Hebrew Books in Italy
Jewish communities have existed in Italy for more than two millennia, and over the centuries it has played a critical role in global Jewish history, particularly as a centre for manuscript production and Hebrew printing.
Today in Italy, thousands of uncatalogued printed Hebrew books, dating back hundreds of years, are held amongst collections belonging to local Jewish communities, as well as in libraries owned by the state, Italian Church Institutions (CEI) and the Vatican.
Some of these collections have been partially catalogued, however, there is no integrated and standardized listing of these holdings, and so while many of the these books have significant historical importance and hold tremendous potential for scholars, they are often difficult if not impossible to find.
The ‘I-TAL-YA Books’ initiative will ensure the protection, preservation and provision of access to these cultural treasures as never before, by creating a unified catalogue, which will hold searchable listings of collections of Hebrew printed books across Italy spanning the 16th through the 20th Century.
The entire catalogue will ultimately include an estimated 35000 volumes from 14 Jewish communities and 25 state institutions across Italy