Thanks to the visionary generosity of philanthropic leaders Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky, The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is now enhancing its digital library with images from 400 digitized manuscripts that were earlier unavailable in this format. The JTS Library will has added a total of 50,000 images from more than 400 manuscripts to its electronic holdings.
Manuscripts digitized in this project include more than 400 illuminated manuscripts in The Library's collection, along with manuscripts that do not have any surrogate copies. With their incorporation into The Library's digital collections, these works are being made available to the general public for the first time.
Photo credit (left to right): Jāmī, Yusuf and Zulaykha, in Judeo-Persian Teheran, 17th century; Haggadah shel Pesah, Darmstadt, 1733
The manuscripts are searchable on The Library digital collections, which utilizes ExLibris's Digitool software. The manuscripts can be searched by keyword, manuscript number, author, title, genre, and specific date.
The digital images are viewable in either METS or PDF format. All illuminated images are displayed in METS format utilizing the JPEG2000 viewer.
The Library houses more than 11,000 manuscript codices and 35,000 genizah fragments. The selections digitized are culled from many areas of the collection, including Bible, History, History of Science and Medicine, Kabbalah and Mysticism, Liturgy, Philology, Philosophy, Poetry and Belles Lettres, and Rabbinics. Further information about the manuscript collection is available at The Library.
In addition to manuscript digitization, the gift by Drs. Bennett and Polonsky enables The Library to build the Polonsky Digitization Lab in Memory of Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum. The late Rabbi Tanenbaum, a graduate of JTS, was a leader in human rights and interreligious affairs. Utilizing the lab, The Library will continue to digitize rare manuscripts and other materials for years to come. In this way, The JTS Library will be able to maintain its commitment to serving the public, providing access to its exceptional collection using the best technologies available.
Photo credit (left to right): Seder Birkat ha-mazon, Mannheim, 1736; Bible, Cordova, 1479