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Abendana, Isaac (d. 1699), Hebraist and book collector, was born in Spain and was taken at an early age to Hamburg, Germany. By 1660 he had completed rabbinical studies and by his own account sought the 'wisdom of medicine' (Katz, The Abendana brothers, 36...

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Guttsman, William Leo [Willi] [formerly Wilhelm Leo Guttsmann] (1920–1998), librarian and political sociologist, was born in Berlin on 23 August 1920, one of two children of Walter Johann Guttsmann (1880–1941), a native of Berlin, and his wife, Helene, who was born on 5 August 1887 in ...

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Palgrave [formerly Cohen], Sir Francis (1788–1861), archivist and historian, was born in July 1788 at Green Street, Kentish Town, London, the only son of Meyer Cohen (c.1760–1831), a stockbroker, and his wife, Rachel, née Levien (d. 1815). In 1797 ...

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Sir Francis Palgrave (1788–1861) by Thomas Woolner, 1861 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Simmons, John Simon Gabriel (1915–2005), librarian and Slavonic scholar, was born on 8 July 1915 at 2 Duchess Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the second of three children and elder son of Bernard Rintel Simmons (1868–1956), manufacturing jeweller, and his wife, Johanna, née Selig (1886–1940)...

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Alphonse James Albert Symons (1900–1941) by Wyndham Lewis, 1932 © Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Symons, Alphonse James Albert (1900–1941), book collector and writer, was born on 16 August 1900 in Battersea, London, the eldest in the family of four sons and one daughter of Maurice (or Morris) Albert Symons (d. 1929), auctioneer, a Jewish immigrant from ...

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Yates, Dora Esther (1879–1974), bibliographer and Romani scholar, was born on 26 November 1879 in Liverpool, seventh of eight children of George Samuel Yates (1834–1887), importer of leaf tobacco, and his wife, Hannah Keyser (1840–1934). Having taught herself to read English and Hebrew before she was five, she attended ...