Finding Aids

Finding Aid

Example of a Finding Aid.

A finding aid is like a book jacket outlining an archivist's painstaking work organizing and describing historical records to let you know what is inside a collection. A finding aid serves two purposes: to provide context with the historical background of original materials, and to provide a table of contents for the collection.

What is a finding aid? A finding aid is a document that explains...

  • What is in the collection
  • Who created the collection
  • Who has owned the collection
  • How to use the collection
  • Where to look for materials within the collection

Finding Aid

For a detailed description of finding aids and how to use them, click here.


AJHS Finding Aids

I-26: Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records; 1765-1976 [Posted 2014-9-5]

The collection contains materials related to various activities of the Congregation Mikveh Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. There is a variety of documents, including correspondence, annual reports, addresses, programs, printed materials, reports, and materials pertaining to the synagogue's burial ground.

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I-560: Lights in Action Records; undated, 1982, 1991-2002 [Posted 2014-9-5]

Lights in Action (LIA) was a network of students dedicated to inspiring Jewish pride and unity among college students. LIA student activists designed, created, and distributed Jewish/Zionist literature that reached approximately 100,000 students on over 120 campuses. In addition, LIA designed and coordinated national student projects like Shabbat Leumit, a guide to lead students across North America through the rituals during Shabbat. LIA also hosted and sponsored national conferences, summer programs in Israel, leadership training, and seminars on a variety of topics of interest to Jewish students. The records include Lights in Action publications and printed matter, administrative records, photographs and slides, audiovisual material, sound recordings, and born digital material.

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P-362: E. Michael Bluestone Papers; undated, 1913-1980 [Posted 2014-9-5]

The E. Michael Bluestone Collection contains primarily the professional writings and correspondence of Michael Bluestone, one of the foremost authorities in the field of medical care and hospital administration, and his associates. Most of the materials comprising the collection are in bound volumes and scrapbooks arranged by E. Michael Bluestone.

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P-518: Papers of Robert Allen Simon; 1947-1983 [Posted 2014-9-5]

The collection consists of personal papers, records from educational institutions and newspaper and other articles written by Robert Simon. It also contains items related to Simon’s burning of his draft card to protest the Vietnam War, including court records, personal notes and correspondence. The collection reflects the role in modern American society of a young Jew involved in liberal causes and the literary world.

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P-979: Steven Siegel Papers; 1938-2008 [Posted 2014-09-09]

The Steven Siegel Collection documents the life and professional activities of Steven Siegel, archivist, genealogist, and an active member of the LGBT community. The collection consists of correspondence, seminar and conference materials, publications, lists, manuscripts, original genealogical research, minutes, official documents, photographs, project proposals, and questionnaires. Materials related to Steven Siegel's personal life constitute a smaller portion of the collection and consist of personal correspondence, materials documenting his involvement with Cornell University and Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. Materials documenting Siegel's professional activities include documents pertaining to the Jewish Historical Society of New York, the Jewish Genealogical Society, and the Council of Research Libraries in Jewish Studies.

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I-274: Jewish Community of New York City Records; 1909-1918 [Posted 2014-11-13]

The collection includes conventional proceedings, speeches, annual reports, informational pamphlets, and other public documents of the organized Jewish Community of New York City, formed in 1908 and incorporated in 1914.

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P-985: Arthur A. Goren Papers; 1951-2007 [Posted 2014-11-13]

This is the collection of Arthur A. Goren, a historian and professor of American Jewish history at the Hebrew University and Columbia University. This collection consists of his research material and professional files from his academic pursuits and career as a professor, primarily at Columbia University. Included in the collection are copies of articles and photocopies of archival material used for research, drafts of speeches and manuscripts, handwritten and typed research notes, correspondence, clippings, photographs, and teaching and course material such as syllabi, readings, notes, and bibliographies.

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P-416: Samuel Gompers Papers; 1904-1932 [Posted 2014-12-16]

The collection includes three letters from Samuel Gompers to his wife written while travelling on union business, a letter supporting the German trade union movement, and an autographed card.

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P-532: Chaim Weizmann Papers; 1939, 1942 [Posted 2014-12-17]

Consists of two letters written by Chaim Weizmann to American Zionists: a thank you letter to Jacob Cohen (1939) and an invitation to a meeting between Weizmann and the members of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs sent to Arthur Lourie (1942), the executive secretary of the Committee.

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P-795: Riv-Ellen Prell Papers; 1970-1990, 2003 [Posted 2014-12-17]

The Papers of Riv-Ellen Prell contain research, fieldwork, and correspondence she conducted to fulfill her graduate work in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Prell later expanded on this work with further research and wrote a book on the Havurah Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The papers primarily encompass the field notes and interviews she engaged in while observing the Westwood Free Minyan in Los Angeles.

