Jews of Islamic Countries Archiving Project, Tel Aviv University
The 'Jews of Islamic Countries Archiving Project' (the JIC project - in short) was established in the Humanities Department of Tel Aviv University in 2002 as a means of enriching the collection of sources documenting the experiences and histories of Jews living in Islamic countries. From its inception, this project has focused on the fields of digitalization and the internet; it developed a website that provides users with varied sources on the histories of Jewish communities in Asia and North Africa, including academic articles. Reaching the conclusion that the sources in this field could be further enriched by means of a general collection of Jewish press, the main researcher of the project, Prof. Yaron Tsur, initiated the establishment of a new website to which Jewish publications from different countries in different languages could be uploaded and which would allow textual searches within the full published newspaper. This enterprise, which begun in 2004, was made possible by the generous donation of Olive Software, under the presidency of Yoni Stern, and thanks to the mediation of Prof. Ronald W. Zweig, a pioneer of the digitalization of the press at Tel Aviv University. The first publications included in this website were The Palestine Post (1932-1950) and the journals of l'Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) from 1860 to 1940. Shaul A. Duke was responsible for the technological development of the 'JIC project' from its inception until 2010.
National Library of Israel
The National Library of Israel (formerly the Jewish National and University Library) is located in Givat Ram in Jerusalem and has three traditional functions: the National Library of the State of Israel, the National Library of the Jewish People, and the Research Library for The Hebrew University in Jewish Studies, Eastern Studies, and the Humanities.
In its role as National Library of the State of Israel, the library receives and preserves, according to the law, all of the books, newspapers and journals, records, and cassettes published in Israel in all languages. As the National Library of the Jewish People, the library collects and centralizes all publications related to Judaism and Jews from all over the world. Off particular interest are works written in languages using Hebrew characters: Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic. The library's collections of Hebraica and Judaica are the most comprehensive in the world. In recent years, an important cultural and educational endeavor has been set in motion: to provide users with free internet access to all the treasures of the library. The David and Fela Shapell Digitization Project transfers rare materials like manuscripts, ancient maps, archival documents, newspapers, and vocal recordings to digital format and then uploads them to the library's website. As part of this project, the Early Hebrew Newspapers website was established in 2003; it currently includes six titles from the beginning of the Hebrew press in the nineteenth century: Havazelet, Halevanon, Hamagid, Hamelitz, Hatzvi, and Hatzfira. The library's development of the digitization enterprise is led by Prof. Elhanan Adler and Orly Simon, with the help of Israel Weizer's many years of work in the field of reprography.
In 2005 the National Library joined the 'JIC Project' in establishing the Historical Jewish Press website, with the aim of uniting their resources and allowing easy internet access to a vast, centralized collection of historical Jewish newspapers from different countries. This project, notable from its inception for its federative character, encourages others to join and expand the partnership by developing additional departments stemming from a variety of disciplines.
The Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) Library
The Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) Library is one of the oldest of the modern Jewish libraries, and was established at the time of the AIU's creation in 1860 in Paris. The AIU was the first international Jewish organization and was established with the goal of advancing and improving the conditions of world Jewish communities in distress through diplomatic means and educational modernization. The AIU exerted tremendous impact, both political and cultural, on the future and development of many Jewish communities, particularly in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa, where an extensive network of AIU schools provided French primary education to both girls and boys.
The AIU Library developed as a sideline to the organization's primary activity; the library amassed thousands of Jewish journals, newspapers, and other compositions from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period of time in which centralized Jewish libraries virtually did not exist. After World War II, the library became an important center for archival research, particularly for the history of Jews in the Balkans and Islamic regions. In recent decades, one of the most important centers for Jewish Studies in France has developed around the AIU Library.
The AIU Library, under the management of Jean-Claude Kuperminc, took upon itself the task of adding all the different AIU journals to the Historical Jewish Press website, as well as developing additional departments for French-language Jewish newspapers. The library has accomplished this within the cooperative framework of the European Network of Judaica and Hebraica Libraries (REBJH, Rachel) and in conjunction with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF).
To the Alliance Israélite Universelle website