View basket and checkout
Events Subscriptions Vouchers Contact

Jewish Languages and Book Culture with Judith Olszowy-Schlanger and Cesar Merchan-Hamann

Wednesday 9th October

Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh, 2 Blenheim Place, Edinburgh EH7 5JH
Doors Open
Start Time

NEW DATE: this is the new date for the event scheduled originally for 4 July 2024.

Much has been written about Jewish culture, but we've rarely seen such a fascinating collection examining the spread of books in Jewish vernacular languages and Hebrew characters. We're delighted, then, to welcome Judith Olszowy-Schlanger and Merchán-Hamann to celebrate publication of their latest endeavour, Jewish Languages and Book Culture. So do join us in giving them a warm welcome!

Jewish Languages and Book Culture

From Cairo Genizah to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, the spread of books in Jewish vernacular languages and Hebrew characters offers an extraordinary insight into the linguistic richness of Jewish life. For over two millennia, Jewish communities have used languages other than Hebrew for daily oral communication, including Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-French, Judeo-Italian, Yiddish, and Ladino. However, they used the Hebrew alphabet to write these languages down and developed sophisticated systems to transmit texts in them. Many of these vernacular languages also became languages of book culture.

The Bodleian Libraries’ collections host an unparalleled collection of texts in Judeo-languages, giving a picture of how these works were produced and communicated. As some of these languages are now extinct or moribund, these writings are also important testimonies to lost cultures. Generously illustrated and ranging in time from the Middle Ages to the Emancipation, this collection of essays showcases important hallmarks in the intellectual and social history of Jewish culture.

About the Editors

Judith Olszowy-Schlanger is President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

Merchán-Hamann is the Victor Blank Hebraica and Judaica curator in the Bodleian Library and director of the Leopold Muller Memorial Library at the University of Oxford.

Venue Accessibility Information

More Information on Our Event Vouchers