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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
And now, it’s time for some (recent) institutional history… In the summer of 2007, several months before The Commons were launched by Flickr in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Magnes began sharing images from its Archives, Library and Museum collection on Flickr (the first set, created between July 3rd and August 21st, 2007, can be [...]
The modern cultural genre of the picture postcard, which is well represented in the Magnes collection (which includes over 3,000 postcards, and many greeting cards), is explored in a recent essay by Hebrew University’s Professor of Folklore and Professor of Hebrew Literature, Galit Hasan-Rokem. The article, which opens with quotations from Walter Benjamin and Susan [...]
At the center of a large architectural edifice, a man contemplates “the terrestrial globe bursting forth from the midst of clouds and receiving luminous emanations from the Most High.” Around this image is a fantastically elaborate array of niches containing narrative scenes, friezes and frames enclosing blocks of text, rows of figures, Kabbalistic symbols and programs, Zodiac signs, and divine names. Beneath, in Hebrew and English, is the title “Origin of the Rites and Worship of the Hebrews”. The work was reproduced and published for the American public in 1859 together with an “Explication”, a one hundred twelve page explanatory booklet translated from the original French, 3 by Max Wolff, rabbi of Ohabei Shalom Congregation in Boston, who later served as a cantor in San Francisco.
In this group of Flickr “sets” the Magnes presents online for the first time a wide selection of digitized items from its Western Jewish Americana and Global Jewish Diaspora archival collections. The decision to give direct access to (often unprocessed) archival digital files reflects the attempt to integrate digitization technologies and social networking with traditional [...]