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Archive for the 'Collections' Category

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 [...]

Levinson, Stern, Cemeteries Commission open to researchers

The following Western Americana archival collections are now open to researchers in the reading room of the Bancroft Library: Robert Levinson papers (OAC finding aid) William Stern papers (OAC finding aid) Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks records (OAC finding aid)

“This Night, We All Recline.” The Magnes Collection Passover Survival Guide

The symbology of Passover, the Festival of freedom, liberation, emancipation, or self-determination – depending on how one interprets the Hebrew definition of the celebration, חג החרות, chag ha-cherut – is difficult to escape. Ritual objects and material culture do not shy away from these interpretations, and instead enhance them by pointing to the practical implications [...]

My Dear Parents…

I am doing some work on the Judah L. Magnes papers as part of the process of making them accessible in the Bancroft Library.  I thought I would share this lovely New Year’s letter that 14-year-old Judah Leon Magnes wrote to his parents. My Dear Parents, This letter I post in the letter-box of my [...]

The Great and The Small: Purim & The Magnes Collection

Purim Greetings from China. JWB (The Jewish War Bond), postcard, 1940′s Alvin I. Fine papers, 1848-1962, WJHC 1977.002 The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library [image file: wjhc1977-002-001] The spirit of Purim is high with The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life! So, let’s bring on the metaphors… (And, if [...]

Confluence: A Newsletter of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (Winter 2011)

Open publication – Free publishing – More uc berkeley

Nahl Brothers in the Magnes collection

I encountered the above portraits while processing the Glazier family papers.  They were done by the Nahl Brothers in 1869 in San Francisco.  The subjects are probably Simon and Clara Glazier. The Nahl Brothers were important artists of the Gold Rush era and painted many portraits of life in the California gold mines. They also [...]

An archival treasure: Harris Weinstock’s travel diaries

I confess to a certain obsession with Harris Weinstock’s travel diaries, which are part of our collection of Harris Weinstock papers (formerly collection # WJHC 1969.035). I am currently cataloging this collection and working out the conservation issues presented by the diaries, so I am getting a nice close look at them. Weinstock kept during [...]

What’s this? Adventures in archival processing

I was working on the Samuel Holcenberg papers today.  This is a fine collection of 20th century personal papers. Holcenberg was a prominent figure in Jewish life here in the Bay Area and in Seattle, most notably as the Executive Director of the Jewish Committee for Personal Service and as the Executive Director of the [...]

Context, Context, Context! A Lesson in Archival Description

Right now I am working on a collection known as the Louis Getz papers and photographs in the Western Americana archival collections of the Magnes. I finished physically housing (foldering, sleeving, boxing) the collections and am now working on the catalog record. My job in creating this catalog record is to provide enough of a [...]