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I-553: Temple Shalom of the Congregation Sons of Jacob (Salem, Massachusetts) Records; undated, 1910-2006 [Bulk 1930-1998] [Posted 2014-06-12]

Temple Shalom is an Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Salem, Massachusetts, formerly called the Sons of Jacob. The congregation was formed by European Jewish immigrants in the Salem area in 1898. This collection includes photographs of congregation members and activities, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, meeting minutes, and various publications.

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I-554: B'nai B'rith, Lynn, Massachusetts Records; undated, 1946-1962 [Posted 2014-06-12]

Although there is little information available about the Lynn, Massachusetts chapter of B'nai B'rith, internationally the organization is known for ensuring the continuity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people through education, advocacy and social services. This collection contains newsletters from the Lynn, Massachusetts chapter.

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I-555: Aleph Zadik Aleph [North Shore, MA] Records; undated, 1941-1998 [bulk dates 1941-1961] [Posted 2014-06-12]

Aleph Zadik Aleph, known almost exclusively as AZA, was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1924 as a local social and service group for young Jewish men. Eventually the AZA separated itself from its role as the official youth auxiliary of B'nai B'rith and continues to operate today as the BBYO (B'nai B'rith Youth Organization). This collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, governance documents and promotional material from AZA chapters on the North Shore (Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, and Swampscott-Marblehead), Mattapan, and Sharon.

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P-964: Stanley and Mary Ann Snider Papers; undated, 1902-2013 [bulk 1960-1990] [Posted 2014-07-09]

The Snider, Winer, Kane and Korelitz families are documented within this collection, although the bulk of the materials pertain to Stanley and Mary Ann Snider's immediate family. The Sniders are the founders of Stanmar, Inc., which developed Smugglers' Notch Ski Resort. The Winers founded Elm Farm Supermarkets, and the Kanes owned furniture stores before becoming involved with the operations of Elm Farms. This collection contains photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and scrapbooks.

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P-983: Richard Winer Family Papers; undated, 1891-1999 [Posted 2014-07-09]

Richard Winer was born in 1927 in Salem, Massachusetts. An active member of the Jewish community, he was a past President of Temple Shalom and founder and former President of the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore. This collection includes a variety of marriage, birth and naturalization certificates, photographs, news clippings, and programs pertaining to family activities and family members, including Max Winer, Louis Winer, Benjamin Winer and Dorothy Winer.

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P-984: James Levinson Family Papers; undated, ca. 1900-1969 [Posted 2014-07-09]

The Levinson family has its origins in Eastern Europe, though the majority of its members immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. Members of the family were active in Boston business, science, and law. The material in the collection includes publications, photographs, a scrapbook, a photo album, and awards.

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I-556: Anshai Sfard (Lynn, Massachusetts) Records; undated, 1899-2001 [Bulk 1952-2001] [Posted 2014-07-09]

Congregation Anshai Sfard (Anshei, Anshe, Anshi) was a Hasidic, conservative Jewish Synagogue established by Jewish immigrants in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1888 to December 1999. This collection contains a letterpress printing block used to print the incorporation papers, a large "Golden Book of Congregation Anshei Sfard," which includes an illuminated manuscript with hand-painted and gold-leafed elements, a donor list, newspaper clippings, and photographs; meeting minutes, several family history scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, purchase and sales agreements, and photographs.

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I-557: Jewish Family Services of the North Shore (Salem, Mass.) Collection; undated, 1997-2010  [Posted 2014-07-25]

The Jewish Family Service of the North Shore was founded by a group of Jewish women in the winter of 1897. This collection contains brochures of the Jewish Family Service 100th Anniversary Gatsby Gala in 1997, "Our Community Heroes" - Annual Community Service Awards and Celebration in 2003, 2004 and 2010.

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P-976: Robert Irwin Sperber Papers; undated, 1952-2010, bulk 1962-2002 [Posted 2014-10-31]

Dr. Robert Irwin Sperber is an educator, former superintendent of Brookline Public Schools, professor and administrator at Boston University School of Education. He was responsible for pioneering and implementing a variety of programs, including Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP), the the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) inter-district busing program, and Facing History and Ourselves. This collection contains curriculum, speeches, meeting minutes, handbooks, administrative documents, correspondence, financial records, reports and planning documents spanning Dr. Sperber’s fifty-year career in education.

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I-559: Boy Scout Troop 4 (Sachems), Lynn, Massachusetts Records; undated, 1924-1945 [Posted 2014-11-13]

Organized in April, 1924, the records of Boy Scout Troop 4 (Sachems) of Lynn, Massachusetts span from 1924 to 1945. During World War II, the scouts participated in an Emergency Service Corps, and were invited to participate in the Boy Scout - General Eisenhower Waste Paper Campaign. The material in this collection includes weekly meeting programs and reports, newspaper clippings, scout assignments and certificates, correspondence, financial records, a photograph, and the American flag used by the Troop.

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