Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ricasoli bookToday I was cataloguing a book, Yad Harutsim printed in Venice in 1595 (shelfmark: X W1283). On the title page verso I found two stamps. At first I thought that one of them could be a printer’s device. However, it turned out that it is in fact the bookstamp of Pandolfo Ricasoli Baroni (1581-1657), the canon of Florence Cathedral (the motto is ‘Pandulphi de Ricasolis baronibus cano. fior.’). The other bookstamp is of the Convent of Discalced Carmelites, Florence (the motto is ‘CARM. Discal. S. Pauli. Flor’) to which Ricasoli’s library was donated. So I looked into who Ricasoli was and found a fascinating and even by modern standards scandalous story – ONLY those of a strong disposition should read it!

“The canon Pandolfo Ricasoli, a man of great learning and apparent respectability, had gained some celebrity by his spiritual direction of convents, also as a preacher and in the instruction of youth; amongst other things he directed a school of younRicasoli stampg girls founded by one Faustina Mainardi a woman of low condition: they apparently confined themselves to pure spiritual instruction but employed religious confidence as a means of seduction, and to such an extent as to demoralize the whole society. This conduct as reported by a father confessor soon put the Holy Office into action, an in November 1641 the refectory of Santa Croce was turned into a court of justice to try the culprits. A scaffold hung with black drapery, as for the exposure of a corpse, and surrounded by the inquisitors, as seen in the midst of this vast hall: Cardinal Gian-Carlo de’Medici, the young princes of the blood, the priesthood, the nobility, every member of government, and other official persons filled the remaining space, so that the area of that enormous chamber teemed with anxious spectators. on this gloomy stage the prisoners dressed in garments painted with flames and devils, were seen kneeling at the feet of the Grand Inquisitor, who grim as Moloch, hearkened to a monk that with sepulchral voice and menacing aspect recited the process, accompanied by minute details of every obscene act which had been committed and acknowledged by the prisoners. Sentence was then pronounced, by which Faustina and Ricasoli were doomed to be walled up in a dungeon until they expired!”
(Henry Edward Napier, Florentine History from the earliest authentic records to the accession of Ferdinand the Third, grand duke of Tuscany [London: Edward Moxon, 1847], V, 498-499.)

Jewish Books in Amsterdam 1600-1850, Modern Hebrew Literature and archives

The term is now in full swing and we have enjoyed welcoming many new faces to the library. It has been a busy time in the Library, alongside the inductions, and our on-going projects we have also started an intensive process of cataloguing rare books so that they become searchable on SOLO.  This enables researchers to search our rare book collection remotely and request books in advance of their visit. The project is in preparation for the 2015 Advanced Seminar to be held in Yarnton: Jewish Books in Amsterdam 1600–1850: Authors, Producers, Readers and the Construction of Jewish Worlds January to June 2015. Applications for fellowships close on 8th January 2014.

Highlight from the Copenhagen Rare Books Collection: Epitome thesavri lingvæ sanctæ

Highlight from the Copenhagen Rare Books Collection: Epitome thesavri lingvæ sanctæ

Epitome thesavri lingvæ sanctæ (Pagnini, Sante, 1470-, Raphelengius, Franciscus, 1539-1597 ; Moretus, Balthasar, 1574-1641 ; Moretus, Jan, 1576-1618 . ( Antwerp? : Ex Officina Plantiniana Raffelengij: M. D. CXVI [1616])

The Epitome thesavri lingvæ sanctæ was previously owned by Copenhagen (see Ex Libris), but prior to his ownership it was held at Ely Cathedral (See Library Stamp).

Provenance: Copenhagen Ex librisProvenance: Ely Cathedral Stamp

The records that are being produced for SOLO contain provenance detail as well as information about binding and the publishing houses that produced it. See this book on SOLO month Zsofi and Jane have also spent many hours in the stacks rearranging and moving our archival collections including the Gryn collection, the Copenhagen archive and the Kressel archive. This will improve the time it takes from requesting these materials to them being delivered to the reading Room. For more on these collections:

Meanwhile Jane has been cataloguing new acquisitions, and donations including: Alan Mintz, Sanctuary in the Wilderness: A critical Introduction to American Hebrew Poetry (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012). This book is on one of the class reading lists for the Hilary Term taught by Dr Adriana Jacobs, who is the new fellow in Modern Hebrew Literature at the Centre To see the rest of the books on her course search ‘Jacobs Reserve’ on SOLO (select Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies first).

Alan Mintz, Sanctuary in the Wilderness

Alan Mintz, Sanctuary in the Wilderness

Access to the ‘Index to Hebrew Periodicals’ Database (מפתח חיפה)

We are glad to announce that the Muller Library has renewed its subscription to the Index to Hebrew Periodicals. This database is accessible from all the Library terminals – no login information required.


The “Index to Hebrew Periodicals” (IHP) is a multi-disciplinary bibliographic indexing project covering articles from Hebrew periodicals, collections, and some monographs. With an interface in Hebrew and English, IHP delivers content from 1977 in Hebrew, English, and other languages.

The database currently contains over 820,000 items, including:

The Index to Hebrew Periodicals – IHP
Abstracts of all major Hebrew journals from 1977 to date with the exception of weeklies and newsletters. IHP covers a variety of subjects with an emphasis on Judaica, literature, education, arts, law, social studies, public health, and current Israeli affairs (politics and society). Currently adding approx. 15,000 articles per year, from about 450 current titles. More than 50,000 bibliographic records are linked to full-text articles.
The database is not limited to scholarly materials only, and while there is some overlap with RAMBI – The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies.

