07 December 2009

New Orleans: Jewish history exhibit

A New Orleans Jewish heritage exhibit is open through the first week in January at Tulane University's Louisiana Research Collection (LRC).

The LRC was formed by the manuscripts department and the Louisiana collection department.

One of its strengths are Jewish-related archives of local organizations and synagogues. LRC head Leon Cahill Miller said that the collection serves as the official archives for most local synagogues:

“We specialize in documenting the Jewish heritage of the area,” Miller said. “New Orleans traditionally has had one of the largest Jewish populations in the South, and it’s one of the oldest Jewish communities in the country.”

Manuscripts processor Eira Tasney said she pulled archives from the library’s major Jewish collections, which include records from the Touro Synagogue and Temple Sinai.
According to Miller, Tulane’s manuscript department is the largest New Orleans research archive in the world and the second largest Louisiana research archive, including letters written by Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.

“We’re a huge department,” Miller said. “We’re heavily used by researchers from around the world. You can’t write a new book about the Civil War without coming here. You can’t write a new book about almost any aspect of Louisiana without coming here.”
Read more here.

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