The Core Collection of Sir Moses’ books, manuscripts and papers

The Core Collection, held in the Endowment’s library, contains manuscripts and books that once belonged to Sir Moses. It includes

  • Detailed censuses of the Jewish communities of the Holy Land and Alexandria were prepared at the behest of Sir Moses between 1839 and 1875. This unique record of the period has now been transliterated and published on-line, in cooperation with the Israel Genealogical Society, in Hebrew and in English translation together with a search engine in both languages.

    Volumes containing the censuses are grouped together into the following years:
    1839: Catalogue (Hirschfield) no. 528.
    1840: 556.
    1849: 529.
    1855: 530, 531, 532.
    1866: 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 540.
    1875: 512, 514, 527, 538, 539, 540, 541-555 (inclusive), 557, 569, 592.

    Detailed lists of the contents of each volume may be found under About the Censuses.

  • Letters and petitions addressed to Sir Moses from the Holy Land and from all over the world, appealing to his beneficence for personal and communal needs. A catalogue, containing a brief description of each letter, may be found under Petitions.
  • Telegrams addressed to Sir Moses from all over the world, some congratulatory and others appealing for his charity. One appeal for example, from the Jews of Isfahan, states that 200 members of that community had died of hunger during the previous month.
  • Miscellaneous – other books and papers that belonged to Sir Moses, including three macaronic poems in Hebrew and Italian, a manuscript book of Haphtarot presented to him, a Montefiore family Bible and a Megillat Esther written by his favourite scribe from Vilna.

The Collection may be accessed by scholars by contacting the Secretary.

The other surviving Montefiore papers owned by the Endowment are held on loan at University College, London.

Further surviving Montefiore papers, not owned by the Endowment, form part of the Shandel/Lipson Collection, held at the Oxford Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Members of the Sebag-Montefiore family have further items in their possession.

The Endowment also owns some twenty Montefiore Sepharim, mostly pasul (so worn so as to be unfit for ritual use) and considered to have deteriorated beyond repair by present-day techniques.

You can browse the Core Collection on this website.

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