Center for Jewish History

Log Number: ST-251079-OMS-21

The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society will digitize the Baron de Hirsch Fund Records. Founded in 1891 to support Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms and abject poverty in Russia, the Baron de Hirsch Fund trained immigrants in farming and trades and provided financial support for everything from meeting new arrivals at ports of entry and teaching English language classes to assisting with farm mortgages. The 109-linear-foot archival collection is close to being rendered inaccessible due to multiple threats. The original materials are too brittle for researchers to touch; microfilm made of the collection has poor image quality and is deteriorating; and a critical mass of combustible nitrate-based negatives were discovered in the collection in 2019.