developments coincided with the resignation of the Jewish Studies Librarian who will not be replaced. This paper will consider the factors leading to this development and the implications of this move for the collection, for the status of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, and for the future of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town.