Orientalist Collections

Location: The National Library of Israel
Arranged & Described by: Amit Levy
Further information: Online catalogue of the NLI (forthcoming)

The German-Jewish Orientalist archives at the National Library of Israel (NLI) allow us to unfold a unique case of knowledge transfer: the transplantation during the 1920s and 1930sof Orientalist ideas, methods and conceptions from Germany to British Mandate Palestine. These archives include the famous Zettel (research notes) of Josef Horovitz (1874 - 1931); correspondence held by his delegate in Jerusalem, Levi Billig (1897–1936); correspondence and research material of David Zvi (Hartwig) Baneth (1893–1973), one of the founding fathers of the School of Oriental Studies established in Jerusalem in 1926; documents from the archive of the Berlin-born Gabriel Baer (1919–1982), a member of the second generation of scholars at the School of Oriental Studies. The materials also shed light on questions of scientific utility and neutrality. One more segment of this archive are documents that belonged to Eugen Mittwoch (1876–1942), a prominent Jewish Orientalist who shaped 20th-century Orientalism in Germany, and who was the head of the NfO (Nachrichtenstelle für den Orient), an office that focused on publishing pro-German propaganda in Muslim countries during World War I.