Multi-language Jewish Press in U.S. Microfilmed; Century Covered
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Multi-language Jewish Press in U.S. Microfilmed; Century Covered

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For the first time in American history, the Jewish press is being recorded on microfilm for ready use by historians and other scholars, it was announced here today.

Aided by a grant from the Jacob R. Schiff Fund, the American Jewish Periodical Center on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion has begun filming every Jewish periodical issued from 1823 to 1925. A first catalogue of the microfilmed newspapers and periodicals, which are already available on an interlibrary loan basis, has just been published, the announcement said.

“As a result,” the announcement pointed out, “a wide list of Jewish publications in eight languages, covering more than a century in time and touching a broad geographic sweep, now becomes immediately available to scholars, merely on application. Through use of the standard interlibrary loan system, they will have easy access in their own cities to a vast library of unique and important source materials, reflecting the life of Jewish immigrants and documenting much of the socio-religious and communal life of Jews in the United States.”

The eight languages are English, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Serbo-Croatian, Polish and Hungarian. Papers in five of these languages have already been filmed. Copies of the catalogue have been sent to libraries throughout the country as the material is of interest to scholars concerned with general American history as well as to those specializing in American Jewish history. As additional periodicals are microfilmed, supplementary lists will be issued from time to time, the announcement stated.

The project makes possible the preservation of newspaper and magazine sources in imminent danger of destruction. Some had already become incomplete and, of those still remaining, some were in private hands and not easily available. Because of their chemical content, pages were actually disintegrating and there was danger that unless microfilming is undertaken, these sources of Jewish Americana might disappear. Holders of unique publications and those who think they may have periodicals that have become rare are being invited to lend them to the Center for microfilming purposes.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund