Archives News

December 2014

It's that time of year again…

It's "Business as usual" at the CJCCC National Archives; but nothing is ever quite "usual" in the world of Archives, as each day brings something new and unexpected our way.

We acquired some interesting new holdings and additions to existing collections: among them a small box of mysteriously deposited papers pertaining to the xenophobic group "Native Sons of Canada", historical documents from Na'amat Pioneer Women of Canada dating back to before the Second World War, bulletins from a Quebec City synagogue in the 1950s, and recent records from Peace Now and the Labour Zionist Alliance.

Thanks to a processing grant from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, we catalogued an important collection of records created by the Honorable Alan B. Gold. A detailed description of this collection was carried out by project worker Laura Markiewicz and is now available online. See http://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn75972.

In addition, under the auspices of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal, we welcomed back Aaron Krishtalka to continue his meticulous work translating Yiddish obituaries from the Keneder Adler (Jewish Daily Eagle). This project will allow us to add the years 1933 and 1934 to the genealogical resources already available on the CJHN.

students2014Once again this year we were able to accomplish a great deal with the help of a new crop of student interns and the continued support of our loyal volunteers. During the Winter 2014 term McGill student Evelina Stulgaiyte worked on backlog reduction of CJC records, and with her help we were able to upload 7358 personal name subject files to the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (http://cjhn.ca). These nuggets of diverse information from the Archives' database listings include at least 450 files containing obituaries, which are of considerable help to genealogy researchers. Meanwhile, John Abbott College student Emily Faulkner worked on unprocessed records from the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services collection. Among her discoveries were a group of 1920s immigration case files which had been lost for dozens of years.

EsmaelIn the fall our student intern was Esmael Saad from UQAM (Université de Québec à Montréal). With his help we tackled various French-language records series of the CJC collection, as well as a wide range of other assignments. Like the Winter term students, Esmael also added to our online audiovisual offerings by making a video from a converted old audiotape, in this case a 1989 inteview with Montreal businessman Irving Shiller (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBEcpL99jFQ).

Volunteers Willie Glaser, Shirley Sibalis and Eunice Seligson continued to refine their expertise in records processing and physical conservation, while making more available to the public our collections such as the Bloomfield family's Zionist organizational activities (http://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn75347), Judy and Myer Gordon's records about the Montefiore Hebrew Orphans Home (http://www.cjhn.ca/en/permalink/cjhn91), and additional sections of CJC's records from the war years to the present.

Among the group presentations we gave this year, we were especially pleased to have the opportunity to present selected archival materials to a class of McGill students on the topic of German Jews interned in Canada during World War II. Meanwhile, reaching outside our own walls, we have contributed materials for upcoming exhibits at the new Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg and the Museum of Immigration in Halifax. We continue to work closely with the online Museum of Jewish Montreal (http://imjm.ca/) and have embarked on another major digitization project of Holocaust Survivor testimonies organized by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

Finally, behind the scenes, working closely with the Archives of the Jewish Public Library of Montreal, over the past year we have been refining the search functions of the CJHN.CA website, with important ongoing financial support from the Alex Dworkin Foundation for Jewish Archives.

And on we go to another year…

Janice Rosen
Archives Director