Thanks to all who joined us at the reception for the reception for the exhibit opening of Imagining the World: Unexplored Global Collections at Columbia on April 17. Some pictures of the opening (and the exhibit itself) are included below. The exhibit will be in the Chang Octagon Room of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library through June 24, so please do come visit!
The JDC Archives holds the institutional records of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee since its founding in 1914. Given the nature of JDC’s work and the role it has played over more than a century of activity, these collections are among the most significant in the world for the study of modern Jewish history and immigration.
The online collections database now has more than 2.6 million pages of documents available. These are fully searchable, with pdfs of the individual documents, and open to scholars, students, and the general public at http://search.archives.jdc.org. Online finding aids for the collections are available at http://archives.jdc.org/explore-the-archives/using-the-archives.html.
This database also includes more than 67,000 digitized photographs that document JDC’s activity around the world throughout the twentieth century, not only in Europe and Israel but also in the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia.
The Names Index holds more than 500,000 names and is a major source of information for genealogists and family historians. Search results include links to the digitized source documents—index cards, lists, remittances, and others—from which the names were drawn.
The JDC Archives website at http://archives.jdc.org includes curated exhibits, photo galleries, topic guides for educators, and an interactive timeline of JDC history. You will also find guidance on how to search the collections, including video tutorials.
(Image: Jews from the Bergen-Belsen Concentration camp with a memorial to those who died there)
In preparation for the elections in Israel, to be held next week on March 17, I’d like to highlight two new freely available resources.
The first, created by the National Library of Israel, relates directly to the upcoming elections. The NLI has created an online portal to the “Election Chronicles,” an online exhibit and information page documenting elections in Israeli history up to the present. The website includes basic information about Israeli elections and politics, as well as historic materials (archives, media, political cartoons, and more) from past elections.
Another resource recently made freely available in Israel is Ma’agarim: The Online Database of the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language. Formerly a subscription database, this project, created by the Academy of Hebrew Language, is now accessible to the public. The dictionary cites the first existence of words in the Hebrew language, from the Bible through the Gaonic period, and in Hebrew literature from the 18th century through 1948. This is a powerful resource for the study of Hebrew language.
(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies Blog)
I am pleased to announce that the following Early American newspapers are now available digitally through the following links. With the exception of the American Israelite and American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger, all newspapers are freely available through the Historical Jewish Press website
Columbia is very proud to have been involved, with New York University and the New York Public Library, in helping the American Jewish Press to be added to the Historical Jewish Press’s corpus. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the years to come.
1. Occident and American Jewish Advocate: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/
2. B’nai Brith Messenger: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/
3. Chicago Sentinel: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/
4. American Israelite: http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-
1. La America: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/
2. El Progreso: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/
1. Morgen Zjournal: http://jpress.org.il/Olive/
(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies blog)
Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce the annual Norman E. Alexander Lecture in Jewish Studies, featuring Neal Gabler, Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at USC: "How (and why) the Jews invented Hollywood." The lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 16 at the Skylight Room in the Faculty House (64 Morningside Drive, 4th Floor) at Columbia. The lecture is scheduled to begin at 7 PM.
The Shoah Visual History Archive is largest database of first-person Holocaust testimonies, founded by Steven Spielberg. With over 50,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors and liberators, carefully indexed in short segments for ease of searchability and use, the VHA is a tremendous resource for the history of the Holocaust.
Recently, the VHA has expanded to include other genocides, and now also holds 65 indexed testimonies of survivors from the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide.
To search the database, visit the Visual History Archive. Once you create a username and password, you will be allowed access to the tremendous index within the database. You can search by basic keyword, but also limit by qualifiers like "Warsaw" or 'ghetto bribery," to narrow your search and make it extremely specific.
Due to the large size of the database, the videos are not held locally at Columbia, but are uploaded upon request to a Columbia server. Once you find a testimony that looks appropriate for your research, click on the link to "request this testimony." You will receive an email notification when it is available for viewing. Because the uploaded videos are held on a Columbia server, the testimonies can only be viewed on the physical campus. If you are not in New York, or can't get to Columbia, you can view testimonies at one of many access sites (sfi.usc.edu/locator/) located around the world.
(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies blog: https://blogs.cul.columbia.edu/jewishstudiesatcul)