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Joshua Teplitsky (Stony Brook University) Five College Seminar in Book History

Joshua Teplitsky

Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library

David Oppenheim (1664–1736), chief rabbi of Prague in the early eighteenth century, built an unparalleled collection of Jewish books, all of which have survived and are housed in the Bodleian Library of Oxford. His remarkable collection testifies to the myriad connections Jews maintained with each other across political borders. Oppenheim’s world reached the great courts of European nobility, and his family ties brought him into networks of power, prestige, and opportunity that extended from Amsterdam to the Ottoman Empire. His impressive library functioned as a unique source of personal authority that gained him fame throughout Jewish society and beyond. His story brings together culture, commerce, and politics, all filtered through this extraordinary collection. Based on the careful reconstruction of an archive that is still visited by scholars today, this talk offers a window into the social life of books in early modern Europe.

This meeting will be held online. RSVP here.