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's Archive for July, 2011

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 [...]

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)

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 [...]

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 [...]

The joys (and power) of cataloging

I am knee deep in the Western Americana archival collections of the Magnes–physically processing them and cataloging them for access at the Bancroft. I  find myself reflecting frequently on the power of the cataloger, that creature who selects and categorizes and classifies and shapes our access to so many things. Oh, I know. All things [...]

Closer To Home: A Cultural History of Jews in California (Casden Institute’s Annual Review, vol. 7)

Congratulations to the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life (USC) for publishing the seventh volume of its Annual Review (August 2010). A Cultural History of Jews in California, edited by Bruce Zuckerman with William Deverell (guest editor) and Lisa Ansell (associate editor) covers a topic that is defined as [...]

Judaica Californiana

A month after the move from Judah L. Magnes Museum‘s former home on Russell Street, and the creation of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at The Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, our staff is settled in its new quarters and is wasting no time in anticipation of the grand [...]

Theresa Ehrman Papers Now Open to Researchers

Theresa Ehrman (b. 1884-d. 1961) was a teenager when she travelled from San Francisco to Paris to live with Michael and Sarah Stein.  She could hardly have imagined what would await her. The daughter of Jennie Rosenthal Ehrman and Herman Ehrman, Theresa grew up in San Francisco, where she nurtured her talent as a pianist. [...]