Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts Catalogue

Our Staff member , Yisrael Dubitsky has added a new dimension to our web-catalog database, which allows it to facilitate researchers in an exciting  new way. The following is an announcement that we have been circulating:

We are delighted to announce that the National Library of Israel's online catalogue now includes more than 4000 linked records to freely available digitized Hebrew manuscripts online (post-dating the Dead Sea Scrolls) from institutions around the world, including 1000 on the NLI website itself. These represent many more Judaica records than are currently available through either the Digital Scriptorium or the Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts or similar digitized manuscript aggregators. As we continue to add links, we aim to serve as the global access portal for Hebrew digitized manuscripts.

Most of the scans are full color; only a minority are in black and white - namely, digitizations of microfilms rather than scans from the original manuscript. Usually, these represent full codices, but sometimes single pages serve as samples of a larger work, or alternatively represent the complete extant fragment.

We do not link items accessed for a fee or via subscription (thus, Cairo Genizah items available via The Friedberg Genizah Project or similar projects are not included). Also, as we have not yet linked to individual Genizah fragments, digitized items available at either Princeton University Genizah Project or Cairo Genizah Collection of the Bodleian Libraries or Penn/Cambridge Genizah Fragment Project or The Rylands Cairo Genizah Collection although they are, for the most part  included in our database. We are aware of, and are working to include, the digitized microfilms of JTS and HUC mss and the Chaim Reich collection facsimiles, uploaded at Hebrew Books.org and its affiliate Hebrew Manuscripts.org. Finally, we realize that many online items are not yet included in our collection of microfilmed manuscripts and thus do not appear in our catalogue. Please be patient as we work to rectify the situation.

For items that may be in error, or incomplete, or refer to unstable links, or were completely missed, we encourage you to inform us so we may correct and add to our growing collection. Institutions that upload Judaica manuscripts are urged to let us know so we may add links from/to our catalog records as soon as possible.

1. Search for Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts

From The National Library of Israel homepage, click on the Library's "Online Catalogue," and then to "Manuscripts" in the drop down menu of "libraries." (Or go directly to IMHM Online Catalogue)

To locate all records with links to digitized manuscripts online, search in our online catalogue "Basic search [חיפוש בסיסי]” under “subject[נושאים] " field, type “digitized manuscripts[כתב יד. סריקה] ". To limit the search to a specific subject, search under “Advanced search [חיפוש מתקדם]” with items "digitized [סריקה]" and the relevant subject (e.g. מקרא for all biblical related mss). To sort the results by location, click on "source/title [מקור]" in the upper section of the screen. Results may appear in either “brief” or “table” formats.

2. Browse Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts

To simply browse through all digitized manuscripts on the NLI digital website itself (at this point, about 1000 items, including but not limited to 250 from the Rosenthaliana collection in Amsterdam; 100 from Columbia University in NY; 50 from the Braginsky collection in Zurich; as well as nearly 400 of NLI's own collection), click Digital Collections at The National Library of Israel.

3. Rabbinics Mss Online

The old Talmud Mss Online website is in the process of being dismantled. In its place, we are happy to refer readers to the new and more comprehensive Rabbinics Manuscripts Online (still in beta mode but to be updated significantly on a consistent basis).

We must clarify a legal point: just because we link to, or feature on our website, fully digitized manuscripts, either owned by The National Library or other institutions, this does not represent permission for use from either The National Library or those other institutions, for any use exceeding the Fair Use provisions defined by law, which include private research. Only explicit permission in writing from the institutional owners of the manuscripts themselves and the copyright holders may grant authorization for additional use.

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