Printing in Venice
In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Venice was the dominant center of Hebrew printing, issuing more Hebrew books than any other city in the world. Printers flocked to Venice because of the access to quality paper, the superiority of its presses and its geographical proximity to Germany, from where the first printers arrived. The Hebrew book of the Venetian press acquired such a reputation that it drew authors and customers from all corners of the globe. Despite its achievements, the Venetian press operated during the difficult times of the Counter Reformation and the Roman Inquisition and thus faced intense persecution. Jews were prohibited from owning their own firms and at times from assisting in the printing process altogether. Hebrew books were subject to censorship and their production was even banned for several years at a time. Featured here are some of the great Venetian printers of Hebrew books, whose works appear in the Brisman collection.