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New Nation-Wide Licence: Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954 - Lib AAC
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New Nation-Wide Licence: Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954

A sepia-hued view of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, greeting immigrants and travellers on their way to New York. The "mighty woman with a torch" is portrayed in the sonnet "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which is inscribed on a bronze plaque in the statue's base. The Emma Lazarus collection is part of the database. Photo: BruceEmmerling via Pixabay, "New York, Stadt, Urban" (cropped & sepia filter)

As the result of our collaboration with several other FIDs (Specialised Information Services), namely the FID Geschichtswissenschaft (Historical Studies), the FID Jüdische Studien (Jewish Studies), the FID Ost-, Ostmittel- und Südosteuropa (Russian, East and Southeast European Studies) and the FID Religionswissenschaft (Religious Studies), the FID AAC proudly presents its newest addition to our online resources: “Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954”!

This digital archive offers a diverse window into everyday American Jewish life over the span of three centuries, showcasing communal and social aspects of Jewish identity and culture as well as the community’s relations with the American society as a whole, shaping modern America. Original manuscript collections from the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) in New York, ranging from personal, handwritten material such as letters, scrapbooks, autobiographies and notebooks to committee reports and financial records, memorials, announcements, surveys as well as rare printed books and pamphlets are included in this rich and varied collection. Six major organisational collections and twenty-four collections of personal papers entirely digitized in full colour are accessible in this fascinating online resource. All images are full-text searchable, which immensely facilitates working with these documents.

Supplementary resources aid your research, such as guides to the collection, a chronology of major events, essays by leading academics, a selection of articles and statistics from the American Jewish Year Book and biographies of prominent Jewish personalities. Another highlight is the visual gallery. This includes the East Side Project (1932-34) by the Graduate School of Jewish Social Work, which uses photographs to document the situation of the Jewish population of the Lower East Side of New York. The website offers easy access to selected, filtered materials via eleven thematic areas of research, for example “Politics and the Law“, “Culture, Literature and the Arts” (including the papers of Emma Lazarus, author of the sonnet "The New Colossus", written on a plaque in the base of the Statue of Liberty) or “Immigration and Settlement”.

Thanks to our acquisition of this national licence you are able to access this world of knowledge via your university’s network or the central Database Information System (DBIS). Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954, an archival collection by AM, is open to all scholars and students in Germany interested in the history of the American Jewish population. If you are an independent scholar in Germany without an affiliation, please register for access to nation-wide licences via

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