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Israeli Foreign Minister Views Rare Book Collection During Visit to Library and Archives Canada

Ottawa, March 20, 2007 -- On Tuesday, March 13, 2007, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Tzipi Livni had the opportunity to visit Library and Archives Canada to view the unique documents that are part the Jacob M. Lowy Collection.

The Jacob M. Lowy Collection consists of old and rare Hebraica and Judaica comprising 3000 volumes from the 15th to the 20th century, including 34 Hebrew and Latin incunabula, over 120 editions of bibles in many languages and numerous editions of the works of the first century historian Flavius Josephus. The collection is very strong in its holdings of Italian Hebraica and rich in examples of Hebrew printing from Spain and the Orient.

"I was moved and fascinated by the richness of the historical expression found in the Jacob M. Lowy Collection," said Minister Livni. "The collection is a true testament to the unique intellectual history of the Jewish people and Library and Archives Canada should be commended for the exemplary way this very important documentary heritage is being preserved."

Some of the books specifically displayed for the Minister's viewing included: De antiquitate Judaica. De bello Judaico (Antiquities of the Jews and The Judean War) by the historian Flavius Josephus, printed in 1470, the first printing ever of Josephus' works and the oldest book in Library and Archives Canada; Mishneh Torah (codification of Talmudic laws) by Maimonides, printed in Rome in ca. 1475, one of the earliest Hebrew books known; Mishnah, printed in 1492, considered the first printing ever of the Mishnah; and Humash. Pentateuch, an elegant limited edition, printed in Berlin in 1933.

"Library and Archives Canada was honoured by Minister Livni's visit," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "We are proud that the Jacob M. Lowy Collection, with its treasured and priceless works, is evidence of the shared cultural heritage that binds our two nations."

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Pauline M. Portelance
Senior Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada


Michael Mendel
Press Officer
Embassy of Israel - Ottawa
613-567-6450 ext 230

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