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Uncovering UCL’s Jewish Pamphlet Collections: The Second Phase

By ucylr22, on 4 February 2016

Jewish Pamphlets 1We are delighted to announce that Phase 2 of the Uncovering UCL’s Jewish Pamphlet Collections project will begin shortly, following a successful grant application. This phase will focus on conserving and digitising our rich collection of Jewish pamphlets, as well as completing the cataloguing of the most significant collections begun in phase 1.

Phase 1 of the project included a conservation survey, which revealed that over 1,500 items need conservation work: around 300 of these are in very poor condition. A professional conservator, assisted by trained volunteers, will ensure that the pamphlets are preserved for the future and safe to handle.

We want to make this important collection accessible to scholars all over the world, so we will be producing 4,000 high-quality digital images of the most significant items. These include pamphlets on Zionism, Anglo-Jewish history, sermons, orders of service for special occasions, and much more. Anyone will be able to view the digitised pamphlets in our digital gallery.

Jewish Pamphlets 2While cataloguing the pamphlets in the first phase of the project we came across many fascinating items, such as:

  • A pamphlet from 1705, The agreement of the customs of the East-Indians, with those of the Jews, and other ancient people: being the first essay of this kind, towards the explaining of several difficult passages in Scripture, and some of the most ancient writers, by the present Oriental customs … To which are added instructions to the young gentlemen that intend to travel. This probably belonged to James Harris, the 1st Earl of Malmesbury and has a leather binding with his coat of arms in gilt. (SR MOCATTA PAMPHLETS BOX 1)
  • A service of thanksgiving for Queen Victoria’s survival from an assassination attempt in 1840. (MOCATTA BOUND PAMPHLETS vol.112 no.9)
  • A 1917 pamphlet with a stamp of the Aliens Detention Camp in Knockaloe on the Isle of Man. Tens of thousands of ‘enemy aliens’ were interned here during the First World War – see this article from the Independent’s ‘History of the First World War in 100 moments’ series. (MOCATTA BOXED PAMPHLETS B 20 ROT)
  • A souvenir in Yiddish commemorating the Battle of Britain, in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. (MOCATTA BOXED PAMPHLETS A 103 JEW)

For more highlights, and news of the project, keep an eye on the Hebrew & Jewish Studies blog

A few items from the collection, including one that has already undergone a complicated process of conservation, are on display outside the Donaldson Room in the Main Library until the end of February.

Vanessa Freedman, Hebrew & Jewish Studies Librarian

 

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