The mercantile accounts of Moses Mendelssohn
The German Jewish enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) is known for his numerous books, but was also active in the silk trade. Several of his ledgers are to be found in the Mendelssohn Archive of the Berlin State Library on the Unter den Linden, and are included in the 2013 Complete Works of Moses Mendelssohn published by Prof. Eva Engel Holland. I worked on a notebook dating from 1784–1786 and a fragment of the accounts book of 1776 for inclusion in the edition, with the kind support of Dr Margit Schad (for the the passages in Hebrew) and Prof. Dr Thomas Kuczynski, editor of the 1779–1781 ledger. The primarily functional nature of ledgers proved particularly challenging compared to other records such as parish registers, correspondence or chronicles, consisting as they did of countless abbreviations, columns of figures and crossings-out.
Moses Mendelssohn, Geschäftspapiere. Kommentierte Edition mit Faksimile der Originalquellen auf CD-Rom, Eva Engel ed., Wiesbaden 2009, p. 253-350 The Collection was published with an accompanying CD-ROM of facsimiles by Harrassowitz Publishing House in 2010 (Book content).