Jewish History Resources
Making history and archives meaningful and accessible to all people is a goal of the New York State Archives. To do so, we must first identify and preserve a comprehensive documentary record that reflects the diversity of New York's people, places and events. Then we must organize, catalog, and index collections so that they are usable. Finally, we need to bring information to users in a variety of ways, ranging from guides that describe research resources to public programs that interpret and convey knowledge gleaned from the source material.
Jewish History Resources in New York is one step toward realizing our goal. This booklet is presented as a work continually in progress. It is a summary compilation of information about Jewish history and genealogy resources in New York, based on archival inventory and cataloging efforts known to date. To compile the booklet, Archives staff led by Michelle Arpey consulted the following sources: the statewide Historical Documents Inventory dating back to 1978; the Research Libraries Information Network's national catalog of archival collections, begun ten years ago; the Historical Records Repositories Survey begun by the Governor's State Historical Records Advisory Board in 1996; and genealogical guides of the New York State Archives, New York State Library, National Archives Northeast Branch, and New York City Municipal Archives. Staff also searched the web to locate additional information.
In addition to conveying information taken from these existing sources, we hope this booklet will spur further work to locate and make available other archival resources on Jewish history in New York. As more information about such archival material is identified and described, we can periodically update this booklet, especially the electronic version. We surmise that vastly more research materials will be located on the history of Jewish experience in New York. For example, in the past few years, projects supported in part by the Archives' Documentary Heritage Program uncovered archival research materials among the Catskill resort community, the Hassidic community in Sharon Springs, the Commandment Keepers (Hebrew Israelite) congregation in New York City, Jewish communities in the Adirondacks, and synagogues in Sullivan County. However, these materials are not yet inventoried and accessible in community archives and therefore are not described in this booklet. The State Archives will continue to provide leadership, technical assistance, and grant funding to help rediscover and preserve our heritage.
We hope you find this booklet informative and useful, and we welcome your suggestions for additions. Suggestions for adding to the database of Jewish history resources can be sent to us via surface mail to State Archives, Cultural Education Center 9C49, Albany, NY 12230, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas E. Mills
Director of Operations
State Archives and Records Administration