The Leo Baeck Institute’s collections include more than 10,000 archival records, 2,000 memoirs, 25,000 photographs, 80,000 books and 1,600 periodicals, including collections available at the branch of the Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute at the Jewish Museum Berlin. It also provides access to microfilms of The Wiener Library collection, one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era, located in London.
The LBI Catalog is now integrated into the catalog of the Center for Jewish History, through which users can search all LBI collections as well as those of the other partners of the Center for Jewish History.
Most of LBI’s archival and art collections as well as many rare books and periodicals have been digitized and are available through DigiBaeck at lbi.org/digibaeck.
Accessing LBI Collections
LBI makes all of its collections available to the public for free. The main ways that users can search for and view materials in LBI collections are described below:
A search at search.cjh.org will return results from all of the collections of the five partners at the Center for Jewish History. This is the fastest way to search for materials from LBI’s art, archival, photograph, and library collections using standard search criteria such as keyword, author, and title. You may also refine your search to include only items from LBI collections or only digitized collections as well as by other criteria including place, date, and language.
A search at lbi.org/digibaeck will return only results from digitized collections, which you may view immediately online. This searches a subset of LBI collections, which includes nearly all of the art, archival, and photograph collections. Many rare books and periodicals have been digitized as well.
EAD Finding Aids
Both the comprehensive search and the digital search will often return “EAD Finding Aids”. These are standardized descriptions of the contents of archival collections that usually contain detailed inventories for each folder. Most finding aids for collections that have been digitized contain links to the digitized content at the folder level. If a finding aid does not contain links, then the collection it describes has probably not yet been digitized. If you want to inquire about the contents of an undigitized collection, request photocopies, or make an appointment to view it in the reading room, you may submit a reference inquiry.
Researchers who plan to use LBI’s extensive collection of microfilms are encouraged to reserve a microfilm reader/printer in advance at microfilm.cjh.org. Local users may reserve a reader for up to 3 hours per day, while users coming from outside the New York metro area may reserve a reader for full days, and reservations must be made at least one day prior to one’s visit. Please call (917) 606-8217 with questions about Microfilm reader reservations.