@IsaacMoses cool! The book itself is 200 years old (not a reproduction)? Now I need to remember to look this up in a (reproduction of a) 500-year-old haggadah I have. There won't be an English translation. :-)
(Once upon a time I was doing some research and was able to make an appointment for a supervised visit at my university's rare-books room, because I asked really nicely and convinced them that I knew how to not damage old books. :-) )
@IsaacMoses I wondered. I'm glad that LoC access is working out well for you!
@MonicaCellio my understanding; is that anyone can touch old books (i guess all the ones available at hebrewbooks.org and more) even in brooklyn, at the chabad library, it opens 11:00 am, the entrance is on the courtyard of 770 (to the building closer to brooklyn ave) the site is down now but there is/was an online catalog chabadlibrary.org/catalog/index1.php
@MonicaCellio Having already secured my researcher card (free, requires a visit in which they take your photo, relatively quick) weeks ago, all I had to do was go to the LoC African & Middle Eastern Reading Room and fill out a little slip of paper with the call number, etc., then wait for someone to fetch the books, which they do a few times a day. I didn't realize that they don't fetch on demand, and this is a lunch-hour jaunt for me, so I let them fetch and leave it for me, ...
... and I came back the next day to find them sitting on a shelf with a slip of paper with my name on it.
That's for that specialized reading room. For stuff that's available in the Main reading room, you can request it online ahead of time, and then just make one visit to look at it after they email you that it's there. It's possible that there's a way to request in the African and Middle Eastern room remotely, too, but I haven't tried.
I'm sure there are other, older or more fragile materials that they won't just leave on a shelf for you. These books were both rebound in modern library binding, and the Abarbanel one had some of the pages mounted on new paper.
@IsaacMoses oh, I didn't realize it wasn't on demand either, but at least you don't have to wait around -- you can come back. Can you submit the initial request online, I wonder? Or would that lead to too many requests where the requester never came to actually use the books?
@IsaacMoses oh, I needed to read farther. Never mind. :-)
@IsaacMoses ah. That's less surprising, then -- I was imagining 200-year-old bindings.
@hazoriz cool. If I am ever in Brooklyn I will endeavor to remember this. (No specific research interests, just curious.)
The books I was examining at my university library were manuscripts, not printed books, so I understand them being careful about that.