Leo Baeck Institute works to preserve and promote the history and culture of German-speaking Jews.
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Digital Collections at Leo Baeck Institute
DigiBaeck is LBI's digital collections, a growing treasury of artifacts that document the rich heritage of German-speaking Jewry in the modern era. DigiBaeck provides instant access to materials ranging from rare 16th-century Renaissance books to memoirs that document the experience of German-Jewish émigrés across the world in the 20th century.
DigiBaeck represents a significant subset of LBI collections. A DigiBaeck search will only return results for objects and collections that have been digitized, but this includes nearly all the unique and rare materials in LBI collections. These include the following:
Archival Materials – Most LBI archival collections, which include personal documents, correspondence, family and community histories, genealogical materials, business records has been digitized. LBI is committed to digitizing its entire archives, including all new materials added to the collections.
Memoirs and Manuscripts – LBI’s entire collection of nearly 5,000 memoirs and manuscripts has been digitized. This includes the original manuscripts and typescripts for important works like Joseph Roth's Radetzkymarsch as well as unpublished diaries and memoirs that document German-Jewish life from the 18th century to the present.
Art and Objects – Well over 4,000 items from the art and object collection have been digitized. These include many original works as well as prints, and a few extensive collections of works by individual artists such as Hermann Struck and Hugo Steiner-Prag.
Books and Periodicals – Though most of the library collection has not been digitized due to copyright restrictions, more than 1,600 unique and rare items are available through DigiBaeck. These include rare renaissance books, artists illustrated portfolios, and a collection of nineteenth century scholarly books related to the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. In addition, over 200 periodicals are available fully online.
Photographs – Over 25,000 photographs have been digitized from LBI's collections. In many cases, there is a record for each individual photograph, even if they were part of a larger collection. Other photographs may be contained within archival collections or within photo albums that were digitized as a single object.
Audio Recordings – In addition to rare recordings of Jewish liturgical music, DigiBaeck includes a growing collection of over 600 oral history interviews with Austrian-Jewish emigres who fled to New York to escape the Nazis. These interviews are conducted by volunteers with support from the Austrian government (search with AHC Interview to locate them in our catalog). In addition, The Oral History Collection of the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration (AR 25385) provides access to the digital recordings and transcripts of interviews with 253 former German-Jewish refugees conducted between 1971 and 1981.