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The Contribution Of Hebrew Printing Houses And Printers In Istanbul To Ladino Culture And Scholarship, Rachel Simon Dec 2011

The Contribution Of Hebrew Printing Houses And Printers In Istanbul To Ladino Culture And Scholarship, Rachel Simon

Judaica Librarianship

Sephardi printers were pioneers of moveable type in the Islamic world, establishing a Hebrew printing house in Istanbul in 1493. Initially emphasizing classical religious works in Hebrew, since the eighteenth century printers have been instrumental in the development of scholarship, literature, and journalism in the vernacular of most Jews of the western Ottoman Empire: Ladino. Although most Jewish males knew the Hebrew alphabet, they did not understand Hebrew texts. Communal cultural leaders and printers collaborated in order to bring basic Jewish works to the masses in the only language they really knew. While some books in Ladino were printed as ...