Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection

Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection

Repository ID: 0051 | Metadata type: TEI

Documents from the Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection



Unless otherwise stated, all images and their contents from the Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection are hosted here are free of known copyright restrictions and in the public domain. See the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark page for more information on terms of use:


Unless otherwise stated, all manuscript descriptions and other cataloging metadata hosted here are ©2021 The Jewish Theological Seminary. They are licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Licensed version 4.0 (CC-BY-4.0):

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Intended Users

The data presented on OPenn are intended for aggregators, digital humanists, and scholars who have been directed here to procure high-resolution images and their associated metadata. It is presented in a manner most likely to ensure its long-term digital preservation.

About the Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection

The Benjamin Zucker Family Collection of Ketubot, or Jewish marriage contracts, consists of 249 historical documents of exceptional provenance, written in a variety of Jewish scribal hands, on parchment or paper, many beautifully decorated and some illuminated. The collection presents intimate family heirlooms that are at the same time unique works of art and genealogical records. The range of dates spans from the 17th through the 20th centuries; the geographical expanse extends over three oceans and four continents. The earliest dated ketubah in the collection (Z71) was signed and witnessed in Modena (Italy) on December 8, 1600; the most recent one (Z92) in Djerba, Tunisia, dated September 15, 1948. The bulk of the collection stems from Islamic lands and the Italian peninsula, including an exceptional collection of 18th and early 19th century ketubot from Ancona. Of particular significance are the ketubot of the storied Sassoon family, including the earliest decorated ketubah from Iraq (Z241), signed and witnessed in Baghdad on December 25, 1764. The nineteen countries represented include: Argentina, Austria, Canada, Egypt, England, France, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kurdistan, Morocco, Ottoman Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, the U.S., and Yemen. The collection was assembled over many decades by Benjamin Zucker, the descendant of illustrious rabbis and three generations of precious gem dealers based in Antwerp, who fled Nazi-occupied Europe to reestablish themselves in New York City. The Zucker family collection of Ketubot embodies Benjamin Zucker's profound respect for cultural differences, based on his personal experiences travelling the world and doing business with people from a variety of backgrounds and faiths. It also reflects a love for family, born out by each precious document found here.

Note to researchers: occasional gaps in the sequence of enumerated items reflect documents no longer part of the the Zucker Family Ketubah collection.

Image standards and specifications

Images from the Benjamin Zucker Family Ketubah Collection were shot and processed by the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image. In general, SCETI follows the NISO standards as articulated in A Framework for Building Good Digital Collections, 3rd Edition:

The following represents specific standards adopted by SCETI in their capture of digital images.

Image specifications

Imaging and processing equipment

Master images are captured at a resolution of at least 600 pixels per inch of the image subject. Once all of the images for a manuscript have been captured they are color-corrected, deskewed, and cropped.

In 2015, SCETI began using IQ280 Phase One digital cameras; however, OPenn contains images that were captured using different equipment before this time. If you have questions about a specific manuscript or image, please refer to the header of the Master image or images in question or the accompanying XMP files. You can see this, for example, in the Master images for Penn Manuscript Ms. Codex 1096 at Note the metadata in the image header of 0396_0000.tif or in its sidecar XMP file 0396_0000.tif.xmp as seen below.

<rdf:Description rdf:about=''
  <tiff:Make>Phase One</tiff:Make>
  <tiff:Model>P 45+</tiff:Model>
  <tiff:Software>Capture One 4 Windows</tiff:Software>

The documents on OPenn