Bookplate for the Samson collection of Judaica
Samson / Copenhagen Judaica Collection
The Samson / Copenhagen Judaica Collection includes close to 2,000 works printed in over 115 locations from 1517 to 1939. The books in the collection belonged to the Jewish Community of Copenhagen, Denmark, until the early 1980s, when they were purchased by Herman R. Samson, a native of Copenhagen. The collection was acquired by Stanford in 2003, with a lead grant from the Koret Foundation and funding assistance from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund and private donors.
Books in The Samson / Copenhagen Judaica Collection cover a wide range of topics, including Bible and Talmud texts and commentaries, Jewish law and ritual, Jewish liturgy, rabbinical responsa, treatises on Jewish law (halakhah), scientific works in Hebrew, kabbalah, apologetics, bibliography, the sciences, ephemeral publications relating to the Jewish communities of Denmark and other Northern European countries, and even poetry. About half of the books were printed before 1800 in places as far flung as Amsterdam and Calcutta. Enhancing their value for research, many of the volumes contain handwritten, marginal notations by rabbis and other scholars. The collection also contains a small number of manuscripts documenting religious life in Denmark’s small but influential Jewish community.