Category

Archive for the 'Collections' Category

Collection Maps: A Day at The Magnes

On the occasion of the upcoming publication of The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture from The Magnes (forthcoming by Skirà/Rizzoli, texts by Alla Efimova and Francesco Spagnolo), I thought I’d share my summary of a day at The Magnes. From the Curator’s Afterword: Inhabiting the curatorial responsibilities of The Magnes Collection at [...]

Dispatches from the Magnes Working Group on Modern Jewish Culture: An Inquisition Effigy Doll

The Working Group on Modern Jewish Culture is an exciting new initiative of The Magnes, supported by the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. The Working Group meets monthly, and benefits from the participation of faculty, Magnes curators, and graduate students in Jewish Studies and other area studies. Its ongoing [...]

Spanish Work: Translating the Magnes Collection

As if on an “autopilot” of sorts, I have been continuously adapting (and at times, translating) collection information created over the decades at The Magnes from a German-dominated view of Jewish life to a more, how can I say, ecumenical one. (That is to say, one that reflects a more current state of Jewish studies [...]

Between History and Mistery: Imaging “The Synagogue of the Chinese Jews” (1827)

I am delighted to share a guest post by Albert Wu, PhD candidate in the Department of History at UC Berkeley. It resulted from conversations we started at THATCamp Bay Area 2011 (a digital humanities conference we both attended), and continued with a shared exploration of the holdings of The Magnes, both online and on [...]

One Internship, Ten Spice Containers

By Ekaterina Kalashnikova Graduate Student in Cultural Anthropology, Oulu University, Finland As a student of Cultural Anthropology at Oulu University in Finland, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to carry out an Internship at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life this Fall. It was very exciting for me to experience first-hand [...]

Newly Available Western Americana Archival Collections

The following Western Americana archival collections are now available to researchers in the Bancroft Library Reading Room: Sophie and Theodore Lilienthal letters and photographs, 1870-1910 Anne Ackerman Finnie family papers, 1899-1981 Frank and Eleanor Sloss family papers and photographs, 1899-1985 Meyer family papers, 1850-2008 Edward and Cathryn Bransten family papers and photographs, 1880-1980

Processing Sherith Israel: Alexander Badt, Secretary and Temple Historian Extraordinaire

One item I found in processing the cemetery records of Sherith Israel was an intriguing plot book from the congregation’s old Giboth Olam Cemetery (located at what is now Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco). What makes the volume so intriguing is a lengthy note written on its first page: The note reads as follows: [...]

Processing Sherith Israel: Bundles of Fun

I have been working on the financial records of Congregation Sherith Israel. The congregation has had a number of secretaries and collectors over the 160 years of its existence. The one that dominates this collection is Alexander Badt, secretary of Sherith Israel for more than three decades. He steered the congregation’s daily operations through the [...]

Processing Sherith Israel: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

For the past few weeks, I have been absorbed in processing the records of Congregation Sherith Israel. There have been a variety of challenges so far and lots of rewarding moments too! One of the challenges of this collection is the condition of many of the bound volumes in the collection. The burial permits for [...]

Summer Fun with the Congregation Sherith Israel Records

I am spending the summer processing Congregation Sherith Israel’s records for access at the Bancroft Library. It is a truly spectacular collection that documents, in fantastic detail, the history of one of the West Coast’s most important congregations. Its significance is amplified, however, by the fact that Sherith Israel’s 19th-century records survived the 1906 earthquake [...]