Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: A Description and Introduction
Cambridge University Press, 9 janv. 1997 - 626 pages
For some five hundred years, Hebrew books have been counted among the treasures of the University of Cambridge, and Cambridge University Library's current holdings of Hebrew manuscripts (excluding most of the 140,000 fragments in its Genizah collections) are in excess of a thousand items. A wide range of Hebrew literature is represented, with substantial numbers in Bible, Bible Versions and Commentaries, Talmud, Halakhah, Liturgy, Science, Poetry, Philosophy and Kabbalah. The bulk of the material is late mediaeval but there are also earlier items, among them the famous Nash Papyrus from the second pre-Christian century. Although this collection is among the world's most important, attempts, beginning in the mid-Victorian period, to describe it in detail, and to publish the results, have never met with success. In this volume, Stefan Reif, assisted by Shulamit Reif, has attempted to set the situation right by providing careful descriptions that will guide researchers in codicologial matters and will alert them to data of special scholarly significance, without overwhelming them with the kind of prolix treatment that characterised manuscript study in the nineteenth century. The volume has benefited not only from local Cambridge expertise but also from world-wide scholarly co-operation and includes many references to recent publications, as well as a representative selection of photographed folios. There are essays on the history of Hebraists and Hebraic at Cambridge that will interest historians, as well as extensive indexes that will provide easy access to the rich and varied contents of the descriptions.