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Leo Baeck Institute Archive

Photo: Moses Mendelssohn

Moses Mendelssohn's glasses and their case
© Leo Baeck Institute New York

In September 2001, parallel to the opening of the Jewish Museum Berlin, a branch of the archives of the New York Leo Baeck Institute was established, providing access to one of the largest archives on German-Jewish history in Germany.

Photo of a page from the visitors

Visitors' book, Haus Einstein, Caputh 1929-1932
© Leo Baeck Institute New York

Named after Rabbi Leo Baeck, one of German Jewry's most significant representatives, the institute – founded in New York, London, and Jerusalem in 1955 – is devoted to researching the history of German Jewry since the Enlightenment. Its New York Archive holds an extensive collection: Municipal files, personal documents, correspondence, attestations to religious, social, cultural, intellectual, political, and business life reflect the whole spectrum of German-Jewish existence.

Since the establishment of the branch, nearly three quarters of the material housed in New York has been made available on more than 4,500 microfilms in the reading room of the Jewish Museum Berlin. Over the past few years, the majority of the holdings has been digitized and made accessible online: http://www.lbi.org/digibaeck/. Certain collections are, however, still only available on microfilm, so that a search in the general catalogue is also advisable: http://www.lbi.org/ (search in "Our Catalog").

The branch also houses a number of original collections, among them the extensive Constantin Brunner Collection, the partial estate of the historian Werner T. Angress, and the papers of the actor and writer Frederick Ritter.


Aubrey Pomerance
Head of Archives JMB/Leo Baeck Institute
Tel: +49 (0)30 259 93 556
Fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 409

Numerous documents from the LBI holdings were included in the Jewish Museum Berlin’s Online Project "1933. The beginning of the end of German Jewry" (www.jmberlin.de/1933/en/).

The microfilming of the New York collections is generously sponsored by the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future and the German Research Foundation as part of their programs to promote scientific library services and information systems.

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