Leo Baeck Institute works to preserve and promote the history and culture of German-speaking Jews.
Poetry in Preservation
In Honor of Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski
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Julie Dawson first joined the Leo Baeck Institute in 2010 as an archivist on the digitization project. In 2013 she initiated an archival survey of Jewish-history related material in the regions of Transylvania and Bukovina, with an initial focus on the largely German-speaking Jewish communities of Bukovina and the southern Transylvanian Saxon towns. After a successful first year, the survey was extended for another three years (2014–2016) and expanded to include the towns of the Banat region and central Transylvania. In these first four years, the survey focused on the holdings of the regional National Archives branches. From 2017–2019 the scope of the survey was further expanded to include a survey of documents held by still existing Jewish communities in Transylvania. This portion of the project encompassed processing of material, ensuring proper storage to the extent possible, and the creation of finding aids. As of 2019, the field work for the project concluded, though the public output – the project website, which includes hundreds of catalogue records for the documents surveyed – continues to be updated with new records, finding aids, and on occasion, digitized material. The survey project was funded by the Yerusha program of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe. With the conclusion of the survey project, Dawson is affiliated with the Leo Baeck Institute on a project basis and represents the institute in Austria and other regions of the former Habsburg Empire.
Before joining the Leo Baeck Institute, Dawson lived and worked in Romania (2007–2009) as a Peace Corps volunteer and Berlin (2002–2007) as a Fulbright scholar and afterwards, translator. From 2016–2019 she was the summer resident researcher and project coordinator for the EU Horizons 2020 project TRACES: Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts (2016–2019) in Mediaș, Romania. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Contemporary History of the University of Vienna writing about post-war Jewish life in Romania based on the analysis of a newly found set of diaries. She lives in Vienna with her husband and two children.
Research interests: women’s history, diaries, early Romanian communism, Bukovina, Transnistria, Transylvania