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Donations of Materials to AJHS Collections

The Society's collections document the Jewish experience in the Americas, from the earliest European contact to present day. To that end, the American Jewish Historical Society limits its collections to those items that are significant and representative of this experience.

The collecting strategy—as defined by the Board of Trustees—is documentation of the evolution of American Jews that includes both how we lived as Jews and as Americans. By definition that covers the broad spectrum of Jewish family, institutional, and communal life. Importantly it includes our role in America, ranging from politics to sports. In support of this strategy, the AJHS seeks important and representative materials that illuminate breakthrough moments or turning points of American Jewish life.

The form of the Society's documentation is primarily materials in paper (printed as well as manuscripts), photo, audio, film, or digital form. The collection also houses important objects.

Our collections are heavily used by scholars and students in the worldwide arena of academic research and publications as well as by the community at large seeking information about the broad spectrum of American Jewish history. Additionally, AJHS exhibits selected collection items and loans items to other Institutional exhibits.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel presenting Martin Luther King, Jr. with “Judaism and World Peace” Award.

Learn More

Questions concerning how these guidelines would apply to specific materials for donation may be directed to the Director of Collections and Engagements at the address below:

Melanie Meyers, Director of Collections and Engagement
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
phone: 212-294-6160
fax: 212-294-6161

The American Jewish Historical Society does not appraise donated materials, but can provide referrals to certified appraisers. When an item or materials would be inappropriate for the AJHS collections, the Society may make a recommendation for a more suitable placement.