From the Associated Press:
Israel’s National Library has digitized a rare collection of communal ledgers from long-lost Jewish communities of Europe, offering the public a chance to study an era seen as a golden age of Jewish self-governance.
The documents, known as pinkasim, were used by European Jewish communities hundreds of years ago to keep track of financial transactions, political happenings, relations with non-Jewish government bodies, and even funny moments.
Today, the ledgers that have survived are held in various collections around the world. The first phase of the project , funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, has uploaded around 200 documents from the years 1500 to 1800. The library hopes to collaborate with other institutions to make more available online.
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