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‎25 Adar I 5784 | ‎05/03/2024

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FOOTPRINTS: Jewish Books through Time and Place

FOOTPRINTS:  Jewish Books through Time and Place

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What is a “footprint” and how many are there in the FOOTPRINTS database?

FOOTPRINTS is a project that grew out of discussions of the Lillian Goldman Scholar’s Working Group on the Jewish Book that met under the auspices of the Center for Jewish History in New York from 2009-2013.

The goal of Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place is a database to track the circulation of printed «Jewish books». A lot of information about the movement of early printed books exists, but in scattered form: individual copies, catalogs from libraries and booksellers, estate inventories, subscription lists, and other kinds of archival documents. All of these individual pieces of data can connect to each other in order to build up a composite view of the movement of Jewish texts and ideas from place to place and across time.

FOOTPRINTS traces the history and movement of Jewish books since the inception of print. It is the repository of information about every Jewish book copy printed between 1450 and 1850 in the world. It is a collaborative project and open source and we all need to work on gathering the information.


Anyone can look through the data but if someone wants to input information they need to get in touch with FOOTPRINTS and they will make sure that the data is entered. For those who would like to actively input data into the database, they can set up an account so that they can put in data themselves. There are Jewish books in Spain and throughout the world that they would like to add to the database.

FOOTPRINTS Project co-directors are:

Michelle Chesner (Judaica Librarian, Columbia University)

Marjorie Lehman (Jewish Theological Seminary)

Adam Shear (University of Pittsburgh)

Joshua Teplitsky (Stony Brook University)