Book People > Book (and scroll) Collectors
Manuscript scroll in Hebrew, on parchment in ivory case.
Ca. 19th century.
Smith Hebrew 11
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
The biblical book of Esther, traditionally written on a parchment scroll, is read by Jews on the holiday of Purim, commemorating the salvation of the Jews of ancient Persia and their military victory over their persecutors. This Esther scroll was donated to Columbia by Professor David Eugene Smith (1860-1944), founder of the field of Mathematics education, and professor at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Professor Smith traveled around the world collecting manuscripts and rare books related to mathematics. He was particularly interested in Persia (mostly due to its contributions to mathematics), which may have led him to purchase a number of Esther scrolls, including the one shown here.
Gift of David Eugene Smith.
Thanks to the generosity of the National Library of Israel, this manuscript is available in its entirety here.