Donating Congregational Records to the AJA
Please contact an archivist to discuss your potential donation before sending anything to the AJA. The Executive Director and archivists will make the decision to accept material based on the AJA collection policy.
- Contact Mr. Kevin Proffitt, Senior Archivist for Research and Collections, at (513) 487-3004 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mr. Proffitt will work with the congregation to establish a "contact archivist" to assist the congregation on steps listed below.
- Determine where all of the records of the synagogue (and associated committees, institutions, and organizations) are kept.
- Evaluate the records and make a general listing of the types of records based on the following categories:
- Records relating to the establishment of the Synagogue/Congregation
- Include historical and legal documents
- Subject files of officers and administrators
- Include correspondence and internal memos (including e-mails), reports, and working papers. Records and papers that document growth, change, new initiatives, and controversial matters
- Membership Records
- Include records of life-cycle events
- Annual Reports
- Committee Reports
- Selected Project Files
- Includes records about fundraising activities/initiatives but NOT actual ledgers, checks or business records.
- Programs & Public Relations Material
- Include brochures, press releases, and other promotional materials
- Photographs & Media
- Include both interior and exterior photographs
- Include audio/ audiovisual material as well as digital photos and film
- Try to identify date, event, persons, location, etc.
- Identify which records will be sent to the AJA and whether the records will be copies or originals.
- Work with the "contact archivist" to complete gift agreement .
- Determine how the records will be sent to the AJA and how they will be packaged and shipped.
- Ship records to the AJA.
- AJA will acknowledge receipt of records.
- AJA will process records and create a finding aid which will be posted on the AJA website. (The time frame of this step is dependent on the size and scope of the records.)
Records that should NOT be evaluated or listed to be sent to the AJA:
- Artifacts, prayer books, Torah scrolls, museum pieces
- All business records, checks, copies of checks, invoices, bills, etc.
- Any records that are considered "active" - i.e. records that are still in use by the rabbi, the congregation board or other personnel
- Any records that relate to the day-to-day activities that would not be historically valuable - i .e. operations documents, security records, phone logs
Please note that depending on the complexity and size of the collection of documents/records of the congregation, the AJA may send an archivist to the congregation to evaluate the records.