20 April 2007

Pittsburgh: Jewish newspaper records online

If your families of interest lived in the Pittsburgh area, this online resource may contain valuable information.

It provided me with details about Aaron Tollin of Chester, PA. I didn't know about him until he was in his 90s and living in California, and I never meet him in person although we did speak several times. This online resource offered his photograph, education details and news items from 1930-38.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project (PJNP)can be accessed here at the Pittsburgh Jewish Genealogical Society or here on the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries site.

You can currently search or browse records from 1902-1962; eventually, records will run from 1895 to the present.

Material includes life cycle announcements (births, bar mitzvahs, engagements, military service events, social events, weddings, anniversaries and obituaries) as well as display ads.

In its early history the Jewish Criterion covered all of Pennsylvania and some border areas, although by the 1920s, its territory was mostly the western third of the state.

According to archivist Susan Melnick of Pittsburgh's Rauh Jewish Archives, information is being added as the project continues. More Criterion issues will be added. The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh and the American Jewish Outlook will become accessible through the database and search capabilities will be enhanced.

The project is a collaboration of the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, the Rodef Shalom Congregation Archives, the Rauh Jewish Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh.

Projects of this type should be on the agendas of all local Jewish genealogy societies who can assist in developing such vital programs.

The only caveat is that searchers must carefully read the scanned page to find the reference, because the name is not highlighted as done in some online archives.

Happy hunting!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Schelley,

    I found this page while looking for other Jewish newspaper digitization projects. I've been browsing the Pittsburgh archive a lot the past few days for genealogy stuff. However, I'm wondering whether you know of similar projects in Boston and New York. Let me know.