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Subject Guide: Researching U.S. Locations Outside of NYC at YIVO: Introduction

This guide covers materials at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research on a city-by-city basis.

Jewish Consumptive Relief Society, Denver, CO, undated

From the Archives of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, RG 9 (digital record available here)


This LibGuide covers materials from American cities other than New York in the collections of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. This is a responsive guide based on previous reference requests. As such, this is not a comprehensive overview of every city represented in the YIVO Archives and Library. If you are researching a city which is not yet included in the guide, please email

Collections Which Include Materials by City

YIVO has a number of large collections which are arranged at least partially by city.

Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring (RG 575)

The Workmen's Circle was founded in 1900 as a mutual aid society and grew to include branches throughout North America. This collection includes records of local branches, as well as schools in New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington D.C., Texas, Pennsylvania.

Jewish Agricultural Society (Baron de Hirsch Fund) (RG 651)

The Baron de Hirsch Fund was established in 1891 with the goal of settling Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The Jewish Agricultural Society, a subsidiary of the Baron de Hirsch Fund in the United States, was established in 1900 to support Jewish farm settlements. This collection includes photographs of such settlements in New York, California, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas, Kansas, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.

Please note that the administrative records of the Baron de Hirsch Fund are housed at the American Jewish Historical Society, our partner organization at the Center for Jewish History.

American Jewish Committee (AJC) Records (RG 347)

The American Jewish Committee was founded in 1906 as a global Jewish advocacy organization. 

An electronic finding aid for the collection is forthcoming.

Landsmanshaftn Records

Landsmanshaftn were societies formed by Jewish immigrants from the same town. They provided social and financial support to members, and served as important community hubs. YIVO holds the records of nearly 2,000 landsmanshaftn. While the majority of the records are from New York-based organizations, we do have records from organizations in other cities. Please click here for a searchable spreadsheet, as not all of these records are discoverable in the online catalog.

You can also watch this video for more information.

National Desertion Bureau (RG 297)

The National Desertion Bureau was established in 1905 to provide assistance to Jewish women who had been deserted by their husbands. While the National Desertion Bureau itself was based in New York City, it received referrals from social services agencies based in other cities.

If you would like to access these materials, please email The card catalog index to the case files is digitized, but it is not yet available online. The case files themselves are stored offsite, meaning that YIVO requires at least six weeks of advance notice to access them.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Records of Arrival (RG 245.4.41)

HIAS is an international Jewish immigrant and refugee service founded in 1909. The "Records of Arrival" series contains individual case files from 1909 to 1978 on index cards. This series includes records from the following ports of entry:

  • Windsor Locks, CT
  • Charlestown, SC
  • Gulfport, MS
  • Mobile, AL
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Newport News, VA
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Oswego, NY (refugee camp)
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland, ME
  • Providence, RI
  • Rouses Point, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Savannah, GA
  • Wilmington, DE

Other Resources

There are many institutions which hold valuable materials on cities throughout North America.

American Jewish Historical Society

The American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), located at the Center for Jewish History, is a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history.

American Jewish Archives

The American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, OH is the largest free-standing repository dedicated solely to the study of the American Jewish experience.

Other Archives and Historical Societies

AJHS maintains a list of Jewish archives and historical societies throughout the United States. If there is one in the city you are researching, that is usually an excellent source of both materials and guidance on further sources.