The Writing on the Wall: A Catalogue of Judaica Broadsides from the Valmadonna Trust Library
The Valmadonna Trust Library is the world’s single most important and extensive private collection of Hebrew books. Assembled by Mr. Jack Lunzer, the indefatigable Custodian of the Library, the collection comprises thousands of rare volumes from virtually all corners of the Jewish world. Within this vast collection are more than 550 broadsides; primarily single sheets of paper printed on one side for public distribution or posting. These important documentary sources for the history of the Jews in the early modern era, have never been afforded a systematic scholarly treatment, until now. This groundbreaking volume includes 554 catalogue entries which provide essential information and concise descriptions of each broadside in the Collection. Featuring scholarly essays by Dvora Bregman, Elisheva Carlebach, Ruth Langer, and Nahum Rakover, all leading academics in their respective fields, whose areas of research have in the past made extensive use of the types of material found in the Valmadonna Collection. These essays provide the reader with a richer contextualization and a fuller understanding of the catalogued materials. Thirty-six highlighted broadsides feature full-color images and more comprehensive narratives, augmented by English translations for the benefit of the lay reader. Additional material includes a numerical conversion chart for the cross-referencing of catalogue numbers with preexisting Valmadonna Collection reference numbers, an index of first lines of poems, and a general index. The publisher has made full-color high-resolution images of all the broadsides available on a complementary, dedicated website, enabling scholars to undertake their own detailed examinations of these broadsides, thus facilitating a more nuanced comprehension and an even greater appreciation of the Collection as a whole. From these examinations, new perspectives will emerge and new connections will be seen.