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The Cairo Genizah Unearthed: The Excavations Conducted By The Count D'Hulst On Behalf Of The Bodleian Library And Their Significance For Genizah History

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Chapter Summary

The rich collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts at the Bodleian Library describes 'the greatest Hebrew library in the world', yet little is known about the history of the Cario Genizah fragments that constitute such an important part of the Bodleian's holdings. Not only are details about its acknowledged suppliers sparse, but the story of Count Riamo d'Hulst, the elusive excavator and antiquarian who gathered material for the Bodleian intermittently over a period of nine years, until recently, completely unknown. D'Hulst, acting as an officer of the Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF), had been redeployed at the end of the archaeological season to explore the rubbish mounds of Old Cairo in the hope of recovering pottery from the Fatimid period. Neubauer and Cowley's Hebrew Catalogue only records 36 manuscripts (55 folios) procured through Sayce in 1898 and 78 manuscripts (156 folios) simply described as 'from the Geniza' in 1899.

Keywords: Bodleian library; Cairo Genizah; Count Riamo d'Hulst; Cowley's Hebrew catalogue; Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF); Genizah history; Neubauer



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