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Center for Jewish History: 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford University

Yeshiva University Museum / Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

500 Years of Treasures from Oxford chronicles Corpus Christi College’s pioneering role in the study of scripture, humanities and sciences over the course of five centuries. The extraordinary exhibit features an array of ancient manuscripts, early printed books and Tudor silver. The Hebrew collection has been called the most important collection of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world. The College’s Special Collections are normally kept in a vault and rarely accessible, except to researchers. This exhibition will present breath-taking treasures seen in America for the first time.

Among the 50 scintillating works are a 1,000-year old Greek manuscript, a design by Dürer and the first publications of the scientific revolution. Visitors will see a late 12th-century Ashkenazi siddur (book of daily prayers), thought to be the oldest extant anywhere. Owned by a Sephardic Jew from the Iberian Peninsula who had emigrated to England, it contains his hand-written notes in Judeo-Arabic on his business dealings. Other priceless objects include a 13th-century manuscript of Samuel and Chronicles that was used by Christians to learn Hebrew and two of the oldest manuscripts of Rashi in the world.

The show also marks the 500th anniversary of Corpus Christi College’s foundation as the first Renaissance college at Oxford and a center of cross-cultural, cross-religious study. Dazzling illuminated works of literature including Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales sit alongside texts revealing Renaissance methods in the study of Greek and Latin. The display also contains early printed scientific books exploring the natural and medical worlds – including contemporary sketches of Galileo’s observations of the moon’s surface and a private letter written by Isaac Newton in which he discusses his theory about the orbits of comets.

Exhibition hours:

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., (Free 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Free)

Exhibition admission fees:

Adults: $8
Seniors: $6
Students: $6
CJH & YUM Members: Free
Yeshiva University faculty, administration & students (ID required): Free
Children under 5: Free
Corpus Christi alumni: Free

The exhibition will be open at Yeshiva University Museum, based at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th Street), from May 14, 2017 through August 6, 2017. For more information click here.


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