Collections

Walter Langhammer and the Illumination of India

Walter Langhammer, born in 1905 in the Austrian city of Graz, is considered one of the founding fathers of the most famous of India’s schools of modern oil painting, the “Bombay Progressives.” The LBI preserves three of his joy- and colorful paintings, both in its New York based archives as well as online. In this article, we honor Langhammer’s creative and dedicated path of life, all the way to India and back.

Preserving Yesterday’s News with the CJH and Frankfurt University Library

The LBI is working toward the digitization of 60 rare periodicals encompassing 70,000 pages in 2017 after having already digitized 130 periodical titles in 2016. Many of the newspapers preserved in the collections of the LBI are more than a century old, and few other media in the library world show the ravages of time like newspapers, which were practically designed to be disposable. That makes digitizing them as tricky as it is urgent.

Listening to Records—The Jacob Jacobson Collection in Research

Jordan Katz, a fellow at the Center for Jewish History and a member of the Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme in 2016–2017, has been making use of the Jacob Jacobson Collection at the LBI for her doctoral research. The fourth-year Ph.D. student in Early Modern Jewish history at Columbia University explores the role of Jewish “wise women” and midwives in communities in the early modern Ashkenazic world.

Research, Exploitation, and Survival: The Story of Jacob Jacobson, a Jewish Archivist in Nazi Germany

One of the largest and most-used collections in the LBI archives is named for a little known historian and archivist who, like Leo Baeck, survive Theresienstadt. The Jacob Jacobson Collection spans 16 feet of archival boxes plus oversized materials, encompassing birth, death, marriage, and circumcision registers dating back as far as 1671. How could this enormous body of materials survive the Nazi period?

“We have wandered together a long, long way”—The Hans and Eleonore Jonas Collection

In summer 2016, Ayalah Jonas, the daughter of the philosopher Hans Jonas, donated part of her parents’ library and personal papers to the LBI. The archival collection contains unpublished manuscripts, poems, and drawings by the philosopher Hans Jonas (1903–1993) as well as documents related to the history of the family and a circle of friends including Hannah Arendt.

History by the Foot: Processing Archival Collections at the LBI

It is not unusual for suitcases, banker’s boxes, and even plastic bags containing historical material to be opened for the first time in decades at the LBI. With this article, we take you on a short trip alongside two such suitcases. Adventures in archival processing await!

A Voice Still Heard—Music and Musicians in LBI Collections

A new website highlights the stories of German-Jewish musicians, conductors, and composers based on items in the LBI’s art, archival, and library collections.

The Jewish Liturgical Year: Calendars in LBI Collections

The LBI library holds hundreds of calendars in German and Hebrew that lay out the same annual rhythms of life and prayer according to the lunisolar calendar for centuries.

The Roedelheim Mahzor Collection: Change and Continuity

Recently Moriah Amit, a librarian at the LBI and the Center for Jewish History, finished cataloguing a unique collection of mahzors published in Roedelheim. These editions, comprising 15 complete sets of the prayer books, were published between 1800 and 1923 in Roedelheim, Germany. Over more than 140 hours, Amit cataloged 304 volumes of 77 editions that are preserved in the LBI library collection. Their appearance—the change in printed layout and language chosen by the publisher, as well as notes and inscriptions by the owner, or generations of owners—reflect the interplay of continuity and change that mark all religious-cultural traditions.

Tarnschriften: Camouflaged Publications in Resistance Against the Nazis

Tarnschriften, or camouflaged publications, were one way to avoid censorship in Germany between 1933 and 1945: Texts that were forbidden by the Nazis were hidden between inconspicuous cover pages. The LBI holds two of these publications in its collection.