Bulgaria: Engraving of an old printed Jewish book
1-2. XVI-XX c. engravings of old printed Jewish books, preserved at the Central State Archives of Bulgaria.
Central State Archives, Fond 1568K
Jews were called "People of the Book". During long periods of exile, the Jews always had their book with them. In accordance with Jewish traditions, the printed books never had illustrations. The engraving on the title page was the only way to represent their life.
This title page depicts a rabbi working on She'elot ve-Teshuvot "questions and answers", rabbinic commentaries devoted to the exegesis of the Jewish religious law.
The formation of the collection started after the end of the Second World War, in 1947, result of the initiative of the Institute for Jewish Studies. The collection includes 10 157 incunabula which were brought in the Bulgarian lands by the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, or made and printed in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. Among the significant number of books also are preserved some of the earliest patterns of Jewish typography in Thessalonica, Constantinople, Ismir, Venice, Livorno, Amsterdam, as well as in a small topographic centers in Italy, Russia, Check republic, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. The collection is preserved at the Central State Archives of Bulgaria and is divided into two parts: books and documents. The section that includes documents has 555 archival units on the history of the Bulgarian Jews from 1878 till 1959. The book collection refers to 10 157 records.