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's Archive for January, 2012

Between History and Mistery: Imaging “The Synagogue of the Chinese Jews” (1827)

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 [...]

Processing Sherith Israel: Alexander Badt, Secretary and Temple Historian Extraordinaire

One item I found in processing the cemetery records of Sherith Israel was an intriguing plot book from the congregation’s old Giboth Olam Cemetery (located at what is now Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco). What makes the volume so intriguing is a lengthy note written on its first page: The note reads as follows: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Wimpel (Torah Binder) Collection

A “Torah binder” is a Jewish ceremonial textile used to keep a Torah scroll closed tightly when it is not being used for synagogue reading. In some Jewish communities in Germany and Eastern Europe, Torah binders were made from the linen or cotton cloth used to cover new-born males during the Circumcision ceremony (brit milah). The [...]

From the Dusty Archives… to Your Desktop

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 [...]

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. [...]

Jews of the Fillmore Opening Celebration

Jewish Standard Time did not apply to the Jews of the Fillmore opening celebration. Guests excitedly entered the Jazz Heritage Center before its officially posted time, perusing through the exhibition while greeting friends. After settling in, some guests opted to take the Guide by Cell tour, walking around the neighborhood on the particularly balmy afternoon, [...]

US House of Representatives pays tribute to Florence Prag Kahn

Check out the new US House of Representatives’ tribute to Representative Florence Prag Kahn (the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress). The Magnes archives contributed many images to this digital exhibit. It is so lovely to see them out there! For more information about the Julius and Florence Kahn papers here at the Magnes [...]