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Jacob M. Lowy Collection

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The Jacob M. Lowy Collection


Moses Nahmanides.
Perush ha-Torah. Commentary on the Pentateuch.
Lisbon: Eliezer Toledano, 1489

Jacob M. Lowy was a Montreal philanthropist and bibliophile whose origins were in Bardejov, Slovakia. He immeasurably enriched Canada's cultural heritage with the donation in 1977 of his world-class library, assembled over a period of forty years.

The Jacob M. Lowy Collection is Canada’s national treasure of old and rare Hebraica and Judaica and holds 3000 volumes printed between the 15th and 20th centuries. The intellectual scope of the Collection spans religious, scientific, historical and philological thought emanating from presses in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

image Megilat Ester. Scroll of Esther. Manuscript on parchment, late 19th or early 20th century, Western Europe? Library and Archives Canada, Jacob M. Lowy Collection.

Click here for a larger view.
The Collection is rich in examples of printing in Hebrew, Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Spanish and other Jewish languages, as well as in Latin, Greek and in numerous European vernacular languages. Among its highlights are 34 Hebrew, Latin and Italian incunables and fragments thereof, over 120 editions of bibles in many languages and important editions of the works of the first century historian Josephus. At the heart of the Collection are the first and early editions of Talmud, codes of law, reponsa, legal and biblical commentaries and mystical texts.

A specialized reference collection holds 2500 monographs focusing on the origin, spread and collecting of printed and manuscript Hebraica and Judaica, as well as institutional, exhibition and auction catalogues, bibliographical journals and classic and new Judaic encyclopedias.

For more information

Visit the Jacob M. Lowy page on the Library and Archives Canada site.

The Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection

The Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection was established in the spring of 1996 as a volunteer group of Lowy supporters operating under the aegis of the Friends of Library and Archives Canada.

The Council promotes the Lowy Collection through lectures, film screenings, seminars and colloquia, exhibition openings and tours. It also works to establish an interest-bearing endowment to provide a stable source of funding for the Lowy Collection. These funds will be dedicated to acquisitions and the funding of research and scholarly projects.

For more information about the Lowy Council please contact:

Jacob M. Lowy Collection
Library and Archives Canada
Telephone: 613-995-7960
Fax: 613-943-1112


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