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Iakerson S. [Review:] Hebrew Manuscripts in the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma. Catalogue. Ed. Benjamin Richter. Palaeographical and codicological descriptions by Malachi Beit-Arié. Jerusalem: 2001, XXX, 574 pp. — The Hebrew University of Jerusalem I The Jewish National and University Library // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 9. No. 1. March 2003. P. 70—72.


I dare to break an usual practice of starting a review. I must admit that I received this marvelous catalogue for review half a year ago, read through it quickly, and assessed its unquestionable virtues. However, something prevented me from writing this review immediately. I was unable to figure it out. Was it a long-term personal acquaintance with the authors or the deep professional and human respect I have for them? I felt it was something else. It appeared to me that I failed to grasp something essential in this work, something worth more than the professional description of this or that manuscript. Now I realize the matter. I sensed that because of varying historical circumstances we are at different chronological stages of development in the same discipline. I write these lines in a country where, for many reasons, unique collections of Hebrew manuscripts are concentrated, but their study is still at their naissance, with information available on the level of inventories and card catalogues of the nineteenth century (or later copies of them). Yet I hold in my hands a modern version of the catalogue to one of the most famed and best studied collections of Hebrew manuscripts — the collection of the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma. In other words, I unconsciously assumed on the basis of Russian collections that the basic function of a printed catalogue was to introduce into scholarly circulation this or that body of unknown, or virtually unknown, manuscripts (for specialists to correct and amend later, so long as the catalogue itself exists). The authors of the work under review long ago overcame this understanding of the goals and tasks of cataloguing. The aim of their work is to introduce into scholarly circulation the most accurate possible multifaceted information (obtained through modern methods and techniques for processing manuscripts) about manuscripts already known to specialists...

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Палатинская библиотека
Парма
рукописи еврейские

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