June 2011 Archives

About the printer, Judith Rosanes

At the Jewish Women's Archive we got the following query last week from a correspondent in Lima, Peru (How appropriate to get a question about Jewish printing on the eve of Shavuoth!):

I would like to know if you could help me find a list of books published by Judith Rosanes on the internet. I have not been successful in my attempts. It would be very helpful.

The question was prompted by an article in our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women on Jewish women printers. Rosanes was one of the printers profiled briefly in the article, which also notes:

"Among the many women printers in Eastern Europe, perhaps the most interesting phenomenon is the preponderance of Jewish women involved in the printing profession in the city of Lemberg (Lvov) in the nineteenth century. Until 1782, when the Austrian authorities ordered the Hebrew printers of Zolkiev, a small city near Lemberg, to move to Lemberg to facilitate censorship, Lemberg had no Hebrew printing, but it quickly became a printing center for Jewish books which were then distributed throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans. "

At the suggestion of Scott-Martin Kosofsky, I emailed several notable bibliographers, and got an immediate post-Shavuoth reply from Sharon Lieberman-Mintz of JTA.

"I did a quick search of the name רוזאניש, יהודית in the The Computerized Thesaurus of the Hebrew Book and saw there were numerous entries under her name in both Zolkiev and Lemberg. This resource, on a disc is available at some of the major Judaic Libraries (JTS, NYPL etc). One needs Hebrew to access all the information. You can also find information on "The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book" a bibliographic database covering approximately 90% of all the books published in the Hebrew language over a period of 500 years—from the year 1470 to 1960. The Institute of the Hebrew Bibliography (IHB), also known as the Mif'al Habibliographia Ha'ivrit (MHH) is jointly administered by the Hebrew University and the Ministry of Education and Culture. This is also an online resource available through many Judaica Libraries."

which took the original question and provided information on the specific and so much more. If you have other information relevant to the question, please comment here or email me and I will happily convey it further. Many thanks to Scott and especially to Lieberman-Mintz for suggestion and an excellent, research-expanding answer.

The Book Jackets of Ismar David

I had the good fortune to meet Ismar David a couple of years before he passed away and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the design of his signature "David" typeface from him. Now, the wonderful Misha Beletsky has put together a short monograph on his book jackets. It includes a short essay on the history of book jackets, and a short bio of Ismar David that puts his exquisite calligraphic work in context. The sum total is a lovely diversion and a welcome addition to my bookshelf (although I anticipate sharing it widely, so it may not be on the bookshelf when I go looking for it).

book cover graphic

At $19.95, the book is quite modestly priced. It is available from RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press and other fine vendors.

Book covers by Izak Rejzman

In this month's email from the National Yiddish Book Center is an announcement of a lovely slide show exhibit of Yiddish book covers by Izak Rejzman, executed in the middle of the last century. The landing page also contains some brief biographical remarks.

I wish I had known about this material when I was putting together my Hebrew typography lecture, and will surely use some of them next time I teach that class:


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