Italy Initiative Launched to Identify and Catalog Every Hebrew Book in Italy #general #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen


A new project has been launched to identify and catalog every Hebrew book in Italy—35,000 books over the next three years.. Called I-Tal-Ya Books it is a joint collaboration between the National Library of Israel and the Union of Jewish Communities in Ital and the Rome National Central Library. This is made possible due to the financial support of the Rothschild Foundation, Hanadiv Europe. This will be the first centralized catalog of all Hebrew books in Italy. Thousands of uncatalogued rare Hebrew books dating back hundreds of years are housed all over Italy, in the collections of local Jewish communities, as well as libraries owned by the state, the Italian Church Institutions (CEI) and the Vatican.


The books come from 14 Jewish communities and 25 state institutions.  The institutions are from the Italian State, not yet Vatican or Italian Churches (CEI). As the digitization moves forward, there is hope that the church will participate.


Italy has been home to Jewish communities for over 2,000 years---a major center for manuscript printing and production as well as a location for writers and scholars.


The Vatican Library has a large collection of Hebrew manuscripts—1.5 million digitized pages including Hebrew, Greek and other early manuscripts which is an initiative from the Polonsky Foundation Project, a joint effort by the Bodleian Libraries and Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or the libraries at Oxford and the Vatican.


For more information see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee