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

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.

View the Finding Aid

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.

View the Finding Aid

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.

View the Finding Aid

I-26: Congregation Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, 1765-1976 [Posted 2015-01-08]

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.

View the Finding Aid

I-71: Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, undated, 1920, 1928-1983 (bulk 1943-1976) [Posted 2015-01-09]

The records chronicle the ideology behind the Reconstructionist movement, the founding and activities of the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, and its growth and transformation from an ideology and movement into an established American Jewish denomination, Reconstructionist Judaism. The records also document two seminal figures in Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Menahem Kaplan and Ira Eisenstein. Included in the collection are the administrative records of the Foundation (minutes, financial records, bylaws), publications produced by the Foundation including manuscript submissions for the influential publication The Reconstructionist, correspondence, sermons, prayer books produced by the Foundation, syllabi, sheet music, photographs, and speeches, among other material. In the correspondence are letters from Martin Buber, J. Edgar Hoover, and Albert Schweitzer.

View the Finding Aid

I-371: Institute of Jewish Affairs Collection, undated, 1941-1971 [Posted 2015-01-09]

The Institute of Jewish Affairs was a scientific and research organization attached to the World Jewish Congress. The collection consists of brochures, reports, surveys and other research publications. The materials address the plans, goals and activities of the organization as well as containing studies of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, Jewish life in the postwar era in various countries and political events influencing Jewry and anti-Semitism. The collection also includes analyses of international legislation on questions which were influencing the Jewish situation within the spheres of human rights, minorities and migration at the time.

View the Finding Aid

I-413: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, 1979-1996 [Posted 2015-01-09]

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created to advance and disseminate knowledge about the Holocaust, to document and interpret Holocaust history, and to serve as the nation's permanent living memorial to the Holocaust. The collection includes newsletters, Days of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust publications and printed matter, photographs, press releases, conference material, teaching guides and curricula, and fundraising and membership material.

View the Finding Aid

P-125: Asher Levy Papers, 1807 [Posted 2015-1-12]

An entry of merchandise imported by Asher Levy from Surinam to New York in 1807.

View the Finding Aid

P-214: Touro family (Newport, R.I.) Papers, late 1700s-1849 [Posted 2015-1-12]

The collection contains correspondence, personal, and business papers of the following members of the Touro family: Abraham (1777/78-1822), Judah (1775-1854), and Rebecca (1779-1833) Touro of Newport, Rhode Island. Documents include an insurance policy, correspondence, and wills.

View the Finding Aid

I-189: Jewish Peace Fellowship Records, 1942-2010 [Posted 2015-1-12]

The collection includes materials documenting the work of the Jewish Peace Fellowship in supporting Jewish resistance to conscription and subsequent draft, opposition to arms race, Israeli politics on the disputed territories, and American armed interventions and consists of by-laws, correspondence, financial statements, individual files of Jewish conscientious objectors, lists, membership information, manuscripts and other materials intended for publication in JFP’s publications, minutes, questionnaires, printed materials, such as mailings, leaflets, and magazines, and reports.

View the Finding Aid

I-552: Elm Farm Foods Records; undated, 1894-2011 [Posted 12-30-2014]

Elm Farm Foods was first established as M. Winer Company in 1895 in the North End of Boston. The expansion of this single small store in the next several decades preluded the rise and development of Elm Farm Supermarkets in the region, followed by the company’s shift from retail to wholesale. Winer family holdings have also included various affiliated trusts and corporations managing many aspects of the company’s business and real estate. The bulk of these documents depict the financial activities and accounting procedures of these company affiliates, focusing primarily on funds, investments, and shareholders. The collection also includes administrative documents, such as correspondence and memoranda, concerned with the management of real estate, retail operations, and personnel.

View the Finding Aid

I-561: Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody (Mass.) Records; undated, 1959-2003 [bulk dates 1960-1965] [Posted 12-30-2014]

Temple Ner Tamid was founded in 1959 by local Jewish families who wanted a conservative synagogue in their home town of Peabody, Mass. Following its inception the congregation was able to buy a tract of land and raise money for construction of the temple, which was completed in 1965. Included are correspondence and other mailings, event programs, seating charts, temple by-laws, a Landscaping Committee record book, meeting and expense reports, and membership lists.

