The Archive

Ancient books

Many books have been accumulated in the Community of Casale. Many hundreds can be found; their classification has already started.

The origins, genre and dates of these books are very different. The main bulk is totally formed by prayer or study books (Written or Oral Torah ), but most varied topics can be found: a book concerning children’s education, another on the way of curing children, a book explaining the functioning of the sabbatical year or a handwritten book concerning the prayer to be recited in front of a Jew’s grave.

These books were printed between 1600 and 1900, mainly in Italy and in particular by the community of Livorno. They belonged to the community, to an association (i.e. the Talmud Torah, the Jewish religious school) or to private individuals of Casale or other places in Italy (Livorno, Acqui, Torino) or in Europe (France and Eastern countries).

In these books handwritten notes can be found about the ancient proprietary of the book (the Talmud Torah’s books are often full of incomprehensible writings or scribbles; those belonged to adults contain unusual notes as mathematical calculations or lists of commissions). The most interesting books present sometimes letters or messages like a dedication for a deceased person.

The ancient books’ archive lets us understand the relation between the Jews and their religion through the prayer and the study of Judaism.

Today only half of the books have been archived. In order to support the important -yet demanding- task of archiving those historical treasures; please click here.