Neubauer, Adolf

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NEUBAUER, ADOLF (Abraham ; 1831–1907), scholar, author, librarian, and bibliographer. Born in Nagybanya, Hungary, Neubauer studied in Prague with S.J.L. *Rapaport and at the universities of Prague and Munich. In 1857 he went to Paris, where he pursued research at the Bibliothèque Nationale, and in 1864 to Jerusalem as a member of the staff of the Austro-Hungarian consulate. There, too, he sought out rare Hebrew books and manuscripts, discovering in the Karaite synagogue a manuscript of extracts from the lexicon of *David b. Abraham of Fez (15th century) which he published in the Journal Asiatique in 1861–62. Returning to Paris, he was befriended by the Orientalists S. *Munk, J. *Derenbourg, and E. *Renan. Invited to St. Petersburg in 1864 to examine the *Firkovich collection of Karaite manuscripts, Neubauer wrote a report for the French Ministry of Education (Rapports… (1865) with S. Munk) and published Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek, Beitraege und Dokumente zur Geschichte des Karaeerthums und der karaeischen Literatur (1866). He presented his prize-winning essay La Géographie du Talmud (1868) to the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres which in spite of some criticism (J. Morgenstern, Die franzoesische Akademie und die "Géographie des Talmuds," 18702) has remained an important reference book. His Notice sur la lexicographie hebraïque… (1863), foreshadowing his edition of Jonah *Ibn Janaḥ'sSefer ha-Dikduk (1875, 19682), with additions and corrections by W. Bacher, and Melekhet ha-Shir (1865), a collection of extracts from manuscripts concerning Hebrew poetry, belong to the same period.

In 1865 Neubauer settled in England, becoming librarian at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (1868), which he enriched by judicious purchases, particularly from the Cairo *Genizah; in 1884 he was appointed reader in rabbinic Hebrew at the university. There he produced some of his finest work, cut short in 1899 by failing eyesight. His works there include Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (3 vols., 1886–1906; the second was finished by A.E. Cowley), with over 2,500 entries (some items consisting of 20–50 works); the third volume contains 40 facsimiles that illustrate Hebrew paleography of different countries and periods. He also prepared a Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Jews' College (1886).

His The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters (vol. 1, texts, 1876; vol. 2, translations with S.R. Driver, 1877; repr. 1969) provided biblical scholarship with an anthology of Jewish reactions to christological interpretations. He was the first to publish original Hebrew portions of *Ben Sira as they were found in the Cairo Genizah, together with the text of early versions, quotations of Ben Sira in rabbinical literature, and an English translation (with A.E. Cowley, 1897). His two volumes of Medieval Jewish Chronicles (Seder ha-Ḥakhamim ve-Korot ha-Yamim, preface and notes in English, 1887–95, repr. 1967) collected texts of a number of talmudic, geonic, and medieval historiographical writings. The fruits of Neubauer's collaboration with Renan were two remarkable works of literary history: Les rabbins français du commencement du quatorzièmesiècle (1877) and Les écrivains juifs français du xive siècle (1893). Other editions of his include Vocabulaire hebraïco-français (in: Romanische Studien, 2 (1875)), and Petite Grammaire hebraiqueprovenant de Yemen (Arabic, 1891) as well as Talmudical and Rabbinical Literature (in: Transaction of the Philological Society, 1875–76). Neubauer also contributed a stream of articles, notes, and book reviews to most of the learned Jewish (and many non-Jewish) periodicals of his time. In 1901 he moved to Vienna to live with his nephew A. *Buechler, and when the latter became principal of Jews' College, London, in 1906, he returned to London where he died shortly afterward.


E. Adler, in: Studies in Jewish Bibliography… in Memory of A.S. Freidus (1929), 31–54 (bibliography); B. Cohen, in: ks, 10 (1933/34), 365–71 (supplementary bibliography); H.M.J. Loewe, Adolf Neubauer 18311931 (1931); A. Ben-Reshef, in: S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Eiropah (1965), 242–5. add. bibliography: odnb online.