Collections Overview

Our primary searchable collections are the library and archives, searchable within the Research Catalog, and the Museum Collection. Both are accessible via the Center for Jewish History’s research portals.

Research Catalog

The Center for Jewish History Research Catalog is a unified search portal that allows you to search the books and archival materials held by the American Jewish Historical Society, as well as those held by the four other partner institutions at the Center. In order to search our collections, simply select “American Jewish Historical Society” from the dropdown menu in the search bar. 

Keyword Search

Museum Collection Catalog

The Museum Collection of the American Jewish Historical Society holds many unique treasures including paintings, daguerreotypes, silhouettes, textiles, silver objects, medals and ribbons, domestic and religious objects, sports and family memorabilia, military uniforms, political and theater posters, rabbinical regalia, correspondence, newspapers, and photographs.

Keyword Search

AJHS Featured Holdings

The American Jewish Historical Society holds several collections that are of particular importance. These include the UJA Federation of New York collection, which contains more than 2,000 boxes of archival material; the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society collection; the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York collection; and the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement, which comprises several related collections and makes up the largest and most comprehensive archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement.

AJHS Library Collection

The American Jewish Historical Society library consists of approximately 50,000 volumes, including both books and serials (journals and periodicals). Some of the major topics represented in the library collection are American Jewish intellectual, political and economic life; Jewish participation in the visual and performing arts; the geographic origins of American Jewry; Jewish immigration to the Americas; gender relations and family structure in American Jewish life; anti-Semitism; regional and local histories; and Zionism. The library supports the archival collections.

Milton Gottesman Rare Book Collections

The A.S.W. Rosenbach collection of American Judaica

The A.S.W. Rosenbach collection of American Judaica includes over 350 books and pamphlets published in America before 1850 that relate to Jews or their experiences on the continent.

The Soble collection of rare books

The Soble collection of rare books contains nearly 400 titles of 18th and 19th-century American imprints relating to the American Jewish experience.

Center for Jewish History Genealogy Institute

The Center for Jewish History Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute’s web site offers suggestions to help you with your family history research. The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute serves the partners of the Center for Jewish History: the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research by responding to questions about family history research. Research Guides are provided to help you start your Family History search. There is also a complete list of the holdings of the reference collection, as well as FAQs that explain how to do genealogical research at the Center. For further questions, please contact the Genealogy Institute directly at or visit their website.

Flickr Photo Gallery

The Flickr Gallery was assembled by library and archives staff and organized into two series:


The People series contains primarily black-and-white photographic prints and copy prints—both studio portraits and snapshots—of prominent Jewish men and women from the 1890s-1980s. There are also photographic prints of portrait paintings, miniature paintings, drawings, silhouettes, and reproductions of lithographs and etchings. The collection contains a few color photographic prints.


The Subjects series contains black-and-white photographic prints of various subjects relating to Jewish American history. Some subjects include Jewish businesses, cemeteries, immigration, and group photographs depicting family, work, and religious life. Photographic prints of paintings and drawings as well as objects and documents and reproductions of drawings are also included in this series.