There are so many web sites and online organizations that post and collect material of information that would be of interest to Jewish Heritage Europe readers that it can be hard to keep up.
The new Judaica Europeana – Jewish Collections Online Newsletter doesn’t deal specifically with Jewish built heritage, but includes updates on new additions to its continually expanding roster of digital databases of Jewish art, photographs, documents, archives, records and other material, some of which has a bearing on built heritage as well as on Jewish history, culture and society.
Much of the material will be of particular interest to genealogists and family historians.
Judaica Europeana participates in the AthenaPlus project, which contributes digital content and technology to Europeana. The foundations of AthenaPlus are built on the achievements of earlier projects: Minerva, Athena, Michael Culture and Linked Heritage. The project’s success owes much to close working relationships and friendships which have developed over the past decade. Mass digitization of collections has produced huge quantities of digital content that need to be presented to users in accessible ways. Creative re-use of this content is at the heart of the AthenaPlus project. We present here some open-source tools for interactive mapping, virtual exhibitions and thesauri.
The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw is the largest depository of Jewish-related archival documents, books, journals and museum objects in Poland. It holds the unique Ringelblum Archive, also known as the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Archive is listed on to the UNESCO Memory of the World register. Among the data recently integrated in Europeana is the JHI collection of early books from the 16th–18th century. Also published, are collections of documents relating to a number of Jewish communities and their membership, marriage records, councils and other institutions.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s 1914-1918 collection has been published in Europeana. This historic collection dates from the establishment of ‘the Joint’ in 1914, when three US organizations were created to respond to the needs of Jewish populations affected by the outbreak of World War I, and came together to form the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers. Like much of Judaica Europeana collections, this material should be of particular interest to family history researchers.
The results of our close collaboration with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research have been harvested on Europeana recently. They include large quantities of books, photographs and other archival collections. Even a cursory tour through the photos in the YIVO archives is enough to make one question long-held stereotypes about pre-World War II Jewish life in Eastern Europe. On display in these photos is a Jewish world on the move.
Leo Baeck Institute houses a repository of source material on the history of German-speaking Jews. LBI has contributed nearly 8,000 records to Europeana, including a selection of rare books, art, illustrated books and periodicals, as well as thousands of archival collections that contain manuscripts, correspondence, and records of all kinds. A wealth of community and civil records such as registers of names, births, marriages and deaths provide an invaluable resource for family history researchers.