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Micrography in the Jewish Tradition

(The following is a post by Sharon Horowitz, reference librarian in the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division.) Micrography is minute script written into abstract patterns or formed into figurative designs such as the shape of animals, flowers or human figures. This is a Jewish form of embellishment of Biblical texts, developed […]

From Amsterdam to Algeria: A Chapter in Hebrew Book History

(The following post is by Ann Brener, Hebraic area specialist in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.) Philadelphia, look out! You may be the official “City of Brotherly Love,” but Ouargla, a town deep in the Algerian desert, is about to give you a run for the money. And all because of a book: […]

In Commemoration of D-Day: Treasures from the Hebraic Section

(The following is a post by Ann Brener, Hebraic Area Specialist in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.) They probably didn’t seem like treasures at the time. They were for the most part in fact rather ordinary: books for study, or for reading to children; posters about upcoming protests, hastily printed; newspaper articles and […]

Celebrating Yiddish American Popular Song

(The following is a repost from the Library of Congress Blog.) The Library’s collection of Yiddish American sheet music is an unusual one for the Library of Congress, mostly because of the way it came together: It started not with acquisition of materials that were then cataloged, but with a catalog. Lawrence Marwick retired as head […]

Inquiring Minds: Researching Jewish Cuisine at the Library of Congress

(The following is a repost of an interview conducted by Wendi Maloney, Office of Communications. This interview originally appeared on the Library of Congress Blog.) Joan Nathan is the author of 11 cookbooks, including “King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World,” published in April. Her previous cookbook, “Quiches, Kugels […]

Gathered Around the Seder Table: Images from the Passover Haggadah

(The following is a cross-post by Sharon Horowitz, reference librarian in the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division. It originally appeared on the Library of Congress blog.) Exodus 23:15 tells us that Passover should be celebrated in the spring. The rabbis understood this to mean it was their job to maintain the […]

Her Magazine, Her Voice: Foremothers of Women’s Journals in Africa and the Middle East

(The following is a joint post by Angel Batiste, Ann Brener, Anchi Hoh, and Fawzi Tadros in the African and Middle Eastern Division.) The history of women in Africa and the Middle East has often been told as addenda to incessant wars, political turmoil, and social injustice. If women’s voices could be heard, what story […]

Love Songs from the Middle East: A Valentine’s Day Celebrated with Poems from the Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish Collections

Poetry was the theme of a special program, “Love Songs from the Middle East: A Valentine’s Day Extravaganza with Poems from the Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish,” held in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room of the Library of Congress. Through dramatic readings, the division’s very own area specialists journeyed with their audience […]

Princess Tanya Comes to Washington: A Chanukah Story for the Library of Congress

(The following is a post by Ann Brener, Hebraic area specialist in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.) This Chanukah, it will be exactly one hundred years since a Jewish artist in revolution-torn Moscow presented his young stepdaughter, Tanya, with a wonderful Chanukah gift: a hand-lettered Russian fairytale in which the little girl herself […]