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Jewish Studies in the Manuscripts and Archives division: Judaic history and scholarship

This guide was created by Michelle McCarthy-Behler, Manager of Public Services, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books

Ancient to modern Judaism

  Henry and Mary Anna Palmer Draper papers Henry Draper (1837-1882), an American astronomer, was a pioneer in astronomical photography. More than half of the collection consists of letters received by Mary Anna Palmer Draper, 1879-1914, with only a few dating from before her husband's death in 1882. Includes five amulets discovered in Jewish tombs in Irbid, Jordan between the 5th-6th centuries.

Ritual laws relating to Jewish women, namely on menstruation, hallah, and lighting of the candle A seventeenth  century manuscript on parchment; text is in Italian, with some Hebrew.

Prevenciones divinas contra las vanas ydolatrias de las gentes Manuscript, in Portugese, by Jewish philosopher, physician, and apologist, Isaac Orobio de Castro. Written in Amsterdam in 1674.

Documents signed by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria 1753, 1772  Two documents signed and sealed by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria: an order directing that all Jews be excluded from all military fortifications in Hungry and Bohemia dated 1753, and a legal document relating to the delivery of mail dated 1772.

Schutz-Brief für den Juden Feibisch Kaskel Dombrow zu Breslau No. 62  Manuscript "letter of protection" on parchment with red wax seal, first issued to Feibisch Kaskel Dombrow on 20 Nov. 1790, continued to his widow on 27 Oct. 1797, and transferred with the number (62) to Loebel Isaac Lasker on 31 July 1806. The schutzbrief was one issued to each of 160 heads of families of the limited Jewish community of Breslau, and protected them in their residence and granted to them privileges of trade.

Annotated manuscript of The Haggadah according to the rite of Yemen : together with the Arabic-Hebrew commentary published for the first time from mss. of Yemen  Author's manuscript of Hebrew text and English translation, with collations, notes, and other information, submitted as a thesis to Heidelberg University in 1895. This work was published the following year by D. Nutt, London

Israel Putnam papers Israel Putnam (1718-1790) was a General in the Continental Army noted for his strategic efforts and leadership at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The papers consist mainly of receipts and inventories, including bills for goods and sundries such as wine, household items, and expenses at Fraunces Tavern, and a memorandum of "goods to be sent down to the camps" in August, 1775. 

Jews of Weimar collection, 1820-1934  A collection relating to the Jews of Weimar, Germany and their relation to Goethe; letters, photographs, and genealogical memoranda pertaining to Levyn, Veit, and Elkan families; cookbook of a Weimar girl, 1820.

Randall B. Smith collection of Spanish Civil War materials  Randall B. Smith (1916-1989) was a veteran of the International Brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Collection consists of materials relating to the Spanish Civil War and the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. One of the individuals featured is an unidentified Polish Jew, who served in one of the international brigades, was captured at the battle of Brunete, and was sent to Germany as part of a labor battalion.

Ronald Sanders papers  Ronald Sanders was an author, teacher, and lecturer on Jewish history and related topics. His papers include correspondence with family and friends, as well as other authors of note such as Yehuda Amichai, Sir Isaiah Berlin, Peter Gay, Shlomo Katz, Bernard Malamud, Alma and Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Elie Wiesel; drafts, research notes and audiotaped interviews for his books and articles; class and lecture notes; several unpublished works; his college papers; and some personal materials from his travels.

Gino Speranza papers Gino Speranza (1872-1927) was an attorney involved with the problems and working conditions of Italians in the United States and his subsequent work as a journalist and author whose writings included works on immigration, Italo-American relations and World War I. Writings include work on Jewish immigration and European Judaism regarding the War I.

Isaac Myer papers  Isaac Myer (1836-1902) was an attorney and author who practiced law in New York City and Philadelphia. In addition to his legal career, he was an amateur historian, orientalist and active freemason. His literary works focused on U.S. constitutional history, federalism, and mystical and antiquarian subjects. Materials relate to his research and writings on the Kabbalah and biblical history, as well as several manuscripts pertaining to federalism and constitutional history.


     Palestine Economic Corporation records The Palestine Economic Corporation was organized in 1925 to facilitate investment in Palestine by American Jews and others interested in fostering the economic development and resettlement of the Jewish homeland.

