Archives News

December 2016

The theme of this year at the Archives has been "getting used to being the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives". It's an easy name to answer to, but shaking off our previous email and web addresses has been a sticky process. If any of you still have our "cjccc" address in your contact lists, please change the text after the @ sign to "cjarchives.ca".

Among many interesting acquisitions of 2016, we were excited to receive papers, photographs and artifacts from the family of Justice Harry Batshaw. In addition to the insight which these papers provide into the life and work of Justice Batshaw, the collection also includes a rare early Workman's Circle group photograph featuring his father.

Our understanding of the present state of Montreal's Hasidic population has been recently been expanded by donations of newspapers and other publications from various ultra-Orthodox groups.

In 2016 we continued our exchange of materials with the Jewish Public Library Archives, in order to fill gaps in their Federation CJA records and in our JIAS and Labour Zionist fonds.

Our national office records of the National Council of Jewish Women were enhanced by a sizable donation of archives from their former head office in Winnpeg. These and other recently acquired records of women's organizations became the nucleus of a internship project in Canadian Jewish Studies which was carried out by Emily Williams over the late summer and early fall of 2016. Ms. Williams digitized samples from all of our women's organization collections and helped us update our finding aid about materials relating to women's groups.

Other student intern projects carried out in 2016 include the catalgouing of a challenging collection of Asaf Ilizarov Russian-language papers and photographs which we received many years ago as a transfer from Library and Archives Canada. Their cataloguing was accomplished by a talented Siberian-born University of Montreal student, Zina Glasyrina.

Thanks to a student intern Katelynn Siddall from McGill University we were able to complete the digitizing of Marie Berdugo Cohen's 1988 interviews with members of Montreal's Sephardic community. A montage of interview snippets chosen by Ms. Siddall can be heard here: http://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn78008 .

In other digitization news, we have now made available online the complete orginal Canadian Jewish Archives series by Louis Rosenberg. Published by the Bureau of Social and Economic Research of Canadian Jewish Congress between 1955 and 1962, these unusual volumes provide access to a variety of the earliest known documents in Canadian Jewish history, with some items presented as facsimiles and some transcribed. To read or download them in PDF format, go to: http://www.cjarchives.ca/en/c-j-archives/publications/.

Making these six Louis Rosenberg volumes available as a free download is a precursor to more exciting digitization news expected in the coming year, as, with our permission, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec will be digitizing the complete Canadian Jewish Archives, new series by David Rome, as well as some other Canadian Jewish Congress publications. We'll provide links to those documents as soon as they are online on the BAnQ website.

We are also happy to report that the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal has provided us with another generous grant, which will fund the translation of Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler newspaper from 1937 through to the end of 1939. The content of these notices will be available for research via the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network website at http://cjhn.ca, where obituaries from 1908 into the thirties can already be found.