NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Jewish History in New York City, one of the world's foremost centers for the intellectual and cultural exploration of the modern Jewish experience, has announced a $1.5 million grant from The Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust. In honor of this support, the Center will establish The Lillian Goldman Reference Services Division.
The new Reference Services Division will adjoin the existing Lillian Goldman Reading Room, which serves as the gateway to the archival and library collections of the Center for Jewish History's five partner organizations: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. With a renewed focus on the level of services it provides to visitors, the Center, located at 15 West 16th Street, will create a state-of-the-art environment for the study and exploration of Jewish history.
"This remarkable support will allow us to enhance the research experiences of thousands of scholars, students and members of the general public who come to the Center from around the world to use the partners' collections. It will help us to continue advancing the ways in which libraries and learning institutions can best serve 21st-century publics," stated Michael S. Glickman, Chief Operating Officer, Center for Jewish History.
The grant will support a series of changes to the space—including improvements that will help researchers to seamlessly integrate digital tools into their work—and new resources for students, teachers, scholars and other patrons who come to the Center to conduct research. At the Center, documentary filmmakers shoot rare newspapers from 18th-century Austria; artisan bookbinders develop new uses of forgotten techniques; photographers learn from Roman Vishniac's original prints; and writers explore the unpublished works of Henry Roth. Visitors to the Center discover artifacts of individual experience—the lifeblood of the partners' collections—and page through original records to uncover the unpublished, raw material in the loose sheets of human history.
"As an institution that is committed to education, engagement and open access to information—and one that serves both local and global communities—the Center creates opportunities for diverse audiences not only to engage with history, but also to consider its relevance to the present. The Lillian Goldman Reference Services Division will be integralp to illuminating history for visitors to the Center. This support also reinvigorates Lillian Goldman's strong legacy as an ardent supporter of institutions dedicated to higher learning and scholarship. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Amy Goldman Fowler, Vice Chairman of the Center's Board, for this significant grant," Glickman added.
THE LILLIAN GOLDMAN READING ROOM & THE LILLIAN GOLDMAN REFERENCE SERVICES DIVISION
The Lillian Goldman Reading Room, situated underneath a skylight two stories above, brings together researchers from around the world to explore the Jewish past in a room whose perimeter is lined with open-stack material. The Reading Room is open to the public six days a week. Anyone can request access to a vast collection consisting of over 500,000 volumes and more than 100 million archival documents. Included in the collections housed at the Center are materials in 23 languages and 52 alphabet systems that represent people of different geographic, experiential, religious and secular origins. Through public computer terminals, The Lillian Goldman Reference Services Division will give visitors access to the Center's centralized Online Public Access Catalog (http://www.collections.cjh.org/), and a robust and growing collection of electronic databases, indexes, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference works.
BACKGROUND ON THE CENTER FOR JEWISH HISTORY
The Center for Jewish History in New York City is a multifaceted organization that serves as a cultural institution, research facility and destination for the exploration of history and heritage. It is home to American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Spanning more than 600 years of history, the partners' collections include books, documents, photographs, ritual objects, artwork, film, recordings and textiles. The Center offers cultural programming, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and performances, as well as research facilities and a genealogy institute. For more information, visit www.cjh.org.
SOURCE The Center for Jewish History in New York City