Isaac Goldberg of Lodz miscellany Miscellaneous material by or relating to Lithuanian-born pedagogue, journalist, and Zionist Isaac Goldberg who worked mainly in Lodz, Poland. including letters, both original and transcriptions; a memorial poem; and newspaper clippings. In English, German, and Hebrew

Joseph Barondess papers  Joseph Barondess (1867-1928) was an American labor organizer and Zionist leader. Collection consists of general correspondence, 1908-1928; business correspondence and papers, 1913-1932; letter press copybooks, 1900-1925; and business ledgers, account books and other papers regarding Barondess's work with the New York City Board of Education, Jewish affairs, and the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities.

New York Times Company records. Lester Markel papers  This collection documents the tenure of Lester Markel (1894-1977), longtime Sunday editor at The New York Times, whose career there spanned 1929 to 1973. Files contain letters, memoranda, speeches, photographs, typescripts, and clippings related to Markel's involvement with the paper, primarily the Sunday Division, along with a small amount of personal correspondence and documents. Contains subject files on Zionism.

Hyman A. Schulson papers  The collection consists of general correspondence of Hyman A. Schulson (1912-1997), was an attorney, Zionist, and activist in Jewish community affairs; and papers relating to his employment as director of the Washington, D.C. office of the American Zionist Emergency Council, an organization which lobbied at the end of the Second World War for the creation of an independent Jewish state in Palestine.

Nathan Straus papers  Nathan Straus (1848-1931) was a German-born New York City businessman and philanthropist. After making his fortune as a partner in the New York department stores Abraham and Straus and R.H. Macy and Co., Straus, with his wife Lina Gutherz Straus, turned to philanthropy. Portion of papers dedicated to Jewish Agricultural Experiment Station 1910-1913, Federation of American Zionists 1912-1913, Hebrew University dedication 1925, and the Actionscomite der Zionistischen Organisation 1913.

From the collections

Temple of Religion - Jewish refugee children with books, Temple of Religion records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Lot near Jewish burying ground, Bancker plans, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public LIbrary.

Patai with Indian Jews in Mexico City; a preacher in the Iglesia de Dios, Raphael Patai papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Two gold amulets in black frames

Five amulets (discovered in Jewish tombs in Irbid, Jordan. 5th-6th c.), Henry and Mary Anna Palmer Draper papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Arab-Israeli conflict

New York Times Company records. Foreign Desk records, 1948-1993 The New York Times Foreign Desk records is a collection of files maintained by the New York Times Company documenting the work and accomplishment of the foreign reporting staff, the operation of the foreign news bureaus around the world, and the process of gathering and editing the news from abroad. Involves Israeli correspondence and information on Israel in subject files beginning in 1948. 

Maryam Jameelah papers The Maryam Jameelah Papers include the correspondence, fiction, and academic writings of Maryam Jameelah, (born Margaret Marcus, 1934- ), an American Jew who, after her conversion to Islam, emigrated to Pakistan and resides there still. Her correspondence describe her interest in Palestinian life and literature, her sympathy for displaced Palestinians after the formation of modern Israel, her correspondence with Pakistani mentor Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi, her conversion to Islam, and her subsequent emigration and life in Pakistan.

Raphael Patai papers  Raphael Patai (1910-1996) was a cultural anthropologist specializing in Jewish and Arab cultures. His papers, 1903-2011, document his career through extensive correspondence with colleagues, drafts and manuscripts of his many publications, lectures, research notes, photographs, scrapbooks, and sound and video recordings.

A.M. Rosenthal papers The A.M. Rosenthal papers document the career of New York Times Managing and Executive Editor Abraham Michael Rosenthal (1922-2006), noted for his stewardship of that newspaper during one of its most tumultuous periods, from the 1960s through the 1980s. Subject files from 1987-2002 include information related to the Israel and Palestinian conflict.

International League for Human Rights records The International League for Human Rights was founded in New York City in 1942 as the International League for the Rights of Man, a non-governmental agency to promote human rights worldwide. Includes records from the 1970s regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict from affiliated organizations, such as Amnesty International.