Collections

The American Jewish Historical Society welcomes all researchers who wish to conduct research on American Jewish life from first arrival in the Americas to the present day. Staff members are available on site to advise researchers about materials of interest in our library, archives, museum, and photographic collections. For those researchers unable to visit us or who have questions about our holdings, please submit our Reference Request Form.

Our Collections

25 million documents

25 million documents

50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts

50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts

thousands of digitized archives available online

Thousands of digitized archives available online


Reading Rooms

Our headquarters are located in New York City, where we share a Reading Room with the Leo Baeck Institute, the YIVO Institute, and the American Sephardi Federation in the Center for Jewish History (Directions and Parking). The Center for Jewish History is accessible to persons with disabilities.

AJHS' facilities in Massachusetts are located at 101 Newbury Street in Boston. Only those archival collections related to New England Jewish history are located in our Massachusetts facilities.

New York Reading Room Hours

  • Monday 9:30 am - 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thursday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Friday 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • Sunday* 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Boston Reading Room Hours

  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tel: 617-226-1245

*All requests for Sunday usage must be received by 5 pm on the preceding Thursday. To make a request, please visit www.catalog.cjh.org, login or become a registered user, search for the materials you wish to request, and click the ‘Reserve’ link on the left side of the item record. Once you fill out the required fields, your request will be processed.

Should you have any difficulty in identifying materials or placing a request, please contact reference services at 917-606-8217 or publicservices@cjh.org.

In addition to researching AJHS' library and archives collections, visitors can browse the reference collections and current periodicals located in the reading rooms. Please be aware that all materials are to be used on-site and cannot be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. AJHS collections are non-circulating.

Researchers interested in using our collections may wish to schedule an appointment with a member of our staff. Although appointments are not required, this will guarantee that the relevant materials are easily accessible on-site, and will ensure that researchers’ visits are productive and enjoyable. Researchers are also encouraged to contact the Society to confirm the location of specific materials. Staff members can be easily contacted through telephone, mail or email.

When using the AJHS archival collections, researchers must handle materials with care. Certain materials may be restricted from use due to fragility, privacy issues, or special donor requests. Researchers must use the material in accordance with the Society’s policies. These policies are meant to ensure the preservation of the Society's numerous rare, and in many cases, irreplaceable, resources for future generations of researchers.