Preface

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THE last volume of the Society's Transactions appeared in 1953 and included A papers delivered up to the end of 1951. The present volume includes papers delivered up to the end of the 1954-55 session. Five years intervene therefore between Vols. XVII and XVIII in spite of the hope expressed in the Preface to the former that in future the interval would not exceed two years. Unfortunately, the financial resources of the Society render this impracticable and it is necessary to wait until a sufficient number of papers have accumulated to justify the issue of a volume.
The number of papers delivered during the 1955-6 and 1956-7 sessions which will be available for publication happens not to be large, and the next volume of Transactions may therefore be expected about 1959.

Albert M. Hyamson

Since the appearance of Volume XVII of Transactions, the Society suffered the grievous loss of its Honorary Editor, Albert M. Hyamson, who strove to carry out his editorial work during his last prolonged illness literally to the last day of his life. Tribute to his memory is paid elsewhere in this volume; here it need only be said that the gravity of the loss the Society has suffered is only too patent to the present Editor who realizes how much care and tireless devotion his predecessor must have lavished on all the work he did for the Society.

The Society's Headquarters

At the beginning of the 1954-5 session, the Society was able to return to the Gustave Tuck Theatre and Museum, as reconstructed to the designs of Sir Albert Richardson, P.P.R.A. A service on the re-opening of the Theatre was conducted by the Very Rev. the Chief Rabbi, a Vice-President of the Society. The Museum has been installed in the gallery of the Theatre and Dr. Siegfried Stein, Goldsmid Lecturer at University College, has undertaken the office of Curator. The Mocatta Library adjacent to the Museum is being re-catalogued and has been enlarged by the acquisition ofM r. Hyamson's
extensive library. This was in accordance with his wish and was made possible by the generosity of a fewm embers of the Society who made special donations for the acquisition of this library as a complete entity.

The Tercentenary Celebrations

The Society co-operated in the arrangements for celebrating the Tercentenary in 1956 of the Re-settlement of the Jews in England. The Society was represented on the Tercentenary Council and was specially concerned in the series of official lectures, almost all of which were delivered in theG ustave Tuck Theatre by members of the Council. Many of the exhibits at the Exhibition of Anglo-Jewish Art and History at the Victoria and Albert Museum were lent from theM ocatta Library and the Gustave Tuck Collection. In addition, the Arthur Davis Lecture, given by the then President (Mr. Cecil Roth), which was followed by a reception, was held in the Stern Hall, under the combined auspices of the Society and the Anglo-Jewish Association, as a joint Tercentennial function; there was a record attendance of some 400

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