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Dr. Stefan Litt
ד"ר סטפן ליט

Dr. Stefan Litt

Dr. Stefan Litt studied general history and Jewish studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He graduated with an MA from the Freie Universität in 1995 and received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2008, Stefan underwent the habilitation process at the University of Graz in Austria, where he researched Dutch Jewry in the 18th century. He worked on several projects in a number of different archives prior to his appointment in 2010 to oversee the European language holdings in the Archives Department at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Since 2018, Stefan has also served as curator of the Humanities Collection at the National Library of Israel.

Stefan has published several studies on central-European Jewry in the early modern period, including Juden in Thüringen in der Frühen Neuzeit (1520–1650) (Cologne/Weimar, 2003) and Pinkas, Kahal, and the Mediene: The Records of Dutch Ashkenazi Communities in the Eighteenth Century as Historical Sources (Boston / Leiden, 2009).  He recently edited a selection of Stefan Zweig’s letters on Judaism titled Briefe zum Judentum (Berlin, 2020).

Curator's Statement

Our region in general, and the State of Israel in particular, is a meeting place of different cultures, religions and traditions. With the shrinking of geographical and cultural distances in the age of information, creating access points to diverse fields of knowledge is essential for both academic researchers and the public. The study of world cultures reveals how opinions and worldviews from all over the globe are constantly influencing each other, particularly in a society as diverse as Israel’s. Hundreds of thousands of books, journals, databases and special collections (archives, manuscripts, maps, etc.) in a variety of languages ​​are available to users.

In my work with the collection, I make every effort to create a comfortable and modern work environment for the research community as well as the general public. Together with the Library staff, we ensure that information is constantly published and up to date on a wide range of topics. Moreover, thanks to new technologies, more and more digital items are becoming accessible and are now at the convenience of our research audience.

 

Selected Items

Articella
A medical textbook (manuscript) that combines texts by physicians from different cultures, from antiquity to the Middle Ages: Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Hippocrates, Galen and Isaac ben Solomon Israeli (Isaac Judaeus). This treatise illustrates that knowledge of the human body and its diseases is common to all of humanity. The manuscript in the National Library of Israel collection was written in France in the 13th century.

Articella

A medical textbook (manuscript) that combines texts by physicians from different cultures, from antiquity to the Middle Ages: Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Hippocrates, Galen and Isaac ben Solomon Israeli (Isaac Judaeus). This treatise illustrates that knowledge of the human body and its diseases is common to all of humanity. The manuscript in the National Library of Israel collection was written in France in the 13th century.

Hartmann Schedel’s "Chronicle of the World" (Weltchronik)
This book is a presentation of the history of mankind from Creation to the end of the 15th century. The book belongs to the exclusive group of incunabula (early books printed up to 1500) and is one of the most beautiful and impressive examples of the art of printing. Accompanying the text of the chronicle are many woodcuts. The book was printed in the city of Nuremberg in 1493.

Hartmann Schedel’s "Chronicle of the World" (Weltchronik)

This book is a presentation of the history of mankind from Creation to the end of the 15th century. The book belongs to the exclusive group of incunabula (early books printed up to 1500) and is one of the most beautiful and impressive examples of the art of printing. Accompanying the text of the chronicle are many woodcuts. The book was printed in the city of Nuremberg in 1493.

Isaac Newton’s Alchemical Writings
The scholar Isaac Newton accrued a wide variety of knowledge dealing not only with physics and mathematics, but also with theology and alchemy (which preceded chemistry). The alchemical community, as well as Newton, were preoccupied with the figure of Nicolas Flamel (a writer and clerk who lived in Paris in the 14th century and to whom were attribute alchemical abilities). Newton summarized an essay attributed to Flamel, including an illustration of a group of sculptures erected on the latter’s gravesite.

Isaac Newton’s Alchemical Writings

The scholar Isaac Newton accrued a wide variety of knowledge dealing not only with physics and mathematics, but also with theology and alchemy (which preceded chemistry). The alchemical community, as well as Newton, were preoccupied with the figure of Nicolas Flamel (a writer and clerk who lived in Paris in the 14th century and to whom were attribute alchemical abilities). Newton summarized an essay attributed to Flamel, including an illustration of a group of sculptures erected on the latter’s gravesite.

Manuscript of Stefan Zweig’s Memoir: "The World of Yesterday" (Die Welt von Gestern)
During the last years of his life, the renowned author Stefan Zweig wrote his memoirs - "The World of Yesterday". Only two copies of the manuscript survived, one of them in the National Library. The corrections have been made by his wife and secretary, Lotte Zweig

Manuscript of Stefan Zweig’s Memoir: "The World of Yesterday" (Die Welt von Gestern)

During the last years of his life, the renowned author Stefan Zweig wrote his memoirs - "The World of Yesterday". Only two copies of the manuscript survived, one of them in the National Library. The corrections have been made by his wife and secretary, Lotte Zweig