The curious custom of recycling medieval Hebrew and non-Hebrew manuscript parchment folios during the second half of the sixteenth century until the end of the seventeenth, and in some cases up to the eighteenth century, is well known to scholars working in the field of the history of book production or in that of medieval Hebrew manuscripts. In the “European Genizah“, so called only by analogy with a true Genizah, and especially in archives and libraries all over Italy, during the past twenty-four years of research, I have seen several printed books whose binding boards were reinforced by using some bifolios of Hebrew manuscripts during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. During my research in the archives and libraries of central and northern Italy, carried out in the 1960s and 1970s, I saw many printed books bound with manuscripts in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and vernacular languages, and I made an initial inventory of the collection held in Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria di Modena. The research was carried out by examining each book, and all the manuscripts and printed books up to the end of the eighteenth century. The 385 volumes found in the Biblioteca Estense in most cases have a standard bindings, with ribs in half-skin incised, and the handwritten folios were colored by a yellowish picture after erasing the Hebrew text. The binding that includes the reused parchments, in the majority, is not the original, but a second one, aesthetically homogenizing all the books and dating back to the late 1630s and 1640s. This complete re-binding was done when the library authorities decided to give a uniform look to all their books. while the phenomenon of reusing precious old codices has deprived us of a large number of manuscripts, on the other hand it has preserved them from the complete destruction, even if the normal prctice of erasing ink from the outer side has deprived us of half of the text.

385 Printed Books of the Fifteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, Bound with Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts in the Estense Library in Modena

PERANI, MAURO
2010

Abstract

The curious custom of recycling medieval Hebrew and non-Hebrew manuscript parchment folios during the second half of the sixteenth century until the end of the seventeenth, and in some cases up to the eighteenth century, is well known to scholars working in the field of the history of book production or in that of medieval Hebrew manuscripts. In the “European Genizah“, so called only by analogy with a true Genizah, and especially in archives and libraries all over Italy, during the past twenty-four years of research, I have seen several printed books whose binding boards were reinforced by using some bifolios of Hebrew manuscripts during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. During my research in the archives and libraries of central and northern Italy, carried out in the 1960s and 1970s, I saw many printed books bound with manuscripts in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and vernacular languages, and I made an initial inventory of the collection held in Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria di Modena. The research was carried out by examining each book, and all the manuscripts and printed books up to the end of the eighteenth century. The 385 volumes found in the Biblioteca Estense in most cases have a standard bindings, with ribs in half-skin incised, and the handwritten folios were colored by a yellowish picture after erasing the Hebrew text. The binding that includes the reused parchments, in the majority, is not the original, but a second one, aesthetically homogenizing all the books and dating back to the late 1630s and 1640s. This complete re-binding was done when the library authorities decided to give a uniform look to all their books. while the phenomenon of reusing precious old codices has deprived us of a large number of manuscripts, on the other hand it has preserved them from the complete destruction, even if the normal prctice of erasing ink from the outer side has deprived us of half of the text.
'Genizat Germania' - Hebrew and Aramaic Binding Fragments from Germany in Context
217
275
M. Perani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/125904
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