Did you know that marriage contracts are the earliest written agreements to survive until the present? The ketubot digitization project is a registry of ketubot held in public and private collections throughout the world, representing ketubot originating from 500 countries, from Afghanistan to Yugoslavia and dating back from the year 1024 to the present.
Over generations, various local customs found their way into the legal text of the ketubah and ketubah decorations reflected the Jewish art of each locality and period. Ketubot are therefore a rich source of material on Jewish history, law, customs and art.
The project is based on the collection of the Jewish National and University Library. With over 1400 items and growing, highlights of the collection include the earliest ketubah which comes from Israel and dates from 1024; 226 illuminated ketubot from Italy; and a ketubah fragment from Segura, Spain, written only a few years before the Expulsion.
The entire collection has been scanned and catalogued. The fact that, as legal documents, ketubot contain exact dates and place names allows their absolute identification with specific communities and periods and makes this collection is a major resource for research.
Please visit http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/ketubbot to see examples of ketubot designs throughout the ages.