JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (UK) British Library Finishes First Phase of Digitizing Hebrew Manuscripts #general

Jan Meisels Allen

The British Library has been digitizing the Hebrew Manuscripts collection
for three years and has completed the first phase with 1,300 manuscripts
available to search and view online. The collection spans medieval and
early modern codices, scrolls, charters and more .

The digitized manuscripts may be viewed at the British Library website
located at: . It is searchable
by keyword or shelf mark and can be viewed as single pages or in open
book format. A full list of Phase 1 digitized manuscripts is available at: .

As genealogists, our history >from across the world is part of our
interest in history and this collection give us the opportunity to
view these historical documents, for free, >from our homes.

An example of what you may see is the Kaifeng Torah Scroll >from China

Jews lived in Kaifeng >from as early as the first century CE. The community's
everyday activities incorporated customs unusual for China (such as
abstinence >from pork), as well as traditional Chinese practice (such as
binding of feet). The full scroll may be viewed at:

The digitization project was funded by the Polonsky Foundation.

To read more about this fascinating insight into our history, see

Thank you to Janice Sellers, VP Programs, San Francisco Bay Area JGS for
sharing the information with us.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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