View the Finding Aid

I-565: Temple Sinai, Swampscott (Mass.) Records; undated, 1953-2005 [Posted 12-30-2014]

Temple Sinai was founded in 1953 and became a hub of vibrant Jewish life on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Rabbi Meyer Strassfeld served as the congregation's spiritual leader from 1965-1989, and during this time he involved the community in the Soviet Jewry movement and led the dedication of a Torah scroll saved during the Holocaust. The collection contains many event flyers, booklets, and newspaper clippings that illustrate Temple Sinai's active community.

View the Finding Aid

I-562: Alpha Delta Chapter—Alpha Phi Pi (Lynn, Mass.) Records, undated, 1932-1993 [Posted 2015-01-06]

Organized in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1931, the Alpha Delta Chapter was accepted into the national Alpha Phi Pi Jewish high school fraternity in 1932. After a period of dormancy, the Chapter was briefly reactivated in 1953 and an Alpha Delta Alumni group was formed in 1954. The material in this collection includes event programs and invitations, correspondence, photographs, news clippings and bulletins, Convention yearbooks, and a map and guide to Boston.

View the Finding Aid

I-563: Interfor Club, Lynn (Mass.) Records, undated, 1932-2000 [Posted 2015-01-06]

The Interfor Club of the North Shore was originally founded in 1930 by David L Winer, a Boston University Law School graduate, as the Brandeis Associates. Initially having twenty-two members who just graduated high school, the Interfor Club, which stands for Inter Collegiate Forum Club, began meeting at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in Lynn. The collection is comprised of revisions to constitutions, event programs, financial records, photographs, scholarship information, member lists, and detailed meeting minutes which outline the club’s daily activities.

View the Finding Aid

I-564: Jecomen Club Records, undated, 1925-1945 [Posted 2015-01-06]

The Jecomen Club was a fraternal organization established in 1925 and based in Lynn, Massachusetts. Men over the age of twenty-one with a college degree were eligible to apply for membership. The group hosted both social and philanthropic events, including an annual fundraising theatrical production for the Jecomen scholarship fund. The material in the collection describing the club’s operations includes meeting minutes, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and program books.

View the Finding Aid

P-988: Louis Winer Papers, undated, circa 1919-1985 [Posted 2015-01-06]

Originally from Salem, Massachusetts, Louis Winer received both his undergraduate and law degree from Boston University. Admitted to the bar in 1916, the outbreak of World War I interrupted his law career, as Winer served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France. This collection includes photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, awards and an American Legion military cap and medal.

View the Finding Aid

P-685: Evelyn B. and Janot S. Roskin Collection, undated, circa 1903-1989 [Posted 2015-01-08]

The Evelyn B. and Janot S. Roskin collection contains items relating to the Roskin, Borofsky, and Grosbayne families, with special focus on the musical contributions of Evelyn B. (née Borofsky) and Janot S. Roskin, which make up the bulk of the collection. A smaller portion of the collection comes from the Borofsky and Grosbayne families, including Jacob and Ida Borofsky, Evelyn's sister, Edith Borofsky and her husband, Mitchell Grosbayne and his brother, Benjamin. The collection includes publicity photographs, clippings, sheet music, sound recordings, and musical compositions.

View the Finding Aid

P-989: Philip Epstein Papers, undated, circa 1951-1994 [Posted 2015-01-08]

Philip D. Epstein was a trial attorney from 1941 to 1999 and a veteran of World War II. He was active in the Jewish community of Marblehead, Massachusetts and worked with a number of veterans support organizations, such as the National Jewish Welfare Board and Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. He served two terms as Commander of JWV Post 656 Marblehead-Swampscott. The material in the collection includes correspondence, announcements, meeting minutes, membership rosters, and publications primarily concerning his tenure as JMV commander.

View the Finding Aid

I-568: Congregation Ahabot Sholom Records, undated, 1982-2001 [Posted 2015-01-08]

Incorporated in 1901, Congregation Ahabat Sholom constructed a German Romanesque synagogue on Church Street, which was dedicated in 1905 during a ceremony lead by the congregation's first cantor, Benjamin Gordon. The congregation was one of Lynn’s several Jewish Orthodox congregations in the early 1900s. This collection contains administrative records, photographs, scrapbooks, and programmatic materials.

View the Finding Aid