The Jewish Book Since the Invention of Printing

Date: 11 June 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UVA Special Collections
Lecturer: Emile Schrijver - Professor of Jewish Book History; General Director & CEO Jewish Cultural Quarter and Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam

The invention of printing brought about what historian David Ruderman called “an explosion of knowledge” in the Jewish world. In the fifteenth century the large majority of Hebrew books were printed in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. In the course of the sixteenth century the Hebrew printing press moved to the more northern parts of Europe and later also to the Orient. At the same time, Judaism continued to set store to the production of a considerable number of manuscripts. This lecture will discuss the complexity of the choice of medium (manuscript or printed), of language (Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and many others), of subject matter (certain subjects were covered largely in manuscript, others only in print), of authorship and intellectual ownership, of the role of art and patronage, and of the intellectual strategies underlying the choice for a particular set of combinations of all these.

A National Endowment for the Humanities-Global Book Histories Initiative Lecture.