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Katalog Evreiskikh Rukopisei
SPbF IV RAN
SPbF IV RAN
[Catalog of Jewish Manuscripts
In the Institute of Oriental Studies]
This work catalogs the well-known collection of Jewish manuscripts in the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (known as the Asiatic Museum before 1930). The work was compiled by Dr. Iona Gintsburg, who died in 1942 during the Nazi siege of Leningrad. Since his death the catalog has remained in manuscript form, making the collection virtually inaccessible. The catalog has now been revised and corrected for publication by specialists of the Institute and has been published for the first time by Ross Publishing Inc.
The catalog contains descriptions of 964 titles in the following order:
• Biblical literature (nos. 1-83)
• Philology (nos. 84-166)
• Exegesis (nos. 167-357)
• Philosophy, Ethics, Logic, other branches of scholarship (nos. 358-599)
• Kabbalah (nos. 600-662)
• Theology (nos. 663-964)
Each entry includes the size of the manuscript, number of pages, type of binding and period from which the manuscript dates. When it was possible, the compiler listed the names of copyists and provenance. The title of each manuscript is listed in Hebrew, while the descriptions are in Russian. The work includes a Foreword by Professor Yuri Petrosyan, an Introduction by Dr. Klavdia Starkova, and was edited for publication by Boris Zaikovsky, Curator of the Hebrew Collection of the Russian National Library.
Publication date: 10/15/03............................................$80
Hardbound, 8.5x11", ix + 201 pp, ISBN 0-88354-276-5
Catalog of Jewish Manuscripts is Published 40 Years after Death of Author
In the 1930s and early 1940s, a dedicated Russian-Jewish
bibliographer, I. I. Gintsburg, labored relentlessly
on his magnum opus, a catalog of the Jewish manuscripts he found in the
Gintsburg's death, which occurred during the most trying days of the siege, prevented him from publishing his most important work. Although he did everything in his power to polish the work and leave it in a state suitable for publication, and although it was prepared for publication by other scholars several times over the ensuing decades, until now it had never been published. The title of each manuscript is listed in Hebrew, while the descriptions are in Russian.
Iona Iosifovich (Osipovich) Gintsburg was born in
Despite his advanced age, Gintsburg
was still intensely engaged in his research throughout the 1930s, almost as if
he were making up for lost time. By
early 1941 Gintsburg's Catalog was nearly
finished. However, his health was in
decline, and by the onset of winter he was no longer able to leave the house.
In April of 1942, at age 70, Iona Gintsburg died and
was laid to rest in
Of all Gintsburg's works that have survived him, the most enduring is his Catalog of Jewish Manuscripts, a work that tangibly illustrates his dedication and his love for the literature of his people. He spent five years (1936-1941) creating a systematic description of the entire collection as it existed at that time, which was only possible due to his matchless abilities and exhaustive knowledge of Jewish literature, the study of which consumed his entire life despite the many barriers and difficulties he encountered along the way.
Jewish Collection in The
By 1863 the Jewish Division of the
1. Judeo-Persian manuscripts from Teheran, 1898, 16 items;
2. Manuscript collection from the library of Professor D.A. Khvol'son, 1909, 40 items;
3. Judeo-Persian collection from
4. Manuscripts from Karasubazar in the Hebrew and Karaim-Tatar languages, 1930, 53 pieces (manuscripts, fragments and one scroll);
5. The most recent and largest collection of manuscripts (approximately 1,000 titles) in Hebrew, Arabic, and Karaim-Tatar from the Karaim National Library in Eupatoria in 1931.
The majority of manuscripts are furnished with Masoretic notations in the margins, vocalization,
punctuation and accentuation, which is of great interest for studying the
history of their appearance and development. One codex of the later prophets (D
62) written on crude parchment bears the date 707 AD and has the aforementioned
features. There are two complete Hebrew Bible codices of the 12th Century on
parchment (A 211) and one from Damascus dated 1280 (D66). The annotations on several of them have great
historical value. All of the manuscripts
are available on microfilm from the