History of the Early Printed Hebrew Book: Introduction to the Guide

This is a guide to the History of the Early Printed Hebrew Book. It was copied with permission from the guide at the University of Pennsylvania, created by Bruce E. Nielsen, and updated for Columbia University by Michelle Chesner


We present several topics relevant specifically to the study of the early printed Hebrew book from its beginning around the year 1470 through the seventeenth-century. To learn more about early printing in general, please refer to the following existing libguides:




For every topic you will find a bibliography arranged alphabetically by author, and the availability of the materials in the Columbia University Libraries system, online, or from other academic libraries.  In all cases, if an article or chapter of a book is in Hebrew, we give the English translation followed by [Hebrew] to indicate its language. 

Please note that whereas the links to the CLIO online catalog will work everywhere, there are to caveats to the links to online resources:  some of the links to articles are limited to computers operating on the Columbia network; and further, some of the links are accessible only to individuals with a CUID.

NOTE: In some cases, books have been separated by digital and physical versions - the format of the scholarship in no way indicates its importance.  On the contrary, some of the most important critical scholarship appears in book reviews, exhibition catalogs, and other, almost ephemeral publications.  As always, if you have trouble finding any publication, contact the Jewish Studies Librarian for assistance.

(This guide is currently in transition from the Penn Guide - references to Van Pelt or Franklin should be replaced with Butler or CLIO.  We access most of the same databases, so Columbia students should be able to access items referenced in the Penn Guide via CLIO.)

This old book

"I bought this book...1778...it was printed 181 years ago!"

Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies

Michelle Chesner
309 International Affairs (420 W. 118th St.)
New York, NY 10027

Jewish Studies @CULTwitter Page