Jews have been producing broadsides—posters with printed text—since the invention of printing in the 15th century. The Valmadonna library, one of the world’s largest collections of Jewish books, contains several hundreds of these. Sharon Liberman Mintz, Shaul Seidler-Feller, and David Wachtel, who have edited a catalogue of these broadsides, write:
The category of Judaica broadsides in particular includes an astonishing variety of texts prepared for public or semi-public display: communally promulgated regulations, rabbinic responsa, wall calendars, commercial advertisements, poems and riddles in celebration of weddings and public events, dirges, eulogies, educational charts, fundraising circulars, reports of current events, amulets, announcements, prayers both for daily recitation and for special occasions—some celebratory, others tragic—often with vernacular instructions, and so much more.
Naturally, there are also examples of non-Jewish governmental or religious officials using broadsides to communicate with or about the Jews under their authority. Accordingly, the language of Judaica broadsides is both rich and varied: while many are in Hebrew or in Jewish languages written in Hebrew characters, others are in the local vernaculars and scripts which could be easily read by both Jews and non-Jews.