Fresh from the Scanner: The 1749 Pressburg Haggadah

Take a glimpse at one of the most beautiful haggadot in the Günzburg Collection.

The National Library of Israel

We are delighted to share with you one of the first results of the historic joint undertaking by the National Library of Israel, the Russian State Library and the Ziyavudin Magomedov Peri Charitable Foundation, to digitize and make available online thousands of manuscripts and books from the preeminent Günzburg Collection, housed in the Russian State Library in Moscow. This historic agreement was signed last year in Jerusalem and, with the generous support of Ziyavudin Magomedov and the Peri Foundation, the digitization process has already begun.

As part of the joint project, and just in time for Passover, a Haggadah written on parchment stemming in Pressburg, Hungary (today Bratislava, Slovakia) in 1749, was digitized last week in Moscow. Dmitry Tomchuk, the Executive Director of the Moscow-based Peri Foundation, brought the digital file of the Pressburg Haggadah to the National Library of Israel on the eve of the holiday so that it can be made accessible to the people of Israel for Passover.

Dmitry Tomchuk, Executive Director, Peri Foundation and Oren Weinberg, General Director, the National Library of Israel. Photograph by Hanan Cohen

The Haggadah is now available online for worldwide public viewing. We hope you will enjoy this sneak peek of the images from this unique Haggadah.​​​​

The addition of the digitized Günzburg Collection marks a significant milestone in the renewal process of the National Library of Israel, the home of greatest collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the world, and advances its key aim to preserve the national memory of the Jewish people. The Günzburg Collection includes some of the most important Hebrew manuscripts and books in the world.

The new, high quality images of the ancient Hebrew manuscripts will be integrated into the National Library of Israel’s new and comprehensive digital platform, Ktiv, which will eventually include images of all known Hebrew manuscripts.

Ktiv, in partnership with the Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society (FJMS), works to make Jewish manuscripts widely available. The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts enables global centralized digital access to the complete corpus of existing Hebrew manuscripts. They are preserved long-term using state of the art technology, and the collection will eventually be accessible to international communities of researchers and users from the comfort of their own institutions and homes.

We wish you and your family a Happy Passover, and if you happen to be in Israel in the near future, we invite you to visit the National Library to see our latest exhibition of Haggadot that draw parallels between the Passover story and the events leading up to the establishment of Israel.


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