Hebrew Manuscripts: Journeys of the Written Word

Open until Sun 6 Jun 2021
A Torah in the Hebrew Manuscripts exhibition

For more information

  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £8.00 Member: Free Other concessions available

Journey beyond the Bible to discover the history, culture and traditions of Jewish people from all corners of the world through the ages.

Our public spaces are closed for the moment.

Following the latest government advice and to keep everyone safe we’re closing our Reading Rooms, galleries and public spaces in St Pancras and Boston Spa. 

We’ll let you know as soon as the situation changes and we’re able to welcome you back safely.

Until then, you can explore our exhibitions from home.  

Explore the wonderful treasures in Hebrew Manuscripts: Journeys of the Written Word when you take our virtual tour, or jump into our interactive UK map to discover locations linked to women’s activism near you or explore other stories on our Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rightsweb resource.


Through rarely-seen treasures from as far back as the 10th century, this exhibition takes you from Europe and North Africa, through to the Middle East and China to explore the relationships between Jews and their neighbours in the communities that they lived in.

How much knowledge and culture was exchanged between these groups? Fascinating works displayed on music, science and philosophy by famous Jewish scholars suggest there was more than we might think.

Witness both the high points and the lows of these relationships. An Italian rabbi’s reply to Henry VIII, who sought advice on divorcing his first wife. A 13th-century Anglo-Jewish charter showing the passing of property between people of different faiths. And the signs of conflict as we encounter Christian censorship in Jewish texts.

Along the way, meet the sages versed in magic, Kabbalah and alchemy, and even learn a love potion or two, as we discover the power of the written word.

Generously supported by the Dr Michael and Anna Brynberg Charitable Foundation.

With thanks to the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the Shoresh Charitable Trust, and The David Pearlman Charitable Foundation. 

Can’t make it to London? You don’t have to miss out. Take a look at our new virtual tour to get a closer look at the books, manuscripts, diagrams and spells in Hebrew Manuscripts.

Planning your visit

All tickets must be pre-booked at the moment. Please remember to keep a safe distance from other visitors, and you must wear a face covering at all times. 

We’re continuing to follow government guidance to keep everyone safe. Find out how we’re welcoming you to the Library safely.

If you can’t attend, we’ll reschedule your visit

In the event of future closures or if you need to cancel your visit due to COVID-19, we’ll offer you alternative dates if available or a full refund. If you feel unwell, or anyone in your household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t come to the Library, and reschedule your visit by emailing boxoffice@bl.uk.


To reduce contact in our galleries, physical copies of large print guides won’t be available. You can still view a digital copy of the Hebrew Manuscripts large print guide that you can look at on a smartphone or tablet, or print out before your visit.

Data Protection and Track & Trace

In addition to collecting contact details as part of our normal booking process, we will also be recording the times that users enter and leave our premises in order to reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus.

In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep these details for 21 days. We will share your contact details with Test and Trace personnel, if asked, in the event of a fellow user or staff member testing positive for coronavirus.

Your data will be kept secure and handled in line with ethical standards and the Data Protection Act at every stage of the process – from its collection and storage by us to its transfer and use by NHS Test and Trace. NHS Test and Trace will handle all data according to the highest ethical and security standards and it will be used only for NHS care, management, evaluation and research.

The Library’s Privacy Policy can be found on our website.


Image: A series of calendrical and astronomical tables, 15th century (Or 11796) 


Name: Hebrew Manuscripts: Journeys of the Written Word
Where: PACCAR 2
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Opening times and visitor information
Price: Full Price: £8.00
Member: £0.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Disabled: £7.00
National Art Pass Senior: £3.50
Child (0-11) : £0.00
Child (12-17): £7.00
NHS Staff: £0.00
National Art Pass: £4.00
Senior (60+): £7.00
Young Person (18-25): £7.00

A voluntary donation can be added over the regular ticket price. You will be helping the Library to conserve and share its collection. If you are a UK tax-payer and ‘Gift Aid’ your donation, the Library can reclaim the tax you have paid.

Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546