Mapping A. S. Yahuda’s Berlin, 1906-1914

As announced in the last post, I will provide more information on the manuscript trader Abraham Shalom Yahuda (d. 1951). His biography is a global one, and in this post I will address his time in Berlin before World War 1. Arguably, Yahuda came to Berlin to teach at the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies following the completion of his Ph.D. dissertation. Here, I will provide information on his changing residences during his time in Berlin, which might also make for a good day tour.

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A German Yahuda Collection?

For some time I thought that German libraries had stopped acquisitions of manuscript collections after World War 1. The currency was devalued heavily during the first few post-war years, and, as universities are dependent on state funding, they were hard pressed to make ends meet. However, as I discovered recently, this hiatus of acquisition was much shorter than I anticipated in some collections. In this post, I will try to make the case that even one of the most influential manuscript traders of the early 20th century might have sold to a German university.

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Collaboration on book stamp / seal research

A few weeks ago, I asked on twitter if other people would be interested in pooling resources on book stamps / seals (both terms are viable from different perspectives, see below). There was some response, and considering how niche the topic has always been, that response seemed promising enough to me to spring into action. In this post, I will talk about how I envision a collaboration to move forward.

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Organize your book! Foliation as annotation.

We know relatively much about how authors structured their books (or not). But how did readers engage with books? Much has been said about commentaries and glosses, reading, ownership and endowment notes. Even the colophon has recently received two conferences.{1} What these approaches have in common is their concentration on text. Even if it is paratext, they all focus on signs that are easily read. In this post, I will look at annotation via numbers, namely foliation. Continue reading “Organize your book! Foliation as annotation.”

  1. One was organized by Christopher D. Bahl and Stefan Hanß, another by Sabine Schmidtke—its proceedings have recently been published []

Traces of a mosque library in Ottoman Greece

The manuscript collection in Dresden is among the oldest ones in Germany. It also stands out due to the provenance of many of its manuscripts being connected to the wars with the Ottomans, particularly during the 17th century. Several manuscripts came to the Royal Library in Dresden from participants in the siege of Vienna. In this post, however, I will focus on five manuscripts connected to a different military encounter which has not received as much attention in the historiography as the siege of Vienna. This is the 1685 siege and sack of the Ottoman-Greek town of Koroni and the looting of the library kept in its central mosque.

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