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CJH Guide: Archival Research at the Center

How best to find, use, and understand the archival collections housed at the Center for Jewish History.


The Center for Jewish History provides a collaborative home for five partner organizations and their collections, whereby each partner preserves a different facet of world Jewry. The collections and library materials found in our stack spaces can be accessed by requesting materials via our online catalog and visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room to conduct research.

In addition to providing access to archival and rare library materials in our Reading Room, the Center also houses the Ackman & Ziff Genealogical Institute, where you can use databases and consult with genealogy librarians to uncover more about your family's history.

The Center’s expert librarians, archivists, conservators, and information specialists are leaders in preserving and highlighting archival material for a wide audience through the latest practices in digitization, library science, and public education. Besides being one of the world’s foremost research institutions, the Center also offers a wide array of symposia, conferences, lectures, and museum exhibitions directly related to the collections available for public research.


The Lillian Goldman Reading Room serves the public by providing access to open-stack reference materials on a range of subjects and a quiet research space for the public to use these materials and the collections of our five partner organizations. The Reading Room is staffed by professional librarians and archivists who are trained to assist researchers. If you would like to contact the Reading Room by phone, they can be reached at 212-294.8301 (ext. 5101). For all other research questions, please email

The Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute assists novice, academic, and professional researchers in reconnecting with ancestors and living relatives. Today, the Institute provides access to a wealth of genealogical resources not only through the building's physical holdings but through a carefully curated reference book and microfilm collection, digital research guides created by the Center's library and archives professionals, and an extensive collection of online genealogy databases. If you would like to contact the GI by phone, they can be reached at 917-606-8217. For all other inquiries, please email

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The partners’ collections comprise the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of archives under one roof of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. The items span a thousand years of Jewish history, reflect dozens of languages, and exist in a plethora of formats, including books, artworks, textiles, ritual objects, audio and visual recordings, films, and photographs.

The Center for Jewish History houses and provides access to the library and archival collections of our five partner cultural institutions:


American Jewish Historical Society

AJHS provides access to documents, books, photographs, art and artifacts that reflect the history of the Jewish presence in the United States from 1654 to the present.

American Sephardi Federation

ASF proudly preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience.

Leo Baeck Institute

LBI is devoted to preserving and providing access to the history and culture of German-speaking Jews.

Yeshiva University Museum

Yeshiva University Museum is the Jewish art and cultural history museum of Yeshiva University. It exhibits, interprets, researches, collects and preserves artifacts that represent the cultural, intellectual, and artistic achievements of more than 3,000 years of Jewish experience.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

YIVO collections pertain to Jewish life around the world, focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, with some documents dating from the 14th through 18th centuries. The collections, which include papers of individuals, records of institutions, and subject collections, concentrate on four main fields: Yiddish language, literature and culture, including the Yiddish press and theater; European history with a focus on East European Jewish history; The Holocaust and its aftermath; and Jewish life in the United States with a focus on the period of migration from 1880-1960.