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100,000 of Brazilian Jewish Periodicals Are Being Microfilmed

Over 100,000 pages of Brazilian Jewish periodicals, most of which ho longer exist in complete collections in any one location, are being microfilmed under the auspices of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

The project was initiated by Rabbi Clifford Kulwin, director for Latin American Affairs of the World Union and a former congregational rabbi in Rio de Janeiro, because libraries and archives in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America lack the funds to film and store these materials.

Under Kulwin’s impetus, the American Jewish Periodical Center at HUC’s Cincinnati campus hired a Brazilian firm to microfilm over 20 different Jewish newspapers and magazines and send them to the Center. The firm, Informacoes Microformas Sistemas Ltda, is headed by Prof. Frederic Litto, chairman of the University of Sao Paolo’s Department of Radio and Television.

Litto employs a group of Jewish university students in Rio and Sao Paulo to search for Jewish papers and magazines in periodical offices, libraries and the archives of private individuals. Litto said his firm often must get issues of a particular publication from over half a dozen sources in order to make a complete set.

The addition of the Brazilian material “bolsters HUC’s importance as a center for Latin American study,” said David Gilner, director of the American Jewish Periodical Center. Plans are underway to expand the microfilming into other Latin American countries.

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