Vatican Library

The collection of Hebrew manuscripts in the Vatican Library is one of the most important in existence, even though it is not one of the largest. It includes over 900 Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in eight collections. Of these manuscripts, 722 are in the Vaticana ebraici, and the others are in the following collections: Urbinati (59 manuscripts), Neofiti (46), Rossiana (38), Borgiana (22), Barberini (13), Chigiana (1), Ottoboniana (1). Almost all subjects of Jewish intellectual activity are represented in the codices of the Vatican Library. Except for a few dozen items, all of the manuscripts were written in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from the 9th to the 16th centuries. The collection includes a manuscript that is probably the earliest Hebrew codex in existence, a copy of the Sifra written towards the end of the 9th century or in the first half of the 10th century (manuscript Vat. ebr. 66).