The Eretz Israel Database – EID
A project of the University of Haifa Library in cooperation with the library of Yad Yitshak Ben Zvi. The purpose of EID is to complement the IHP with additional material relating to the history, geography, and archaeology of the land of Israel. It includes non‑Hebrew articles of all periods, pre-1977 articles in Hebrew, and a number of books, pamphlets, and reports. The Eretz Israel database contains approximately 28,000 items.

The Tel-Hai Index to Hebrew Newspapers -THIHN
A project of Tel-Hai College Library in Upper Galilee, where indexing was produced and then input by the University of Haifa. Newspapers covered: Ha’aretz, Hatsofeh, Al‑Hamishmar, Davar, Ma’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Hadashot (until it ceased publication). Particular emphasis is given to longer, analytical articles on social, economic, and political topics as well as significant reviews of books, exhibitions, theater, and other cultural events. THIHN contains 188,500 newspaper articles from January 1985 to April 1992, and from April 1994 to February 1997.

Bar-Ilan Indexing Project – BIIP
The Bar-Ilan Indexing Project, carried out by the Indexing Unit of the Wurzweiler Central Library, consists of two parallel projects:
1) An index to articles in the literary supplements of the daily Hebrew press (1985– ). Includes the supplements of Ha’aretz, Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv, Ha’tsofeh, Yated Ne’eman, Ha’modia, Al-Hamishmar, Davar and Hadashot (the latter three—until they ceased publication).

2) Indexes to other Hebrew periodicals: Orlogin (1950–1957), Melila (1944–1956), Bar-Ilan (1965–1989) and Molad (1948–1986). While there is some duplication and overlap with the other components of the IHP, the vast majority of the BIIP’s 84,600 records are unique. They are particularly important in supplementing the THIHN, both in coverage of the haredi (ultra-orthodox) press, and in partially filling in the gap (1992 – April, 1994) in THIHN.

The IHP thesaurus
All four component files share the same common thesaurus of indexing terms. The IHP thesaurus is the largest and most comprehensive thesaurus of Hebrew indexing terms. The thesaurus is used by many other libraries and indexing projects in Israel and abroad. It contains about 228,000 subject entries. Subjects are interrelated using the standard broad/narrow/related term relationships, as well as scope notes and synonyms. The thesaurus terms are written in standard “brief” Hebrew orthographic form (ketiv haser).

Trial until 15 Nov.: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online

Muller Library users are now invited to trial the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online (Brill). The trial expires on the 15th of November. You can share your feedback here or send us an email.

Access: Muller Library terminals (ask librarian for assistance).
Your feedback will help us decide whether to purchase permanent access to the database.


Edited by Geoffrey Khan


The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day. The encyclopedia contains overview articles that provide a readable synopsis of current knowledge of the major periods and varieties of the Hebrew language as well as thematically-organized entries which provide further information on individual topics. With over 950 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.


Features and Benefits:

• Search the full text by keyword and Hebrew character set, in addition to advanced search options.

• Navigate extensive cross-references via hyperlinks.

• Access tertiary treatment of a wide-range of topics such as the Hebrew of various sources (texts, manuscripts, inscriptions, reading traditions), major grammatical features (phonology, morphology, and syntax), lexicon, script and paleography, theoretical linguistic approaches, etc.


Donation from Bernheim Library

Donation from Bernheim Library

Recently we have received several donations, including a great collection of books about the Holocaust from the Library of Pierre Antoine Bernheim and donated in his memory. The collection enhances our already extensive Holocaust and Yitzkor sections of the Library. Mr Bernheim’s collection also features many unusual French books about the Holocaust.This week we are also welcoming our new students and visiting academics, and the library induction for students is tomorrow, Thursday 10th October at 11am.

This term the centre is welcoming new members of teaching staff, who will be teaching classes such as  Sandals and Threshing Floors: Medieval Jewish Bible Interpretation and the book of Ruth,  Israel: State and Society and Topics in Modern Hebrew Literature, 1900-present. Using the course bibliographies the librarians have put together a reserve shelf for each class, including some new additions to the Library with the latest up-to-date publications and research.

Latest publications on new course lists

Latest publications on new course lists

Here are some featured books from this year’s courses:

  • After expulsion: 1492 and the making of Sephardic Jewry, Jonathan Ray (New York: New York University Press, 2013)
  • Isaac on Jewish and Christian altars: polemic and exegesis in Rashi and the Glossa ordinaria, Devorah Schoenfeld (New York  : Fordham University Press, 2013)

We are very grateful to the family of Pierre Antoine Bernheim for this wonderful collection. Highlight’s from his library include:

  • Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans, Jack Kagan and Dov Cohen, Second Edition with foreword by Martin Gilbert (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2000)

Donation from Bernheim Library        Donations from Bernheim Library

  • Propagandes et persécutions : la Résistance et le “problème juif,” 1940-1944, Renée Poznanski (Paris: Fayard, 2008)
  • The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944 : the missing center, Andrew Ezergailis, (Rīga: Historical Institute of Latvia ; Washington, DC : United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1996)