LBI News

Wikipedians Write the Book on LBI Collections

“If you don’t think Wikipedia is good enough, create an account and make it better!” —Leonora Lange, CJH Archivist

At the first public CJH Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Saturday, May 4, 2014, about 30 volunteers, including CJH and LBI staff, members of the local NYC Wikimedia Chapter, and scholars and librarians from other institutions spent an afternoon creating and improving Wikipedia articles related to women in Jewish History.

Edythe Griffinger Art Catalogue Will Improve Access to LBI Art Collection

Works by Eduard Magnes, Max Liebermann , and others in LBI's storage facility at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. Photo: Jon Pack.

Thanks to a gift from a trust under the will of Edythe Griffinger, LBI has begun work on a project that will highlight its art collection. This grant will allow LBI to make the collection more accessible through the creation of a virtual art catalogue and a web portal that will allow the public to view artworks and artifacts that are rarely if ever on public display.

Erhard Roy Wiehn— “Wer schreibt, der bleibt!”

Erhard Roy Wiehn is the editor of the Edition Schoah und Judaica

Erhard Roy Wiehn, born 1937 in Saarbrücken, is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Constance. His “Edition Schoah und Judaica,” is one of the largest series of monographs about Jewish life in Europe and now encompasses nearly 280 books, mostly autobiographical accounts of Jewish life in Europe before, during, and after the Holocaust. We spoke to him about memory, authenticity, and obsession.

Jerry Brotman—Hands-on Volunteer

Jerry Brotman while barcoding books in the LBI library stacks.

He is neither a scholar nor a librarian, but Jerry Brotman knows the LBI Library Collection more intimately than anyone else. Over the past eight years, Brotman affixed barcodes to some 66,000 books, a labor as important to the functioning of a library as it is, some might say, tedious. In 2014, he claimed the singular distinction of being the only person in history to lay hands on every cataloged monograph in the Library’s 80,000-volume collection.

Gaby Glueckselig: Stammtisch Hostess Celebrates a Century of Bliss

Glueckselig celebrates her 100th birthday at Leo Baeck Institute.

Gaby Glueckselig came to the Leo Baeck Institute in the late 1980s as a volunteer archivist. For years she helped to preserve German-Jewish culture by cataloging the Institute’s extensive photograph collection. On April 27, 2014, Glueckselig returned to LBI to celebrate her 100th birthday with friends and family.

Conservation of the Fürth Megillah

The Fürth Megillah drying under tension during conservation efforts at the CJH. Fürth Jewish Community Collection, AR 994

This colorfully illustrated Megillah from Fürth originated in the 18th century, when Jews comprised a fifth to a quarter of the city’s population and enjoyed freedoms unheard of elsewhere in Bavaria. Felicity Corkill, a conservator at the Center for Jewish History, describes how she prepared this treasure for public display at the CJH during Purim in 2014.

Archives: Hoerlin Collection Combines Intrigue, Alpinism, and Physics

Folders from the Hoerlin collection. Visible are correspondence between Käte and Hermann Hoerlin, Herman Hoerlin’s reports on the observation of nuclear tests from space, and a hand-drawn map of a region in Germany. AR 25540

The Kate and Herman Hoerlin Collection, recently added to the LBI Archives, contains the papers of a couple whose lives took a dramatic course shaped by events as diverse as the Rohm Putsch, a German expedition in the Himalayas, and US nuclear testing in Los Alamos. Kate Tietz was born to a Jewish family but…

Library: Sparrow Makes her Way

Samson, Meta and L. Szkolny (illus). Spatz macht sich. Berlin: Jüdischer Buchverlag, 1938.

“Wishing that you may make your own way just like this ‘sparrow.’ Love, Evi, your Aunt Becker. Cologne, Rosh Hashanah 5699,” reads the inscription in this slender volume. The sparrow (in German, “Spatz”) in the inscription refers to the title character of the book, Spatz Macht Sich (Sparrow Makes her Way). This children’s novel by…

Research Profile: Michaela Raggam- Blesch on “Half-Jews” in Vienna, 1938–1945

Kurt Kelman and Gusti Dressler pose in front of a sign reading “Juden verboten!”
(Jews forbidden), at the Augarten Park in Vienna. Summer 1938.
Kurt Kelman Collection, AR 11292

Michaela Raggam-Blesch When I was conducting oral history interviews for the project “Topography of the Shoah in Vienna” in 2010, I met a number of interview partners who had survived the entire war in Vienna as so-called “half-Jews.” Though they ultimately escaped the Nazi genocide, they had lived in the most precarious circumstances in wartime…

What’s in a Name? Dennis Baum and the Simson Company

LBI Trustee Dennis Baum in 2014.

Dennis Baum fought for restitution of his family’s assets in Germany for years following German reunification in 1990. In January, Baum joined his former negotiating partners in a public forum at the Jewish Museum Berlin to discuss what went wrong 20 years ago. The records of the Simson Company and the case of its restitution…