Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 12, 2017 - An historic event was held in the Israel National Library at the Hebrew University Givat Ram Campus, on Tuesday evening. An agreement was signed making accessible to the public one of the most valuable Judaic collections in the world. The Gunzburg library with its manuscript treasures, taken as State property under Communist rule, was inaccessible for the past 100 years, 

With the generous support of the Peri Foundation, funded by Ziyavudin Magomedov, 2,000 Jewish manuscripts and thousands of books in the collection will be digitized through an unprecedented collaboration between the National Library of Israel and the Russian State Library. The digital manuscripts will be made accessible alongside tens of thousands of other digitized manuscripts from around the world on the recently launched website of "Ktiv: The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts." 

David Goratsiyevich Günzburg, the son of Baron Horace Günzburg, was born in 1857, in the former Soviet Union, now the Ukraine. His grandfather Joseph was ennobled in 1870, by the Grand Duchy of Darmstadt-Hesse and made baron in 1874.

Gunzburg edited Rabbi Moses ibn Ezra's Tarshish, and prepared for the Arabic translation, with commentary. Günzburg was an enthusiastic patron of Jewish art and published and edited various works. 

Günzburg's personal library was one of the largest private libraries in Europe, containing many rare books and manuscripts. 

The Günzburg Collection is one of the most significant of its kind in the world, covering a vast range of topics including philosophy, history, astronomy, medicine, poetry, commentaries on Jewish mysticism, Bible, Talmud, prayers, Jewish law, as well as legal and communal documents. It also contains a number of Hebrew incunabula, some of the earliest printed books.

Signing the documents were Oren Weinberg and David Blumberg for the Israel National Library, philanthropist Ziyavudin Magomedov, and  Dr. Vladimir Ivanovich Gnezilov Head of Russian National Library.

MK Zeev Elkin, Sara Netanyahu, Lord Rothschild and Balfour were among the guests at the signing and celebrations. Lord Rothschild who was executor of the estate for the Gunzburg heirs spoke after the signing and before dinner. Speeches were in Hebrew, English and Russian with translation available.