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Library and Archives Canada Celebrates 30 Years of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection

(Ottawa - October 18, 2007) - On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection, Library and Archives Canada presents a variety of activities in celebration of the important collection of Hebraica and Judaica donated to the Government of Canada by this noted Jewish collector. Some of the activities include a lecture by Dr. Emile G.L. Schrijver on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Library and Archives Canada. The lecture entitled, "Uncovering the Lowy Haggadah Manuscript" is presented in partnership with the Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection.

The lecture is part of a colloquium held in collaboration with the Canadian Society for Jewish Studies, Carleton University's Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies, and the University of Ottawa's Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program. Some examples of the Lowy Collection will also be on display during the colloquium. The lecture and colloquium are open to the public, free of charge.

The Jacob M. Lowy Collection, which is housed on the second floor of Library and Archives Canada at 395 Wellington Street, consists of rare and old Hebraica and Judaica comprising 3,000 volumes from the 15th to the 20th century. Library and Archives Canada "is proud to house such an important cultural and historical collection that Jews and non-Jews alike from around the world can appreciate," said Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Ian E. Wilson.

Dr. Emile Schrijver is a specialist in Hebrew manuscripts and curator of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, the Judaic and Hebraic special collection at Amsterdam University Library ( He has published extensively on Jewish manuscripts and printed books. A Haggadah is a liturgical book recited on Passover that tells the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The Lowy Haggadah is a handwritten manuscript, copied and illuminated in Altona, Germany, in 1763, during the 18th-century revival of Hebrew manuscript production.

In the past five years, new acquisitions to the Collection include the first book of the Hebrew Bible to be printed in North America, Liber Psalmorium Hebraice, printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1809. As well, a large, finely hand-coloured, copper-engraved map of the Eastern Mediterranean region delineating the travels of Paul in the 1st century was donated, among many other acquired items.

The lecture and colloquium will be at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

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