Collections in Process: The Baltimore Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women

Posted on October 7, 2011 by

A blog post by Archivist Jennifer Vess.

In 2002 the staff of the JMM got a call from the Baltimore Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women about donating part of their files to the museum.  The collections staff brought in and processed 29 linear feet of material (ie. 29 packing boxes.)  The collection became MS 124 and has been used by museum staff and outside researchers on numerous occasions.

Me and intern Andrea at the NCJW offices, April 2011

This past spring we got another call from the Baltimore Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.  The organization was moving out to new offices and they offered another group of files to add to the collection already at the museum.  29 linear feet is a big collection, but what we got this time is even bigger – over forty boxes came from the NCJW into the museum and we have wasted no time digging in.

NCJW file cabinets before JMM staff does their work

NCJW file cabinet after JMM staff does their work
Jobi Zink loading up the truck to take the NCJW files from their old headquarters to the JMM, April 2011
  Shortly after being accepted as an accession, volunteers began refoldering files and pulling the dreaded staples.  Already we have 16 boxes processed and ready to be incorporated into MS 124.  The new boxes will become part of that slightly older collection and we will be updating the finding aid.  When all is said and done the National Council of Jewish Women collection will be one of the largest single collections at the JMM, probably close to half the size of the BHU collection.

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  1. minda says:

    mom was treasurer until some time before 2005

    I would love to see these files

  2. Deborah says:

    I’d like to know what sorts of documents make up the collection.

    • Jennifer says:

      The type of document varies a lot. Essentially if it’s made out of paper it can be included in a manuscript collection. We have a wide variety of documents — books, meeting minutes, financial records (budgets, ledger books), event programs, letters, diaries, certificates, drawings/sketches, scrapbooks, reciepts and order books, speeches, reports, cards…I could keep listing. Really anything that an organization or individual collects or produces that tells their story ends up in a manuscript collection. A lot of our collections also have related photographs and objects.