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18 Documents, Reports and Printing

The first Hebrew printing press in Calcutta was founded in 1840 by Eleazar B. Aaron Saadiah Irāqī ha-Cohen and continued until 1856. A scholar and poet, Irāqī was an expert printer who probably cast his own type. The products of his press, some of them his own writings, are comparable with the best European productions of the time. Another press, operated by Ezekiel B. Saliman Hanin from 1871 to 1893, printed the Judeo-Arabic weekly Mevasser in Hebrew type from 1873 to 1878. This paper was followed by Pera (1878–88), printed from 1871 by Elijah b. Moses Duek ha-Cohen. Two further weeklies, Maggid Meisharim (1889–1900) and Shoshannah (1901), were edited and printed by R. Solomon Twena, author of almost 70 works published by his own press. In 20th century, the Jewish Association of Calcutta printed its official monthly magazine named Shema.

In this exhibit we present some of the documents, court proceedings and other writings associated with Jewish life in Calcutta.