The National Library of Israel (NLI) has launched a massive online database of centuries-old Jewish manuscripts from across the world.Some examples of the contents:
The archive is known as the “Ktiv: The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts.” Ktiv is Hebrew for “written word.” The archive contains nearly 4.5 million images from 45,000 manuscripts, including prayer books, biblical texts, commentary, philosophy, literature and scientific writings in various Jewish-related languages such as Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and Judeo-Arabic. The Ktiv was launched at the opening of the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem on Aug. 6.
According to the NLI, the digitized archive also contains the Leningrad Codex, writings from Maimonides, the Aleppo Codex, “some of the oldest extant Talmudic manuscripts, documents from the 13th century detailing struggles within the Yemenite Jewish community, [and] commercial and personal records chronicling Jewish life in Afghanistan in the 11th century.”You can access the Ktiv Collection here. I ran a few searches on mystical and magical subjects. Not surprisingly, the searches yielded better results if I typed them in Hebrew rather than English. The listing of manuscripts looks vast and probably comprehensive, but the digitization itself is only well started.
This collection will be an increasingly important resources as it develops.
For many other manuscript digitization projects, start here and follow the links.
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