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A: Ville Nouvelle, Fès, Fès-Meknès, Morocco

Samuel ben Isaac Nedivot & his Son Isaac Issue the First Book Printed on the Continent of Africa

1516
<p>From the Library of Congress copy of the first book printed on the African continent: Sefer Abudarham (1516).</p>

From the Library of Congress copy of the first book printed on the African continent: Sefer Abudarham (1516).

In 1516 at Fez (Fes), Morocco, Samuel ben Isaac Nedivot and his son Isaac, Jewish refugees who had worked for the printer Rabbi Eliezer Toledano in Lisbon, set up the first press on the African continent. The first book they printed was an exact copy of the Sefer Abudarham which they had helped to produce twenty-seven years earlier in 1489 at Toledano's press in Lisbon. The only changes were in the colophon, which in 1516 celebrated "the holy labors of the honored and pious Samuel ... and his learned and wise son Isaac, whose desire it is to produce books beyond number for all to study and read ... may God reward them for their beneficence ... and in their days may we see redemption ... [and alluding to the contents of the published volume] then we will sing a new song in the house of God."

The Sefer Abudarham was the first book in any language printed on the African continent. In the introduction, the Nedivots complained that they encountered great difficulty in obtaining paper because the Spanish government ordered that paper not be sold to them. But they persisted and in the course of a decade they were able to print fifteen books.

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