The Austro-Hungarian Beginnings of the Research on the ‘European Genizah’

In: Zutot
Tamás Turán Institute of Minority Studies, The Hungarian Academy of Sciences ELTE Eötvös Loránd University Budapest Hungary

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Research on Hebrew manuscript fragments retrieved from bookbindings started in the second half of the 19th century, some earlier forays into this field notwithstanding. Austria-Hungary played an important role in this field of research for its first hundred years – a fact that deserves attention. This pioneering research in Austria-Hungary was made possible by a recognition and appreciation of the importance of minor source materials (‘small finds’) by local scholars, and was characterized by a historical – rather than a literary-historical – interest in this source material. This article explores the particular historical and cultural factors which contributed to this regional development.

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