A New Chapter for the Charlotte Jewish Archives

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Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte’s (JFGC) Center for Jewish Education (CJE) is pleased to announce that the archives of the Charlotte Jewish community, housed at the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library since 2005, are now part of the archival collection at UNC Charlotte’s J. Murrey Atkins Library.

 The creation of the archives started in 1983 when Richard Klein proposed to JFGC the compilation of Jewish archives to collect and preserve the city’s Jewish history. Curated by members of what was then the Charlotte Jewish Historical Society, the archives included photographs, artifacts, oral histories, and other items that reflected the Jewish community in Charlotte. Now, these archives are entering a new chapter, with dedicated teams who are passionate about serving the present Charlotte Jewish community by preserving the past.

A new partnership with UNC Charlotte will allow these materials to be more accessible and available to Charlotte residents through the Special Collections and University Archives Department at the J. Murrey Atkins Library. The collection will be available to students, researchers, and general community members seeking more information on the history of the Jewish community in Charlotte.

“We are excited that the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library is able to collaborate with UNC Charlotte to allow more people access to the Charlotte Jewish Archives and ensure the contents are maintained in the best possible condition,” said Tair Giudice, chief impact officer at JFGC. “The professional staff, facilities, and expertise at the university will help make the archives an even more valuable resource for our community and the generations to come.”

As of now, the collection has over 1,870 items cataloged, including more than 1,000 photos, as well as oral histories, Hadassah directories, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and historical interviews. The university will continue to catalog all the items in the collection, taking care to ensure their appropriate preservation and storage.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library to preserve these valuable materials documenting the Jewish community in Charlotte,” said Dawn Schmitz, associate dean for Special Collections and University Archives. “These artifacts contribute immensely to our shared understanding of the history of so many of the individuals, families, and organizations that have shaped our city. They will take their place among our long-established collections of notable Charlotteans and influential organizations.”

In addition to being physically accessible through the J. Murrey Atkins Library, some items in the collection will also be available digitally on the Atkins Library website.

“Our existing collections related to the Charlotte Jewish community include the papers of Harry Golden, the Blumenthal family, Mark Bernstein, and Morris Speizman,” added Schmitz. “Our oral history collections include interviews with prominent Jewish Charlotteans, which are a testament to the long-standing relationship between the Levine-Sklut Library and Atkins Library.”
Materials are available for use by the public in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of the Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. The library asks that researchers make appointments in advance to ensure the best service while the library continues to add materials to the catalogs.

To make an appointment or inquire about the collections, email spec-coll@uncc.edu or call (704) 687-1170. For more about Special Collections at Atkins Library, please visit https://library.charlotte.edu/archives-rare-books.

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