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Historic Hebraica


The Fools of Schilda
The Fools of Schilda


The term Hebraica refers to works which are entirely, mostly or to a significant extent printed using Hebrew characters, regardless of the language.

As a result of a centuries' old tradition of collecting, the Austrian National Library has holdings of historic Hebrew documents in the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books that are very large, significant and, in some cases, unique in international terms. Most of these holdings come from the print shops of the Habsburg Monarchy (Krakow, Prague, Venice, Vienna, Bratislava, etc.).

In the HaLeV project (which was completed in July 2008), the catalogue entries for the historic books in Hebrew script were re-transliterated using original copies of the books, (applying the new DIN standard for transliteration from Hebrew which was published in February 2006), and were also revised, standardised and enhanced. The authors, titles, printers and places where they were printed are now reproduced in the original Hebrew script, making it easier to locate the data. It was an opportunity to put right cases of incorrect attributions of works to the wrong author or wrongly identified places of printing, or errors in identifying or converting the year of printing, and missing information such as the year and place of printing could be added.

A list of » 100 historic Hebrew documentswith images of certain key pages is intended to give some insight into the historic Hebrew holdings of our department.

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