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's Archive for September, 2009

A Prayer for the Welfare of the King

A stained and torn page was discovered up the Magnes ephemera collection – a copy of a poem hand-written on paper signed at the bottom by Meir Leibush Malbim, Chief Rabbi of Bucharest. But the poem is not a part of the regular Jewish liturgy found in ordinary prayer books – it is a prayer for the welfare of King Alexander Johann I of Romania. There’s no record of the donor of the piece or how it came into the collection. And there is no information about who might have copied it, or why…

Dialectical Images: Disseminating Collection Information Across the Digital Jungle

Our online project, the Jewish Digital Narratives is about collection dissemination through an alignment of narrative theory, curatorial practice, and technology. Last week, I participated in an exciting design charrette (a fancy way used by the faculty of University of California at Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology & Society to say that they squeeze [...]

Journey West: Johanna Mayer Hirschfelder writes about her trip from New York to San Francisco in 1856

Today I was researching letters in the Magnes holdings that Jewish immigrants to the American West sent to their families back home (in Europe or elsewhere). There are some wonderful examples of such letters in our collections. I particularly like one sent by Johanna Mayer Hirschfelder to her family back in Europe in 1856. In [...]

For the love of billheads…

A confession: I love billheads. You know the old receipts companies used to use between, say, the 1860s and the 1930s or 1940s. Some of them are so lovely with their illustrations and engravings. I especially admire illustrations of old company buildings, but illustrations of products can also be quite wonderful. We have a range [...]