The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center holds the records and papers of Jewish organizations and individuals from the Greater Boston metropolitan area and New England.
Our collections are cataloged as “institutional” or “personal.” Institutional records (denoted by an “I”- or "JHCI"-number) are from congregations, community service organizations, trade associations, Zionist organizations, burial societies, and academic and cultural organizations. Personal papers (denoted by a “P”- or "JHCP"- number) are from individuals or families, and in many cases, correspond to some of our institutional collections.
We also hold a variety of newspapers that served the Jewish communities of New England.
Many of our collections are digitized, searchable, and are available to access through our Digital Library & Archives. Click here for information on the Digital Library & Archives and how to access it.
We require that research appointments be made in advance. Some of our collections are off-site. Therefore, we ask that you make a research appointment at least two weeks in advance in case the collection you wish to use is off-site. To schedule an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a list of all of the JHC's archival collections, go to our finding aid repository. There, you'll be able to browse finding aids for the over 250 archival collections the JHC holds; filter results by subject, name, or place; and perform keyword searches.
The finding aids--or guides to archival collections--describe what is in each collection (often listing each folder in a collection) and provide key information, including the size of the collections, dates they cover, languages they contain, subjects they cover, general descriptions of their content, and biographical or historical information about their creators.
For information on how to navigate our finding aids and tips on how to search them, see our Frequently Asked Questions.
Digital Library & Archives
From immigrant records to family histories to photographs, there's so much to explore in our Digital Library & Archives. Containing nearly 700,000 documents, the archives are fully searchable and enable you to research from anywhere with internet access.
Aside from a few open access collections (see below for further details), researchers must request access to our digital collections. There is no cost to do so.
To request access to the Digital Library & Archives website, create a free guest account by filling out this form. You must then email your username to email@example.com. You will receive an email once your account has been approved. You can then return to the digital collections website and login with your newly created account credentials.
For more instructions on how to access and use our Digital Library & Archives, click here.
The following collections are open access and do not require a free guest user account:
- Abraham C. Ratshesky Papers
- Jewish Heritage Center Open Collections
- The Jewish Times
- Mary Antin Correspondence to Alfred Seelye Roe
For questions about the Digital Library & Archives, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on our Digital Library & Archives, including tips for usage, and copyright, take down and citation policies, can be found here.
The JHC has created subject-specific guides to help researchers easily find and use our collections on subjects frequently found in our archives. The subject guides provide links to finding aids (and, if applicable, to digitized collections on our Digital Library & Archives), as well as to JHC webinars, articles, and exhibits on the subject, and helpful external resources.
The JHC will continue to revise current subject guides to reflect newly-available collections.
The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center has various newspapers within its collections.
The JHC offers access to databases on Jewish organizations, cemeteries, and life cycle events. Click here to view descriptions of and links to the Jewish-related databases we offer.
Databases that are free (guest user account required):
- Boston, MA: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Immigration Records, 1904-1929
- Chelsea, MA: Marriages by Rabbi Icik Benkovitz, 1922-1956
- Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries from American Jewish Historical Society, 1875-2012
- Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery, 1945-201
Databases that require a JHC or NEHGS membership:
- Charleston, SC: Inscriptions in Old Jewish Cemeteries, 1762-1903
- Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries of Western Massachusetts, 1647-1999
- Massachusetts: Organized Jewish Group Activity in 19th Century Massachusetts, 1843-1900
The following are collections held in microfilm form. Please contact email@example.com to inquire about accessing these collections.
- American Jewish Quarterly, 1893-1982
- American Jewish History, 1979-1991
- Boston Jewish Advocate, 1905-1999
- Boston Jewish Chronicle, 1891-1893
- Farm Folk Mexico City, 1934-1938
- Idisher Fihrer Boston, 1913-1916, 1925-1926 (incomplete)
- Index to Americana in European Jewish Periodicals
- The Jewish Farmer, 1910-1959
Originals held at originals available at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York
- People's Relief Committee for Jewish War Sufferers Records, I-13
- Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, N.Y.) Records, I-37
- Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Records, I-66
- Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation Records, I-71
- Baron de Hirsch Fund Records, I-80
- Curacao Jewish Community Collection, I-112
- Mayor's Court (New York, N.Y.) Selected Briefs, I-151. You can also access these records via a searchable database on the Center for Jewish History’s website.
- New York (County) Hall of Records Selected Insolvent Debtors Cases, I-153. You can also access these records via a searchable database on the Center for Jewish History’s website.
- New York (County) Hall of Records Selected Incorporation Papers, I-154. You can also access these records via a searchable database on the Center for Jewish History’s website.
- Emma Lazarus Papers, P-2
- Mordecai Sheftall Papers, P-12
- Haym Solomon Papers, P-41
- Eliezer Drucker Papers, P-42
- Gomez Family Papers, P-62
- Leon David Crestohl Papers, P-63
- Hays Family Papers, P-130
- Stephen Wise Papers, P-134
- Justine Wise Polier and Eleanor Roosevelt Correspondence Collection, P-527
The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS welcomes reference questions about our collections. Please see our Finding Aids and Subject Guides (above) to learn more about the materials located at our archive. If you have a specific reference question, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-226-1245 and we will be happy to assist you.
To visit us for in-person research, scheduling an appointment is required.
For more information about scheduling an appointment, visiting us to conduct research, photocopy fees, and more, click here.