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Collection Policy

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives identifies, collects and preserves records of enduring value that document American Jewish life. Its collection development program reflects the diversity and distinctiveness of the North American Jewish community.

Core Areas of Interest

As one of the world's largest archives for the study of North American Jewry, the American Jewish Archives collects major records that relate to Jewish life in the Americas. It focuses intently on four core areas of interest:

  • The records of American Jewish personalities and institutions deemed to possess historical significance;
  • The records of American Reform Judaism—its institutions and significant personalities;
  • The records of American Jewish communities—with a special focus on the records of Cincinnati Jewry;
  • The records of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

The American Jewish Archives may periodically elect to acquire and maintain other records of special significance. When considering collections that relate to Jewish life outside of the United States of America, the American Jewish Archives will carefully consider accepting those records that have extraordinary research or historical value.

Administering the Collection Policy

It is the responsibility of the Marcus Center's Executive Director—in consultation with the archival professionals on staff at the American Jewish Archives—to set policy vis-a-vis the accession or deaccession of records. As a rule, the Marcus Center does not purchase any manuscripts or archival materials. We urge both individuals and organizations to contact the American Jewish Archives before sending unsolicited donations. Unsolicited records will be subject to review on the basis of the foregoing criteria. With respect to historically significant records and documents that do not belong in its collection, the American Jewish Archives attempts to ensure their preservation in an appropriate archival center.

All donors to The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives will be expected to complete a Donor Agreement Form.

Advancing the Fundamental Mission of the American Jewish Archives

Our institutional motto, "Preserving American Jewish History," gives expression to the fundamental mission of the American Jewish Archives. As part of this mission, the American Jewish Archives will cooperate in the development of local, regional, and synagogue archives by promoting their development and maintenance, and by fostering a fruitful interaction.