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PROOPS, family of Hebrew printers, publishers, and booksellers in Amsterdam. SOLOMON BEN JOSEPH (d. 1734), whose father may have been a Hebrew printer as well, was established as a bookseller in Amsterdam and associated with other printers from 1697 to 1703. In 1704 he set up his own Hebrew press, which produced mainly liturgical books but also a wider range of works in halakhah, aggadah, Kabbalah, ethics, and history. In 1714 Proops began to print a Talmud edition in competition with that planned by Samuel b. Solomon Marches and Raphael b. Joshua de Palasios, but was forced by them to discontinue in view of their prior rabbinic monopoly. From 1715 productions by Proops carried advertisements of books he had published, and in 1730 he issued a sales catalog (Appiryon Shelomo), the first such Hebrew publication.

At his death, appointed guardians continued to operate the press, and even when his sons JOSEPH (d. 1786), JACOB (d. 1779), and ABRAHAM (d. 1792) took over, they traded under the old name until 1751. Between 1752 and 1765 the sons – now under their own name – printed a Talmud edition with interruptions, which were due in part to attempts to print a Talmud in *Sulzbach, against which they successfully asserted their own rabbinical monopoly. In 1761 they bought the typographical material of the *Athias press, but business declined. In 1785 Joseph Proops sold most of his work to Kurzbeck of Vienna, and when he died a year later his widow and sons – for some time in partnership with Abraham Prins – continued printing on a small scale until 1812. From 1774 to his death Jacob Proops worked on his own; his widow and sons continued along until 1793 and until 1797 in partnership with SOLOMON (d. 1833), son of Abraham Proops; Solomon worked alone until 1827. Abraham Proops had been active on his own in 1776–79; afterward he removed his business to *Offenbach, but his son, who worked with him, returned to Amsterdam at his father's death. DAVID, a son of Jacob Proops, printed from 1810 to 1849 in partnership with H. van Emde and his widow, when the press was sold to Levisson who continued it until 1869; the Levisson brothers remained active until 1917.


Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 3021–22; H.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Eiropah (1937), 36–40; R.N.N. Rabinovicz, Ma'amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud (1887), 94, 103–5.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.