Restoring Geniza documents (Photo: O Fitoussi)
Two intrepid Scottish ladies bought some discarded Hebrew manuscripts in Cairo in 1893. Thanks to the UK's leading universities, the Lewis-Gibson collection's future is assured, Haaretz reports (with thanks: Malca; Colette):
Pre-eminent British universities Oxford and Cambridge raised 1.2 million pound to purchase the Lewis-Gibson genizah collection, the BBC reported Wednesday.
universities, two of the oldest and highest-ranking institutions for
higher education in the world, decided this February to put aside their
historic professional rivalry and launch their first joint fund-raising
With the immense sum raised, the "ancient universities" can
now purchase the collection from its current owner, the United Reform
Church's Westminster College.
to Oxford's library announcement this February, the The Lewis-Gibson
collection contains 1,000 years worth of Jewish manuscripts hand-picked
from the Ben-Ezra synagogue genizah, which historically served as a
storage space for sacred writings discarded by the Jewish community of
Fustat (now a suburb of Cairo).
collection also holds other treasures, such as a handwritten scroll by
Moses Maimonides, and an autograph poem by the medieval Spanish Hebrew
poet Joseph ibn Abitur.
to the BBC report, the manuscripts will be sent to Cambridge for
conservation work and then digitized. The hardcopies will be divided
between the two universities.
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Mrs Lewis and Mrs Gibson
More about the Cairo Geniza