This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By clicking or navigating the site you agree to allow our collection of information through cookies. More info

Posted on Thursday March 10, 2016

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

The David Simonsen manuscripts collection (12th-19th c.)

The David Simonsen manuscripts collection (12th-19th century). The digitised items (aprox. 193) range from the only Genizah fragment in Danish collections - a Judeo-Arabic letter, tentatively dated to the 12th century - to modern copies of manuscripts in other libraries.

Perhaps the most well-known manuscript has been “Gemma’s Prayerbook”, a Hebrew prayer book written for the widow Gemma (Yemma) in Modena in 1531. It is lavishly decorated with red and blue patterns – to the beholder perhaps reminiscent of the “Blue Fluted” line of Royal Copenhagen porcelain. Twenty countries of origin have been identified, together with fifteen languages. All in all, 193 volumes of different types, have been digitised.

The majority of the manuscripts contain Halakhic texts, i.e. texts related to the legal interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and the other Jewish authoritative texts, e.g. the Talmud. There are also documents concering personal and community history, a single musical score, three marriage contracts and many other works and documents. The Royal Library makes available, as digital facsimiles, the collection of manuscripts acquired in 1932 from Prof. Rabbi David Simonsen, as The David Simonsen Manuscripts.

Image originates from: