The New York Times has a fascinating article today about the Valmadonna Trust Library, a collection of more than 13,000 books and manuscripts collected by Jack V. Lunzer. All of the texts are in Hebrew or are written in Hebrew letters, and include everything from the only dated Hebrew text from England before King Edward I expelled the Jews in 1290, to a 19th-century copy of â€œA Thousand and One Nightsâ€? from Calcutta, its Arabic spelled out in Hebrew script.
Sothebyâ€™s has the collection up for auction next week, and is expecting at least $40 million, but for the next week, much of the collection is on display, and you can go see it for free if you live near New York City. Head over to Sothebyâ€™s at 1334 York Avenue in Manhattan.
In order to really appreciate the scope of the Valmadonna Library, I suggest checking out our article on Jewish Printing, which gives you a better sense of just how impressive the collection is. And hey, if you have an extra $40 million lying around, may I suggest investing in the first book ever printed in Africa â€” a Hebrew book about prayer from 1516 Fez? It comes with a few other volumesâ€¦
(Hat tip, Jewschool)