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From the archives

News from the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries

By Kate Dietrick

As an archivist, I usually work in a bustling academic library; today I’m camped out at my dining room table. All of us are adapting to spending less time in public spaces. While you may not currently be able view archive materials in person, there are still plenty of ways of accessing and using the archives from the comfort of your very own dining room table. We rise to the occasion, and I enjoy finding new ways to help researchers during this time.

Are you interested in photographs, documents, or oral histories? Visit our main digital repository at umedia.lib. to discover over 160,000 items. There you’ll find photographs of families, synagogue events, social organizations and more, along with a treasure trove of nearly 250 oral histories from community members.

You’ll also find two years’ worth of American Jewish World issues, for 1915 and 1916. These were digitized in preparation for an upcoming fundraiser to digitize every copy from 1915 to 2007. Look for future announcements about the digitization project and how you can contribute.

“Shelter-at-home” activities

“Shelter-at-home” is a great time to catch up on the entire lineup of our popular First Fridays lecture series, which are captured on video and can be found here (Note: those that feature the Jewish Archives are Dec. 6, 2019 and Nov. 2, 2018, among others.)

Or take this time to finally begin your genealogy research. Visit here for helpful tips and links to online resources to help you fill in your family tree. More tips are detailed on page 6. This makes a great family project.

Include the history of local Jewish synagogues in your research. Visit here to see an interactive map that shows where synagogues were located throughout the region, from the 1850s to the present.

Digital content represents a fraction of the materials we have in the archives, but there’s never been a better time to start to get acquainted. I’m here, ready and willing to help you in your research in any way I possibly can. And, when we’re back to “normal,” I’ll look forward to deepening your work when you next visit the archives.


To learn more about our collections, visit our website at Or contact archivist Kate Dietrick at (Please no phone calls, I’m not there.)


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