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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

DATE CHANGE: Panel Discussion on ‘The Archives of East-European Jewry: Past, Present and Future Challenges and Opportunities’ Seminar

18:00 - 19:30
18 February 2021

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Part of the Parkes Institute Seminar Series 20/21- All welcome

After almost a year of global pandemic that has limited everybody’s ability to travel and researchers’ access to archives and libraries, it is important to reflect collectively and comparatively on the function and role of archives in an increasingly digitised academic world. This panel will focus on collections that relate to East-European Jewry and different aspects of their past and experience. If the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, established in Vilna in 1925 and now based in New York, has become one of the greatest repositories of East European Ashkenazic culture, the State and regional archives in former Soviet republics also offer a wealth of material on the political, social, economic and cultural life of Jews in the Russian empire and Soviet Union, while the Special Collections at the University of Southampton hold unique material on the experience of Jewish migrants in Britain.

After a short presentation highlighting the historical and legal context of the constitution of each of these three collections, the speakers will have a conversation about the challenges of archival research in a pandemic and questions related to the digitization and online access of collections.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Claire Le Foll (Parkes Institute, University of Southampton) and Shelly Freeman (YIVO).

Please book your place by clicking on the ' Book this Event ' button.  Registration closes at 13.30 (UTC) on 17 February 2021.

Image Credit:Materials from YIVO's Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland collection (RG4), 1932-1939. YIVO Archives (Courtesy of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research).

Speaker information

Jonathan Brent - Executive Director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City. From 1991 to 2009 he was Editorial Director and Associate Director of Yale Press. He is the founder of the world acclaimed Annals of Communism series, which he established at Yale Press in 1991. Brent is the co-author of Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 (Harper-Collins, 2003) and Inside the Stalin Archives (Atlas Books, 2008). He is now working on a biography of the Soviet-Jewish writer Isaac Babel. Brent teaches history and literature at Bard College.

Karen Robson - Head of Archives and Special Collections at Hartley Library, University of Southampton.

Aleksander Ivanov - Administrator of the Interdepartmental Center for Jewish Studies “Petersburg Judaica” and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Art History, European University at St. Petersburg. He is the co-editor with M. Kupovetsky of Jewish Documentary Sources in Saint Petersburg Archives. A Guide. Vol. 1 – Federal archives; Vol. 2 – Regional archives; Vol. 3 – Institutional archives (Part 1), St. Petersburg: “MIR” Publishing, 2011, 2013, 2015.

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