Friday, May 6, 2011

Jewish News Archive Launches Online Archive with 250,000 Articles

On 5 May the JTA Jewish News Archive announced the launching of a digital archive containing 250,000 articles dating from 1923. The archive is searchable and free for everyone to use.
Highlights of the archive include extensive reporting from Europe in the 1930s and 1940s —including perhaps the first article on what has become known as the Babi Yar massacre —JTA’s reportage on the founding of the State of Israel, close and sustained coverage of the Soviet Jewry movement, and decades of articles chronicling the changing roles and responsibilities of Jewish women.

“The JTA Jewish News Archive has the potential to spark an interest in the past that will transform the future,” said Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. . . .

“There was and still is a lot of conventional wisdom that Americans didn’t know about the Holocaust while it was happening, and couldn’t have known about the Holocaust while it was happening,” said Northeastern University journalism professor Laurel Leff. “One of the values of this archive is that people can actually look at the bulletins that JTA sent out during this period and see what information was, in fact, available.”

The archive was created with the help of Digital Divide Data, a nonprofit organization that provides jobs to disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia. Young Cambodians digitized JTA’s files, thereby completing a circle — a vital journalistic record of the Holocaust is being preserved by the next generation in a country racked by its own genocide. . . .

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