Major collections and resources

The following is an overview of the major record groups and resources in our holdings. For more details, please see our Inventory of Collections, or link to the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Advanced Search interface to search for a subject that interests you.

CANADIAN JEWISH CONGRESS RECORDS - These records comprise approximately 25% of the total archives holdings. They include a wealth of information on minority and human-rights issues, immigration and demographics, and the political and social impact of Jews in Canada.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS - Includes philanthropic, social service, Zionist, religious, and cultural organizations. Major collections, each measuring over 30 metres, include the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA/ICA), the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS), the United Jewish Relief Agencies (UJRA), and the United Restitution Organization (URO). Other large collections are those of the National Council of Jewish Women, the Labour Zionist Alliance, and the Vaad Ha'ir of Montreal.

INDIVIDUALS - Includes Jewish community leaders, politicians, Holocaust survivors, artists and writers, and family papers. Some examples: S.W. Jacobs, Rabbi Abraham de Sola, Clarence and Meldola de Sola, Saul Hayes, and Sheila Finestone. Over 10,000 personalia clipping files pertaining to Jewish individuals throughout Canada are indexed on the Archives database. These files often contain obituaries or other family history information.

PHOTOGRAPHS - The Archives houses tens of thousands of photographs and over 100,000 negatives, originating from organizational and personal collections. Subjects include immigration, family life, city life, small communities across Canada, Jewish organizations, business, and religion. A computerized index assists in their consultation.

SOUND RECORDINGS AND FILM - Includes over 4000 hours of computer-inventoried cassette, videotape and reel-to-reel recordings of community meetings, interviews, survivor testimonies, family, community, and other oral histories. The collection also includes a small number of films and disk recordings.

ART AND ARTIFACTS - Includes ceremonial and secular Jewish objects, prints, posters, and paintings. Some of these items are on loan to museums, while a few can be seen on display at the archives.

REFERENCE LIBRARY - The Canadian Jewish Archives maintains a non-circulating library of reference books, periodicals and research papers of Canadian Jewish interest. The collection includes sizable holdings of major Canadian Jewish newspapers of the past, such as the Canadian Jewish Times, and the Keneder Adler (both also available on microfilm). An extensive bibliography of Jewish Canadiana, compiled by David Rome, can be consulted on microfiche.