Broadsheets: An International Database and Study Tools of Jewish Historical Documents

Broadsheets:  An International Database and Study Tools of Jewish Historical Documents

This project is aiming at organizing and presenting a unique digitized collection of Jewish printed objects containing texts and images called Broadsheets (or broadsides). A broadsheet is a single printed sheet produced on many occasions since the incunabula period. As a discrete category in the history of printing, they are distinct in their production, particular in their purpose, and highly diverse in the subject matter they address. Since they are inexpensive to produce, broadsheets sometimes express the sentiments of individuals on the margins of society whose voices are rarely heard.  Although certain genres predominate, the topics encompassed by broadsides are as varied as human experience. They relate to public, communal, local or national matters, or to individuals, persons and life events, whether religious or secular.

Leaning on the initial outcomes of the ISF grant no. 1296/20, and on the experience of the Open Media and Information Lab (OMILab), we now aim at organizing and adding metadata and bibliography to the broadsheet collection and building a searchable interface. This includes a list and presentation of images in broadsheets, which will be the first list of such graphic objects in the history of the Jewish book, and thus it will benefit the study of Jewish book at large.