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Cambridge University Library

Francis Jenkinson

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 8 Jun 2022

The first Genizah fragments came to Cambridge University Library in the early 1890s, offered for sale as bundled job-lots of manuscripts sent from Jerusalem by the Hungarian rabbi and dealer in rare books, Rabbi Solomon Aaron Wertheimer. Some were purchased by Cambridge University Library, but others failed to generate much interest. Plaintive letters from Wertheimer asking for payment or the return of the offered manuscripts are preserved in the Library archives. His postcard from April 1893 ‘to the University Library’ requests payment or return of 13 manuscripts, as well as payment for a... Read More

Has tags: Francis Jenkinson, Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter, Solomon Wertheimer

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Fri 13 May 2022

It's 13th May and Schechter Day: the anniversary of the identification of this fragment of Ben Sira on 13th May 1896, setting Solomon Schechter on course for Cairo. The rest, as they say, is history. Today we'll take a look at events in Cambridge a year later. 

The diaries of Francis Jenkinson, University Librarian 1889–1923, capture moments of chaos and drama in the early years of the Genizah in Cambridge. On 15th May 1897, only weeks into work on the fragments in Cambridge, tempers were short and... Read More

Has tags: Francis Jenkinson, Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter, Stefan Reif

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 12 Jan 2022

125 years ago today, Solomon Schechter sat down to write this letter to his colleague and friend Francis Jenkinson, the University Librarian. Three weeks ago he had arrived in Egypt, made the acquaintance of Chief Rabbi Ben Shim'on, and started to delve into the contents of the Ben Ezra Synagogue's genizah. Schechter writes to Jenkinson describing his work in the dusty, insect-infested chamber and his dealings with the local men who were assisting him ('I have constantly to bakeshish them'). Interestingly, he first mentions working on 'the Genizas' (plural), before then describing 'the... Read More

Has tags: Francis Jenkinson, Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter

 

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