Digital Projects

Early Hebrew Newspapers (עיתונות עברית היסטורית)

Early Hebrew Newspapers Project The Jewish National and University Library (JNUL), David and Fela Shapell Family Digitization Project, offers online access to its Historic Hebrew Newspapers project. The aim of the site is to provide open access to images of the major titles of the early Hebrew press (19th and early 20th century). The site itself is entirely in Hebrew. These newspapers contain a wealth of primary material on Diaspora and Land of Israel history of the period. Access to them has, until now, been limited to a small number of research libraries which held either the crumbling originals or microfilm copies. The first stage of the project, now completed, contains:
Halevanon (1863-1886) 770 issues, approx. 7,200 pages.
Hamagid (1856-1903) 2265 issues, approx. 19,500 pages. 
Havazelet (1863-1911) 1857 issues, approx. 14,200 pages.
Hazefirah (1862-1931) 8,600 issues, approx. 42,000 pages.
Hameliz (1860-1904) 5,600 issues, approx. 33,000 pages.
Hazevi/Haor/Hashkafa (1884-1914), 2,534 issues, approx. 12,600 pages.

Each newspaper has indexes by common era date, Jewish calendar date and volume/issue numbers.

Partial author and subject access is provided for Halevanon, Hamagid and Havazelet via an index created by Yad Ben-Zvi and computerized by the University of Haifa in the 1980’s. This index has now been upgraded by the JNUL to a web version, and enhanced with links to the fulltext of each article. This index is limited, however, to Eretz Israel topics in these three newspapers.

Unfortunately there are as yet no comprehensive index to Hazevi, Hazefirah and Hameliz. Indexes appeared with several volumes and these are presented together at the site.

The runs of these journals are based primarily on the collection of the JNUL, with missing issues filled in with the help of other institutions and private collectors. A few issues are still missing or partial and we welcome the help of other institutions in filling these gap (list of missing issues)

The project benefited from help and assistance from:

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past project
Yad Yitzhak Ben Zvi, Jerusalem
IDC Publishers, the Netherlands
Mossad Harav Kook Library, Jerusalem
Collection of Mr. David Sofer, London
Mendel Gottesman Library, Yeshiva University
Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library
Klau Library, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
The Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem

Technical information:
Viewing the newspaper pages themselves requires the use of a special Java TIFF viewer which is downloaded automatically into your browser the first time you view an image. This software does not remain in your computer after you leave the site. The first time you access a newspaper image you will be asked to accept a digital certificate before the image viewer software, viewONE, is able to be used on your computer. Your browser must also be set for Java enabled. This viewer provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to zoom on the images, adjust brightness and print selected sections.

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