Following the successful Chanukah concert at Library and Archives Canada on Dec. 6, 2015, National Librarian and Archivist, Dr. Guy Berthiaume, invited the Honourable Rafael Barak, Ambassador of Israel, for a tour of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection on Dec. 22, 2015.
From left to right: Dr. Norman Barwin, Chair of the Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection, Dr. Howard Fremeth, Director of Communications at the Israeli Embassy, Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Honourable Rafael Barak and Curator Leah Cohen in a conversation about Jacob Lowy’s background.
From left to right: Dr. Norman Barwin, Dr. Howard Fremeth, the Honourable Rafael Barak, Rabbi Michael Kent and Curator Leah Cohen viewing a document issued by the local headquarters of the Hlinka Guard, the pro-Nazi militia of the Slovak People’s Party.
From left to right: Leah Cohen, Dr. Norman Barwin, Dr. Guy Berthiaume and the Honourable Rafael Barak looking at a highlight of the Lowy Collection and Library and Archives Canada’s oldest complete book: The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities (bound together and printed in 1470). How do we know its date of publication? Check LAC’s online record or come and see the book, in person!
From left to right: Rabbi Michael Kent, Leah Cohen, Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Honourable Rafael Barak, with Dr. Fremeth in the background. “Backside” view—a sample of treasures from the Lowy Collection.
From left to right: Leah Cohen, Dr. Norman Barwin, Dr. Guy Berthiaume and the Honourable Rafael Barak pore over the colophon—a statement about publication of a work—at the end of Josephus Flavius’ The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities.
It reads: Per Ioha[n]nem Schüssler ciuem Augustensem impressi, kalendas Septembris decimo ... millesimoq[ua]dringentesimoseptuagesimo [28 June & 23 Aug. 1470]
From left to right: Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Honourable Rafael Barak, Dr. Howard Fremeth, Leah Cohen and Rabbi Michael Kent examining the information provided in the auction description of Josephus Flavius’ The Jewish War, the only surviving document written by an eyewitness.
From left to right: the Honourable Rafael Barak, Dr. Howard Fremeth and Leah Cohen pointing to a harp on Mr. Lowy’s ex libris. What’s in a bookplate? An ex libris identifies former owners. The other ex libris is that of John Elliot Hodgkin, 19th century book and art collector.
From left to right: Dr. Guy Berthiaume, the Honourable Rafael Barak, Leah Cohen, Rabbi Michael Kent, Dr. Norman Barwin and Dr. Howard Fremeth posing for the camera in front of the engraved map of the Holy Land.
Photo of the dedication plaque says it all.
Mr. Lowy established his permanent home in Canada in 1951 and lived there until the end of his days, in 1990. His success in industrial real estate afforded him the opportunity to cultivate his bibliophilic leanings, resulting in an amazing collection of 3500 rare and special editions as well as numerous reference works. He donated his personal library to the Crown in gratitude for the freedom and democracy that Canada provides its citizens. The Crown entrusted the former National Library of Canada—now Library and Archives Canada—with preserving his collection and making it accessible to the public.