22 July 2008

Australia: Early Jewish archives now online

Researchers with a family connection to Australia may be able to find many more records as early Australian Jewish records are now online, according to this story by Naomi Levin in the Australian Jewish News.

The file includes information fascinating to those with an interest in Jewish history.

Hard-to-find documents detailing the history of Australia's Jewish community are becoming more readily available since the National Archives in Canberra commenced digitising its massive collection.

The National Archives maintains such a large number of government records that immigration documents alone fill 22 kilometres of shelf space.

Senator John Faulkner launched the Making Australia Home project earlier this month -a plan that will progressively make Australia’s immigration records available on the Internet.

There's a 1933 census document listing Jewish demographics prior to World War II:

According to the file, Australia had 23,553 Jewish residents in 1933. Of those, 10,305 lived in New South Wales, 9500 lived in Victoria and 2105 lived in Western Australia, with the rest scattered around the country.
In 2006, the census revealed that 88,000 people declared themselves to be Jewish, and the actual number was predicted to be closer to 100,000.

Other documents include records of Jewish arrivals to Australia and cabinet ­documents, such as a 1926 "form of application for registration for alien resident in Australia," as well as 1943 confidential cabinet minutes giving permission to the Australian Jewish Welfare Society to bring 150 young Jewish refugees to Australia.

For more information, click here .

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