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National Library to digitize medieval manuscripts

Palatina Library’s collection of Hebrew books, including one of oldest copies of the Mishna, to be put online

A stamp from the Palatina Library (photo credit: CC BY-Penn Provenance Project/Flickr)
A stamp from the Palatina Library (photo credit: CC BY-Penn Provenance Project/Flickr)

JERUSALEM — Israel’s National Library said Thursday it had signed an agreement with a leading Italian collection to display online some of the world’s most important Hebrew manuscripts, making them accessible to the public for the first time.

National Library Judaica curator Aviad Stollman said it will be digitizing the Palatina Library’s collection of about 1,600 documents dating to the Middle Ages.

He said the collection includes rare illuminated manuscripts and one of the oldest existing copies of the Mishna, a central Jewish text.

Stollman said Thursday the manuscripts are on par with Vatican and Oxford collections. He says Israel’s library is also negotiating with those institutions to scan their manuscripts.

Stollman said Israel’s National Library is seeking to digitize and post online all of the world’s Hebrew manuscripts.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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