Otto Muneles (1894-1967)

Hebrew Bibliography of Bohemia and Moravia

A complete bibliography of Hebrew printing in Bohemian lands, a basic tool for the study of the phenomenon itself and of the cultural history of the region, does not yet exist. Works of Moritz Steischneider (now on line in the digital collections of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main), Otto Muneles, Isaiah Vinograd and the Hebrew Bibliography (on-line at NLI) supply more or less detailed information.

The 500 years anniversary of Hebrew printing in Bohemia and Moravia that falls on December 2012 has inspired a research that was first oriented towards the preparation of an exhibition for the Jewish Museum in Prague (to be opened on 5 December). Later it grew in scope and took form of a systematic collection of the data on Hebrew and Yiddish editions. It covers the years 1512 – 1672, i.e. the period of relatively free beginnings, the peak during the reign of Rudolf II and the decline following a couple of  denunciation affairs and the Thirty years war as well as the last period which fell right before the reform of the censorship system. This regulation (1672) affected Prague Hebrew book production until the 2nd half of the 18th century.

Tefillot mi-kol ha-Shanah. Prague: Abraham ben Simon Heida Lemberger, 1621. Research Library at Olomouc, call no. 55.272, title page.

So far we have collected c. 550 records which should be in the next few months transferred into a bilingual sub-database located in the electronic catalogue of the Jewish Museum and accessible on-line. Users’ comments, corrections and feedback will be welcome and room will be made for them on this page. We believe, the bibliography will be appreciated by the interested public and may spur a new wave of interest in the field both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

The original plan, to launch the electronic bibliography together with the book and the exhibition proved unrealistic. In the meantime, you may glimpse at a couple of bibliographic records prepared for the books exhibited at the Robert Guttmann Gallery. You may also check the Museum’s Library catalogue where the Prague editions kept in the Library are catalogued in detail (more than 500 entries for the period 1514-1800).

1512-1515 Selihot ENG

1540 ca Shehitot u-bedikot ENG

1530 Humash ENG

1603 Levush haorah ENG