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Archive for the 'Random Musings' Category

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 [...]

What does it mean for an undergraduate to work at The Magnes?

What does it mean for an undergraduate to work at The Magnes? By David Puyandayev, Kohn Intern Sophomore, Middlebury College After I was accepted to the 2011 Kohn summer internship program, Jewish Vocational Services matched me up with The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life – not an agency I requested or ever heard [...]

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 [...]

Newly Available Western Americana Collections @ Bancroft

The Magnes’ Western Americana archival collections continue to become available to researchers in the reading room of the Bancroft Library. For a complete list of collections that are now open to researchers please visit our website. Just today the following important collections were added to the list: San Francisco Jewish Community Center records, 1877-1979. (Link [...]

With a Little Help From Your Colleagues. Creating and Archiving Exhibitions With Collaborative Digital Tools

In this post, I am presenting a step-by-step description of how the recent exhibition of The Magnes, Gained in Translation: Jews, Germany, California circa 1849 (on view in the Rotunda Gallery of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, until July 1st), was created, and its information archived online, with the help of [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]