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About the American Jewish Archives Journal
Browsing the Collection
Searching the Collection

About the American Jewish Archives Journal

The AJAJ is the primary publication of the American Jewish Archives. It documents and preserves the American Jewish experience through the publication of scholarly articles and analyses of primary source documents written by academic and talented amateur historians from around the world. It also contains important news about the AJA and book reviews of relevant secondary literature. This journal is considered one of two major refereed periodicals in the field of American Jewish history.

AJAJ Staff:

Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., Editor
Dana Herman, Ph.D., Managing Editor
Phil Reekers, Editorial Assistant
Jacob Rader Marcus, Ph.D., Founding Editor (1896-1995)

Browsing the Collection

The American Jewish Archives Journal database is browsable via the "Browse the Journal" menu on the left-hand side of the webpage. Issues of the Journal can be browsed by expanding the decade list to navigate to the relevant year and issue. Clicking directly on the year and issue will display the contents of the issue in the main frame of the website. In the main frame, you can click the "View Entire Journal" button to open a new window displaying a PDF of the entire issue of the AJAJ, or open a PDF of just a section of the issue by clicking on the "View" button associated with that particular section. You can also view the cover of that particular issue of the AJAJ. Back in the "Browse the Journal" menu, you can click the arrow icon to expand the issue to reveal a list of the contents; clicking on an item will highlight it in the display of the issue on the main frame of the website.

Please contact the AJA if you have any problems with browsing the American Jewish Archives Journal database.

Searching the Collection

When you search within the American Jewish Archives Journal database, you are searching the full text of the five different types of material found within the AJAJ: Articles, Documents, Reviews, Recent Acquisitions, and To Our Readers. Please keep in mind that ALL searches are case sensitive and are keyword searches.

  • Enter a word into the search box at the top right of any American Jewish Archives Journal database page and click "Go" to do a simple keyword search of the entire collection of journals. If you type multiple words into the search box, all of the words must be present in the article to return a hit.
  • You may limit your search to a particular type of journal entry (Articles, Documents, Reviews, Recent Acquisitions, and To Our Readers) by selecting one from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box. The search defaults to "All".
  • To search for an exact phrase, type quotation marks around the exact phrase you wish to search for - for example, "Jacob Rader Marcus".
  • NOTE TO RESEARCHERS: The full-text searching of the contents of the American Jewish Archives Journal is made available using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. As this is not 100% accurate, researchers should be aware that not all searched terms may be found by the search engine even if they are extant in the text. Additionally, the title page, publisher information, advertisements, indexes, and other miscellaneous matter not encompassed within the five types of material listed above have not been made full-text searchable. You may view this material by browsing to a particular AJAJ issue and viewing a PDF of the entire journal.

After completing your search, the main frame of the webpage will display a list of the journal materials containing the search term(s); each entry in this list contains a citation to the issue of the AJAJ where the search terms were found, what type of material the search term was found in (e.g. Article, Document, etc.) as well as a "View" button linking to a PDF of the actual article, document, etc. Please note the search results will only return the segment of the Journal in which your searched terms were found; to view the entire journal, please browse to the proper year and issue.

The default display is 10 results per page, but this can be adjusted by the user to 25, 50, 100, or All. In order to see the next set of results, click the "Next" button; to see an earlier set of results, click "Previous." Clicking on the "First" button will bring the user to the beginning of the result set; clicking on the "Last" button will bring the user to the end of the result set. Please do not attempt to use your browser's "back" button, as this will not work with the search technology on the AJAJ database.

After clicking on the "View" button to link to the digitized journal material, a new window will open, displaying a PDF (portable document format), which can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader (download the free Adobe Reader online at: Adobe Acrobat Reader).

  • If your computer has the full version of Adobe Acrobat, your searched term(s) should be highlighted within the text. If your searched term was not found within the document, we recommend retyping it into the search box at the top of the Adobe page (without quotation marks if you are doing an exact phrase search). You can also bring up a separate search menu by holding down "Control+Shift+F".
  • If you only have the Reader version of Adobe Acrobat, you must retype the term in the search box at the top of the page.
  • If the search term is still not highlighted, the word is in the document, but the pdf viewing software cannot find it. It may be necessary for the researcher to review the entire document to find the pertinent terms.

The advanced search option allows for more powerful and focused searching. Users can check multiple materials from the AJAJ (Articles and Reviews) for simultaneous searching and can enter multiple terms or phrases for "and" or "or" searching. Searches can also be limited to specific years. Please note that you must enter text in the top search box in the advanced search page for results to show.

An additional feature of the advanced search page is "Search for Author." By checking the "Search for Author" box, users can search only within the author fields of the database to determine what articles or documents a specific individual has authored for the AJAJ. Researchers should be aware that in earlier issues of the AJAJ, staff contributed many articles without officially listing themselves as "author" - therefore, a search on "Jacob Rader Marcus," for example, would return many articles and documents, but not the entirety of what Dr. Marcus actually authored in the Journal.

Please contact the AJA if you have any problems with searching the American Jewish Archives Journal database.