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Hebrew Typography, Printing and the Digital Age

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When you open your machzor this week on Rosh Hashanah, first take a moment to consider how the Hebrew letters on the page got there. For about 200 years, Jewish communities in America had to rely on European printers for their prayer books. Although the first known Hebrew printing here occurred in 1640, the “Bay Psalm Book” was intended for Christian users, as was a Hebrew grammar book used at Harvard College in 1735. Hebrew type specimen collected by David Shields

Now because of an innovative program of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection, intriguing Jewish history and printing technology, graphic design and typography are intersecting in new ways. In 2014, the Cary acquired a rare collection of 40 Hebrew wooden type alphabets used by the Jewish-American press at the turn of the 20th century. Since then, it has embarked on a journey of discovery in the details of the beautiful letters, after meticulously cleaning them with the reliable Jewish kitchen staple known as Crisco. Shani Avni in the Cary........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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