Universitas Guest Book

Part guest book, part scrapbook, but not quite zealously enough maintained as either, this cloth-bound volume provides snapshots of five decades at Herrmann Meyer’s Jerusalem bookstore, Universitas Booksellers. The people who signed these pages were often politicians, journalists or religious leaders. Prominent names include David Ben Gurion, first prime minister of Israel; Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem; Gershon Agron, founder of the Palestine Post; author James Michener; photographer Yousef Karsh; and Fulton Sheen, American archbishop. A few pages are tributes to individuals: Sir Harold MacMichael, colonial administrator; Sir Alan Cunningham, High Commissioner of Palestine; and Albert Meyer, cited as a senior partner in the store, who celebrated his seventieth birthday on July 26th, 1942.

Exhibitions mentioned in the guest book are:

  • The Illustrated Book 1485-1935, January 9-17, 1937
  • Jacob Steinhardt wood cuts, June 1938
  • Flowers and Birds in Old English Colorated Prints, December 1938
  • Bookplates, 1440-1940, to celebrate the fifth centenary of the invention of the art of printing.
  • Book Bindings of Kate Weiner, Sept 23–October 2, 1942
  • Trees and Landscapes of Palestine, selected watercolors by Helene Barth, December 5–20, 1943
  • Reconstructive drawings of Jerusalem at the times of King David, King Solomon, Herod the Great and the Crusaders, by Julius Jotham-Rothschild, Architect, April 15–10, 1944
    Masterpieces of Caricature, December 1945
  • Georgian Graphics, 1946
  • Old Maps of Palestine, January 1947
  • Jerusalem in Maps and Pictures 15th-19th Century at Ebenezer House, May 15-27, 1947, in conjunction with the British Council

Ismar David’s work can be seen in some of the advertisements and signage for the store. The Dr. Peter Freund who signed the guestbook may be David’s cousin, one of Ismar Freund’s three children.

The Guest Book
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