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Menasseh ben Israel as a Supplier of Books to the Municipal Library in Amsterdam in 1635 and 1639

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Abstract Since the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana became part of Amsterdam University Library in 1880, its collection of books, printed or written by as well as about Menasseh ben Israel (the Amsterdam rabbi, Jewish printer and diplomat, 1604-1657), has grown into the largest of the world. But the connection between Menasseh and the university library appears to be much older. Already in 1635 and 1639 Menasseh is mentioned as a supplier of books to the Municipal Library for an amount of approximately 330 guilders. With the help of the subsequent library catalogues from 1622 to the present – especially with the recently found 1648 catalogue – it is possible to determine which titles Menasseh supplied. Close inspection of the copies – with particular attention to traces of chains on the bindings – has resulted in a list of the Hebrew folios supplied by Menasseh ben Israel.

Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam the Netherlands


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