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Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem

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10 July 2022

The Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem has completed the digitizing of their archival collections: over 700 archival collections and about 100 audio interviews are now available online.

The Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem for the Study of German-Jewish History and Culture is an international academic research institute. It was established in 1955 to promote research into German and Central European Jewry in the modern era.

The archive of the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem contains hundreds of personal, family and institutional collections. These collections include a variety of historical documents from the late eighteenth century until the end of the twentieth century. They document the lives of Central European Jews, both in their countries of origin, as well as in their countries of immigration. Among the archival materials one can find memoirs, diaries, official documents, letters and photographs. The materials pertain to daily life, community affairs, Wissenschaft des Judentums research, experiences of World War I and of migration, and engagement in the Youth Movement. And most importantly for the purpose of provenance research: many collections document the histories of families. Thus, the archive can provide information when trying to identify a former owner that a provenance mark relates to, or when searching for family members of that former owner who emigrated to Israel.

For the same reason, the Austrian Heritage Collection of the LBI Jerusalem might be relevant to provenance research. The Austrian Heritage Collection includes over a hundred audio and video interviews with Israelis of Austrian origin. The topic of the interviews is their experience before and after leaving Austria following Nazi occupation. The digitization of the collections was funded by the German Foreign Office and completed in close cooperation with Leo Baeck Institute New York.

To search through the digitized archival collections of LBI Jerusalem, click here

Upcoming: Digitization of the Mitteilungsblatt of the Irgun Olej Merkas Europa

Not only archival collections can serve as a source for provenance research. Historical newspapers are just as important. One title that has proven itself to be very helpful is the Mitteilungsblatt of the Irgun Olej Merkas Europa, the newsletter of the association of immigrants from Central Europe. The Mitteilungsblatt was first published in 1932, the year the Irgun was founded. It contains articles about current affairs both in Europe and Mandate Palestine, literature reviews, advice how to cook with local ingredients, advertisements, announcements, and obituaries. A couple of the issues are bilingual; however, the vast majority of the issues has been written in German. The LBI Jerusalem holds an almost complete collection, spanning the years 1932 until 2005. Until now the only way to access this enormous trove of information has been a handmade index. To facilitate access and usage of this important source the Mitteilungsblatt is now being digitized.

Source:
Communication from LBI Jerusalem to the Central Registry 10 July 2022

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