Metadata Specialist, Alison Kemp, describes her recent work on pamphlets collected by the historian Cecil Roth.

The Roth Collection Pamphlets are part of the Roth Collection held by Special Collections at the University of Leeds. Cecil Roth (1899-1970) was a British Jewish historian, and editor in chief of Encyclopedia Judaica from 1965 until his death. Over 1,200 of these pamphlets, previously uncatalogued, are now discoverable on the Special Collections and Library catalogues.

As my part of the project cataloguing the pamphlets comes to an end, here is a flavour of the treasures to be found in this part of the collection.

pamphlet cover
Anglo-Judaica with Americana‘, Pamphlets Roth Collection B-0 ROS. Image credit Leeds University Library.

Some of the first items to be processed were catalogues published by Oxford-based antiquarian book seller Albrecht Rosenthal. ‘Anglo-Judaica with Americana : from the libraries of the late Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H.; E.N. Adler and other great collectors‘ has a foreword by Roth. In a handwritten note on the cover he writes that he has marked entries held his collection.

Cecil Roth and his wife Irene travelled extensively. Irene Roth describes many of their adventures in her memoir ‘Cecil Roth: historian without tears’. Following their marriage in 1928 they set out to spend a year in Florence. There are many items of Italian origin in the collection. One example is ‘Nella lietissima festività delle fauste nozze della egregia damigella Giorgina Pardo-Roques col giovane egregio Giulio Zabban in testimonio di stima e affezione antiche inalterabili ad ambo le famiglie= ‘In the happy festivity of the happy wedding of the egregious damsel Giorgina Pardo-Roques with the young egregious Giulio Zabban in testimony of esteem and affection to both families’.

pamphlet title page
Nella lietissima festività‘ Pamphlets Roth Collection S-4 DEB. Image credit Leeds University Library.

Sara Copia Sullam : une héroine juive au XVIIe siècle ; étude historique et biographiqueby Ernest David was published in 1877. There is an inscription on the half title page from the author to the Jewish Chronicle.

pamphlet title page
Sara Copia Sullam‘ by Ernest David, Pamphlets Roth Collection S-4 DAV. Image credit Leeds University Library.

Camperdown House was built in Aldgate, East London for the Jewish Lads Brigade. The building was completed in 1913 and the pamphlet ‘Camperdown House; opening of the building by the Rt. Hon. The Viscount Milner, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., December 16th, 1913‘ gives the history of the Brigade and the building, with illustrations.

pamphlet title page
Camperdown House‘, Pamphlets Roth Collection S-5 CAM. Image credit Leeds University Library.

The pamphlet collection also includes several works by Roth himself. ‘The resettlement of the Jews in England in 1656′ tells the history of the reestablishment of a Jewish community in England, following the expulsion in 1290.

Search for the Roth Collection Pamphlets on our catalogue.