Sherman Community Lecture in Jewish Studies 2019


"How Jewish books survive"
Prof. Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (University of Oxford)


Time and date: 8.00pm on Tues 4 June 2019
Venue: A North Manchester location. Book tickets through Eventbrite

ABSTRACT: Medieval Jewish culture was a literate and a bookish one. Books were necessary for liturgy, professional life and leisure, and were produced in large amounts. Only a fraction of the Jewish books copied in the Middle Ages have survived. These fragile cultural objects were victims of the passage of time and accidents but also of the lack of care and of violent destruction. Fortunately, a chance preservation of manuscripts, often in a very fragmentary state, for example in the Genizah of Cairo or in the bindings of other books sheds light on the way the books were created, read and preserved. This conference examines this chance preservation of Hebrew manuscripts and their contribution to the study of Jewish intellectual history.

BIOGRAPHY: Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, FBA, is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Oxford, and Professor of Hebrew Manuscript Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, PSL, Paris. Her main research interest include medieval Hebrew palaeography and codicology, Jewish legal documents and Cairo Genizah Studies. She is the leader of the international project “Books within Books” dedicated to the study of Hebrew fragments reused in the book bindings. Her publications include Karaite Marriage Documents from the Cairo Geniza. Legal Tradition and Community Life in Mediaeval Egypt and Palestine, Brill, Leiden, 2018 and Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England: a Diplomatic and Palaeographical Study, Brepols, Tunhout, 2015.


Archive: Previous Sherman Lectures