Bibles & Torahs


The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Bible Collection, a comprehensive survey of the printed Bible with notably strong holdings in early English editions, complements Bridwell’s Thomas J. Harrison Bible Collection and other Bibles acquired throughout the Library’s history. The collection extends from the medieval period to the present and includes Torah scrolls, medieval manuscripts, incunabula, early editions in the Biblical languages, polyglot Bibles, European and world vernacular translations, English and American imprints, and modern fine press editions.

Torah Scrolls at Bridwell Library

CHINESE TORAH SCROLL, in Hebrew. [Kaifeng, China, mid-17th century]. Parchment, each skin 59 cm in height with 49 lines of text per column, written in brown ink. Modern wooden rollers.

This Torah, written in unpointed Hebrew on a scroll of 68 parchment skins (96 feet long), was number yod-bet (12) of the thirteen scrolls originally at the synagogue in Kaifeng, China, established in 1653. The scroll came to Bridwell Library by bequest of the Thomas J. Harrison Trust. It was identified as one of the missing Kaifeng scrolls by Michael Pollak, of Dallas, in 1972.

CZECH TORAH SCROLL, in Hebrew. [Žamberk, Czech Republic, 19th century]. Parchment, each skin 71 cm in height with 58 lines of text per column, written in black ink. Modern wooden rollers.

The Žamberk scroll was one of 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls recovered after World War II by the Memorial Scrolls Trust. The Torah scroll from Žamberk arrived at Bridwell in January 1977 in honor of Dr. Levi A. Olan (1903–1984), Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-el in Dallas.