Credits / About the Project

The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, MS 9344

- New York

Founded in 1886, the Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is recognized today as the greatest Jewish library in the Western Hemisphere. Its collections include 400,000 volumes, including 25,000 rare books and 11,000 manuscripts. Among the particular strengths of its collection are its nearly 40,000 fragments from the Cairo Genizah, its collection of Ketubbot (Jewish marriage contracts)—the largest in the world—and its unparalleled collection of haggadot. The Library is also home to the world’s most complete collection of Hebrew incunabula.

Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Special Collections, University of Amsterdam, Hs. Ros. 609

- Amsterdam

The Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana is the Jewish Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam. The basis of the library was formed by the collection of Leeser Rosenthal (Nasielsk 1794-Hanover 1868), which amounted to 6,000 volumes at the time of his death. In the years following his death, his heirs tried –unsuccessfully – to sell the collection. The family finally bequeathed the library to the City of Amsterdam in 1880. Up until the First World War, the library was expanded on the basis of funds made available by the family; after this time the University bore the costs itself.

From being a library of German enlightenment, once it arrived in Amsterdam the Rosenthaliana developed into a general library of Jewish history and culture, with works in every language used by Jews throughout the centuries. By now the library contains around 100,000 works. In the 130 years that the library has been in Amsterdam, its main focus has become the history of Dutch Jewry.


Donor: Mr George Blumenthal, New York
This website was made possible through a generous donation by Mr George Blumenthal, New York. Both libraries express their gratitude for his ongoing commitment to the digital publication of unique Jewish primary sources

Photography: Ardon Bar-Hama, Ra’anana, Israel
Ardon Bar-Hama is known in the world for photographing the most treasured objects in libraries, museums, archives, private collections and other cultural institutions. His clients range from private collectors to such institutions as the Vatican, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Objects he has digitized include archaeological artifacts, sculptures and manuscripts of inestimable religious and cultural value.

With a background in architectural photography, Ardon pioneered the use of medium-format digital photography and other innovative methods for archiving delicate documents. Ardon was a proponent of the “one shot” method of capturing images of manuscripts with a digital camera. He is also an innovative developer of websites, among which The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls and the German website of the Braginsky Collection in Zurich, Switzerland are the most recent well-received examples.